Upper Limit Problem Example: Are You Self-Sabotaging?

by Amanda Abella  - May 27, 2020

upper limit problem examples

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Welcome to our weekly segment on Money Mindset! Today we’re covering upper limit problems. Upper limits are rampant in the world. Simply put, an upper limit problem is self-sabotage. More specifically, when things start getting good – or there’s an opportunity for things to get good – humans find a way to self-sabotage.

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Gay Hendrick’s covers this in his book, The Big Leap, which I highly recommend. Here are some upper limit problem examples:

  • You start making more money and you get sick.
  • You start making more money and suddenly you have a big financial problem (been there!)
  • You have an awesome relationship and then you pick a fight out of nowhere
  • An opportunity to progress comes up – perhaps the exact mentor or teacher you need to create what you want – and you can’t make decisions.

What is at the root of an upper limit problem?

The reason we humans have endless upper limit problem examples in our lives is that we can’t handle too much good in our lives. When things start getting good we freak out so we find problems and self-sabotage.

This isn’t just on individual level, it’s also as a collective. Case and point – the economy was ripping and roaring and expanding faster than ever. Things were good. Then what happens? A virus that causes an entire economic shutdown. What we are currently experiencing on a global scale is a prime upper limit problem example on a big scale.


Why do we do this? According to Gay Hendricks, we’re accustomed to the struggle bus. We’re accustomed to needing a struggle. I would venture to say we’re addicted to it. It’s safe, it’s comfortable. Meanwhile, reaching your fullest potential seems scary and unknown.


My Own Upper Limit Problem Example

I want to give you an upper limit problem example by using myself. I have a nasty upper limit problem that comes up every time I’m about to have a major breakthrough: GUILT.

I feel guilty because I fear my success will leave people behind. Where that comes from I have no idea (it also doesn’t matter). Gay Hendricks points out that guilt could be attributed to our need to be in community or if you become successful then you’re breaking some sort of family contract. You’re breaking away from the pack and that’s scary.

Guilt is actually one of the main culprits of upper limit and in my experience it comes in different forms. My most recent guilt caused me to straddle the fence between the success of reaching my fullest potential – and fully committing to it – and losing just like so many people are going to do in this time of crisis.

You all think I’ve done and accomplished a lot. I haven’t accomplished anything near what I know my potential is and it’s guilt that has kept me playing small throughout the year.

How to overcome the upper limit problem.

In my opinion, there’s really only one way to overcome an upper limit problem. The first step is to become aware of it. Like, “Oh, there’s that nasty upper limit problem again! Hello again!”

Once you’ve identified it, you need to flip the script. In my case, I have to tell myself certain things like:

  • It’s okay to be successful
  • It’s okay to play big – that’s what you were put on this planet to do
  • Playing big is a life of PURPROSE and that’s what breeds happiness
  • You won’t actually lose anything. Whatever isn’t there when you’re living up to your potential wasn’t supposed to be there anyway. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Yes, I talk to myself. And it works. Normally once I do this I can shift things pretty quickly. Clarity comes back. I know who I need to talk to, what I need to do and what decisions I need to make. I have boundless energy and feel HAPPY no matter what is going on – and not too far behind that comes a massive breakthrough. Shifts happen and they happen quickly.

If you’re having difficulty with your own upper limit problem then I invite you to a complimentary call with my team. We can help you identify where the opportunity is in your current business and where you may have some blind spots we can help you move through.








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