I’m a big believer that things come to you when you need them. This can be lessons and books, people, situations. All of it.
Case in point, I bought the book The Big Leap, by Gay Hendricks, years ago, and never read it. And this month, my business mentor assigned it for our reading, and while reading it, I see how it is only just now the right time for me to be reading it. The same way Brené Brown was on my radar for 3 years before I read any of her work, and I happened to pick up the right book of hers, Rising Strong, at the right time in my life, even though it was out of the order that “made sense.”
What I want to share with you today, is the main theme of Gay Hendrick’s book, which is that we all have our “upper limits” in multiple areas of our life. These are the ceilings that exist in our own minds, the maximum amounts of happiness, money, success, etc that we think are possible in our own lives. And when we get close to those ceilings, we start self-sabotaging in a number of ways, because our brains can’t comprehend that the ceiling exists only in our minds.
This explains why we might do any of the following:
Get a raise, increase our spending and find ourselves in debt
Lose 25 pounds, add ice cream back in with reckless abandon and gain back 30 pounds
Get a promotion and start picking fights with our spouse
The concept is not new, and yet how many of us stop to sit with the idea and question where our upper limits are? And further still, how many of us do the work to bust through our proverbial mental ceilings to expand our capacity for love, money or success?
For a long time, I thought that the consequence of practicing medicine was misery and overwork. I could feel like I was doing important work, but it wasn’t reasonable for me to also expect to be able to relax, or have hobbies or want more. It took a long time for me to see that I was in my own way, and I’m still untangling thoughts about this as I build m new pathway. And that’s ok.
The point here is that if you have been feeling hemmed in, thinking that there is not way that you can [fill-in-the-blank] because it’s “too much,” in some way, use that as an opportunity to sit down and really question your thoughts. If you can start poking some holes, start questioning what’s possible, and what you want, you will be able to see where you have been holding yourself back.
And then what? Then you get to spend time picturing what you want, imagining what it would look like and feel like, and what you would like to think about it.
And that is how you break the ceiling and move your upper limit.