Do You Have an Upper Limit Problem?

Yep, I have Upper Limit Problems. 

Take a recent unsavory entanglement with my man. In our relationship, we share deep respect and appreciation for one another. We make it a practice to consciously care for and support one another on a daily basis. I know that he believes in me and supports me, as I do him. It’s our own little mutual admiration society. 

We had just finished up a summer of intense work, and lots of play and travel. Just a couple weeks ago, we attended a business seminar together to teach us how to expand what we have in new ways. We were rocking out on that high. Plans made, check. Support and care fortified, check. Admiration, check. 

And then in one glory filled 20 minutes, it all fell apart. Words were exchanged, wounds were salted, and we stomped away in self-righteous pride.  A day goes by, and we remain on our mounds. Not moving. I mean, I am sooo right. 

Then, shit really starts hitting the fan. I receive a text message telling me that a major deal is about to fall apart. I can't be present for it if I'm in gridlock with my man. Like a perfectly placed rock pulled from the wall, everything starts to crack and crumble.  In that moment – hand to forehead – I get it. 

I’m having an Upper Limit Problem. 

The Nutshell

The Upper Limit Problem comes from Gay Hendrick’s book, 
The Big Leap

Basically, we all have an internal limit for how much happiness, love, money, and well-being we’ll let into our lives. It’s like our own personal thermostat set to keep us comfortable. You like your room to be set at 68. I like mine at 75. Neither is wrong, it’s just what it is. 

When we start creeping past that limit and things start to get really good {think a rush of money, clear skin and thin thighs, or a happy relationship}, we sabotage it to bring the temperature back to a setting we’re more comfortable with. 

Upper Limit Problems (ULPs) can show up in a brilliant spectrum of creative ways. 

Enjoying a gorgeous day with a loved one that suddenly turns sour with an out-of-the-blue argument? That’s the ULP. 

Wake up with a sore throat the day after something amazing, rock’em sock’em happened? ULP. 

Receive praise and new opportunity at work, then on the way home get into a fender bender? Yep, ULP. 


Once I realized the ULP was at work and that the gridlock my man and I were in was sabotaging all the good stuff coming in, I suddenly had a choice. I could hold my ground and be right. Or I could give ground, reconcile and grow. 

I chose the latter. 

Yes, all is patched up and steadied. Over dinner that same night we shared our hurts and talked about the ULP and agreed - we had run headlong into a massive, collective Upper Limit Problem. Thank almighty that we realized it. 

And, guess what? It’s not over.

Nobody gets a hall pass on Upper Limit Problems. We’re in this shit together. What we do get is the choice to deal with our limits, or not. 

I stumble into an Upper Limit Problem most every day. That’s the deal you make when you decide to take this on. We’re always doing it, limiting ourselves, so there’s always room for growth. 

One warning: When you do decide to take this on, you’ll feel the contractions and want to run. You’ll want to repeat the patterns and habits you know so well. Don’t. 

Stick with it. Get to know your discomfort. Ask for help. Leeeaaann into it.

It’s so worth it. 

So, how much happiness, love, success, and well-being are you willing to let into your life?