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  • Nathalie Weister

upper limits

The innovative management consultant and educator Peter Drucker famously said, “the best way to predict the future is to create it.” Have you ever stopped to consider your power in creating the future results you desire for your life? So many of us unconsciously walk around letting life happen to us, and when we achieve a goal, we neglect to take stock of those results as a direct effect of our intentions, beliefs, and aligned actions. Conversely, when we don’t achieve our goals, the easy default is to blame others or external circumstances. We don’t take responsibility and often play the role of victim, making the perilous assumption that life is happening to us.

Imagine embracing the empowering belief that life happens for you? While real victims do exist in this world, I’d also assert that in the majority of situations, we are our own worst enemies. I certainly know I am guilty. Failure to own our innate power – to dream big and take massive action – is actually a function of fear. In a podcast by human connection specialist Mark Groves, he explains that a commitment to our dreams requires an expansive capacity to receive success and a deep trust in ourselves to endure disappointment and judgment. With that in mind, we can get curious about what we aren’t willing to feel in the process of creating our results.

Author and leadership guru Gay Hendricks highlights this phenomenon, which he calls The Upper Limit Problem, in his book The Big Leap. According to Hendricks, the principal obstacle to success that affects everyone is our tendency to sabotage ourselves once we exceed a self-imposed artificial limit. All of us have an internal control that sets a limit for the levels of success, love, creativity, happiness, and well-being that we allow ourselves to enjoy. Once we exceed this limit, we write stories like, “This is too good to be true” or “I can’t possibly have it all.” Then, we unconsciously fall back into our comfort zones, tethered by fear or unworthiness.

When I look back on occasions when I’ve accomplished a major goal, I attribute my success to unwavering commitment and belief in possibility. From the time I graduated college, I yearned to live and work in Latin America. I applied for a Rotary scholarship, the Foreign Service, and a multitude of jobs based in the region – all to no avail. It was a multi-year-long winding path, but eventually, I arrived. Sure, I had countless moments of doubt and demotivation when it wasn’t manifesting in my way or timeline, but I never lost sight of my conviction. I was also willing to persevere through those difficult feelings of disappointment, impatience, and critical feedback from my superiors telling me I wasn’t ready. Little did I know the discomfort and imposter syndrome in store for me when I eventually landed in Buenos Aires as a 28-year-old leading a team of locals.

Hendricks advocates that surpassing your Upper Limits begins with belief. Consider where you are sabotaging your results because you don’t feel like you truly deserve success. Or, what pain aren’t you willing to experience? Maybe you’re afraid of judgment or alienation from your inner circle as you make changes in your life that you know are required to accomplish your dream. Seek the support you need to identify those limitations, hold the dream with you (especially when your inevitable doubts creep in), and then watch with wonder as you prove that you’re the all-powerful creator of your life.

If you're ready to explore your potential and break through your own Upper Limits, I invite you to reach out. Together, we can chart a course towards your goals, bolster your conviction, and navigate the inevitable challenges with confidence. Let's unlock your boundless potential. Book a call to explore my coaching program and discover what it's like to work with me towards creating your future.

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