I recently read the book “The Big Leap” by Gay Hendricks. It is written in an approachable, easy to read way that one could get through it in an afternoon if they so wished. I found it so valuable that I spent about a month reading it, taking careful notes and considering it’s applications for my own life. I decided I’d love to share about it and encourage you to dig into this excellent resource yourself. This is the first of two posts about this book.
The Big Leap is about a concept called The Upper Limit Problem, which says that we subconsciously act to sabotage our dreams and wishes to become our greatest self, because deep down we don’t believe we deserve it. Upper Limit Problems, or as I like to call them, best-self sabotagers, are all of those moments in daily life where we act against our values and our true desires. It’s getting into an argument with your partner immediately after receiving news that you’ve been given a promotion or a raise. It’s spending your paycheck on clothes and shoes even though you are saving to buy a house. It’s coming down with an illness the day before a major presentation, forcing you to stay home. It’s when you feel overwhelmingly exhausted the morning you were planning to go on a sunrise hike in the mountains. It’s having a panic attack Monday morning at the office after a relaxing weekend. It’s not helping us.
Here’s the thing. There’s what we’re not good at, what we are good at but we don’t love, and what we’re uniquely great at, which simultaneously gives us life. We want to do more of what we are uniquely great at, giving ourselves that source energy that propels our story forward. Yet we get stuck doing what we’re good at, what pays our bills, because well, it’s paying the bills. Making the jump to a life-giving career is risky. What if things don’t pan out?
Well they might not. Especially if we’re overrun with best-self sabotaging habits. The Big Leap suggests that there are four core beliefs we tend to grip that hold us back. We can overcome these limiting actions by exposing them in the process. Notice when you’re best-self sabotaging, and then pause. Before you continue the argument, the online purchase, or the anxious thought, pause. Say to yourself, “I’m sabotaging my best self.” or “I’m upper limiting myself.” Ask, “What might I be limiting myself for?” I recommend asking your inner voice. Once you’ve got your answer, you know you can stop. Stop the argument. Put the credit card down. Take a deep breath. Finally, give yourself an affirmation mantra in the moment. Maybe it’s, “I am abundant in love, peace, and belonging. I have enough. I am enough.” Perhaps it is something more specific to what you are struggling with.This may take some time to build awareness and self-control. That’s okay. I trust it will become easier in time.
I’m working on it, and I’m trying to take it day by day. Moment by moment really. It seems that the second I lose sight of it, I act in an Upper Limiting way. This is where I think the power of compassion and meditation come in. I’ve noticed my ability to identify when I’m best-self sabotaging is strongest on days that I meditate. I find that meditation is the most successful foundation I can create for my day. I think it is because when we meditate, we connect with our best-self. We plug into source energy and identify with the eternal perspective within us that is ever-loving, ever-peaceful, and ever-knowing. This part of us knows the “end goal” and knows exactly the path to get there. So trust that it will come. Commit to giving yourself compassion every day, and commit to noticing those best-self sabotaging moments. Then you will can make space to enlist and empower your genius.
You can order Gay Hendrick’s book “The Big Leap” here.