Are you diminishing your success?
It took months of battling personal limitations, shedding self-imposed expectations and one giant dose of faith to surrender to the call and start Soul Sister Circle. This in itself was massive cause for celebration, however, there was no time for that, the first Soul Sister Circle event was just a little over one month away.
With no previous event experience and armed with a vision and nothing more, I sprung into action to create an evening that would later be described as
“Ignite was one soulful night of connection and sisterhood like nothing I have ever experienced before. When I walked through the door I was greeted by Bec, personally taking the time to shower everyone with love. From that moment I felt I was a part of something pretty unique and special.”
Tickets to the event sold out, the venue and styling was total perfection, the food and drinks were to-die-for-delicious, the music divine, the giveaways amazing and the company so genuinely beautiful it moved me to tears. I worked so damn hard and gave everything I had to give and it paid off. IGNITE was a huge success.
So why in the wake of such success did I feel so underwhelmed?
In the days that followed the event I should have been reveling in the positive feedback, riding high on all the happy memories and feeling proud of my achievement, but I instead felt frustrated, guilty and utterly exhausted. Whaaaa?
I had just birthed Soul Sister Circle into the world in the most beautiful, powerful and successful way, yet there I was, diminishing my success to a point that felt more realistic, manageable and comfortable for me.
I gave myself permission to take some time out. I shut down my computer and only checked in on social media a couple of times each day for about a week. Thinking back on it, this was more out of self-preservation than it was out of self-love. Either way, I was giving myself the space I needed to weather the storm.
Fast forward another week and the feelings of guilt and exhaustion are still lingering. “What is wrong with me?” I wondered. “I’m definitely not cut out for this Soul Sister Circle thing!” “What am I going to do?”
In desperation, I sought to understand (a.k.a. attach meaning to) the way I was feeling. It’s my heart chakra. No wait… it’s my solar plexus! The problem is I have no personal boundaries. Oh… but could it be a matter of authenticity? YES! That’s it, OMG! I’m a fraud! The personal deconstruction went on and on and on.
Battered and bruised from too many rounds in the ring with my inner critic, I was just about ready to tap out when I stumbled across an enlightening blog post by Danielle LaPorte that opened my eyes to the source of my anguish – My Upper Limit Problem and how we resist joy
After weeks of heavy soul searching, there it was, emblazoned across the page in crisp black letters.
I had an Upper Limit Problem!
Eager to know more, I dove deep into the pages of Gay Hendricks beautiful book The Big Leap.In his book, Hendricks exposes the many ways we self-sabotage when we experience a level of success that is unfamiliar and exceeds our personal expectations of success.
Marie Forleo summarizes it perfectly in her blog post Do you have an “Upper Limit” Problem?
“Each of has an internal thermometer for how much success, wealth, happiness, love, and intimacy we’ll let ourselves experience. That’s our upper limit setting. Kind of like our success comfort zone.
When we exceed our internal thermostat setting and life gets super duper OMG good (we have an influx of money, get healthy and thin, find a great relationship) – we unconsciously do things to sabotage ourselves, so we can drop back to the old, familiar place where we feel in control.”
With the root cause of my emotional shit-storm in hand, I knew I needed to batten down the hatches and ride this baby out.
How to deal when you hit an Upper Limit Problem
Step 1 – Don’t freak out!
So you’ve hit an upper limit problem. It happens. Don’t make it mean something bigger than it needs to be. When things feel icky it’s natural to want to understand why. Know that hitting the threshold of your personal success limit is the “why”. There is absolutely no need for any other bullshit story.
Step 2 – Practice gratitude
Things can look pretty grim when you hit an upper limit problem so choosing to focus on all the blessings in your life is going to help boost your mood and also provide you with concrete evidence that your life rocks and you are capable of cultivating success and happiness.
Step 3 – Celebrate
Get in the habit of celebrating your wins. No matter how big or small, acknowledging when you have been successful is going to help you feel more comfortable about success and ultimately assist you to raise your upper limit. If you’re in the throws of a full-blown upper limit problem, then set yourself some super easy to achieve goals and celebrate when you reach them.
Step 4 – Check yourself
The moment everything starts to go your way and you’re life is approaching that ever so sweet spot often referred to as bliss, check yourself! This is the time for super charged self awareness. Pay attention to your thoughts, your words and your actions. Catch yourself before you sabotage that opportunity, start that argument or send that nasty email. Call on your soul sisters for love and support and when you feel the urge to run away as fast as you can, instead choose to stay. Lean in to the discomfort. Trust that it is a necessary part of your growth as a successful entrepreneur, and remember… this too shall pass.
Have you ever experienced an upper limit problem? How did it manifest for you and how did you overcome it?
I’d really love to know so leave me a comment below.
Bec Van Leeuwen is a truth-seeker, devoted wife and mother, a globe-trotter, a nature lover and a human potential activist. Her mission is to support and inspire awakening women who are on a quest to create real and lasting change in their lives, their communities and the world.