If you'd rather listen to this post, check out my podcast episode about this topic!
I had the biggest mindset shift this morning, and I had to share it with you.
Do you ever say you want to do something, yet you don't follow through -- despite your BEST intentions?
For example, you SAY you want to lose weight (and you probably really do!), but you end up sabotaging your efforts by 1. not taking the time to prep food ahead of time 2. choosing the unhealthy option because that's what feels good in the moment, or 3. skip out on your workouts more often than not.
I've been reading The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks, and it's one of those books that has changed my whole world. Seriously. It's that groundbreaking. Stop what you're doing, go to Amazon, and order it NOW.
*Amazon affiliate link. Thanks for your support!
But he talks all about how we each have an Upper Limit to which we allow ourselves to feel good.
Most of us, Hendricks says, spend our lives operating in our Zone of Excellence, but never take the initiative to operate in our Zone of Genius -- which is the only place where we can truly THRIVE.
So why is it, in spite of our best intentions to (lose weight, meet new friends, meet the love of our life) -- we feel like we're always an arm's reach away from what we really want?
Long story short (I will do a whole recap of this book because I am that obsessed with it), it's this: we sabotage ourselves when we feel TOO good, mostly due to an underlying belief that we don't deserve to feel that good. So, we 'upper limit' ourselves to bring us back to our comfort zones.
For example, let's say things are going really well with your partner for a while, but then you find yourself randomly picking a fight for no reason. *UPPER LIMITING* Or, you're on a roll with prepping your food, choosing healthy options at restaurants, working out, and then you blow it at a friend's birthday party and eat a whole cake because 'you feel like it,' only to feel guilty later. *UPPER LIMITING*
MIND BLOWING, right? So simple, yet if we actually take this information and do the work to find out where we're *upper limiting* ourselves, we can really make some major shifts here!
So, now that we understand what the Upper Limit is and how it works, we can dive into something a bit deeper that will really help you go from *saying* you want to do something, to actually doing it.
How to go from SAYING you want it, to actually doing something about it.
Step 1: Identify which areas of your life you're 'Upper Limiting' yourself.
Here are some common areas we self sabotage our success: career, relationships, body, spirituality, finances.
Identify where you feel stuck: meaning you feel like you genuinely want a desired result, but feel like no matter what you do, you never really get there.
- You say you want to lose weight, but can't seem to lose the last 10-20 lbs. (or more)
- You say you want a thriving relationship, but you always end up with the wrong guys or pick fights with the good ones
- You say you want to save money, but that purse is just "sooooo cute!!!" -- one time doesn't matter, right?
- You say you want to feel more fulfilled at work, but you participate in office gossip every day, you haven't gone to your boss to let them know what would make you happier at work, etc.
Step 2: Ask yourself, "Are my thoughts congruent with my actions?"
This is where I had my revelation this morning. I literally made a chart, and on the left side I wrote "thoughts" and on the right I wrote "real actions."
I can't tell you how many times I've really examined an area of my life that I want to change, only to realize that what I SAY I want, is not what I'm actually DOING.
For example, if your goal is weight loss, your chart may look something like this:
THOUGHTS (left hand side): I want to lose 20 pounds.
ACTIONS (right hand side): I only work out twice a week because I'm so busy. And I find myself always drinking wine and eating chocolate at night.
See how what you SAY you want and what ACTIONS you're taking to get there are actually totally different?
Here's the thing: it's not enough just to think about it, talk about it or even research about changing. You have to actually take the STEPS to change. And before you can take those steps, you have to identify where it is that you're not in integrity with what you say you want -- meaning your actions don't line up with your words.
Do this exercise for all of the areas you feel like you're Upper Limiting yourself.
Step 3: Identify your self limiting beliefs, and *HERE'S THE MOST IMPORTANT PART* how is what you're currently doing serving you in some way?
This is probably the MOST IMPORTANT step, but often gets overlooked — or never even considered in the first place.
Every habit we have, positive or negative, serves us in SOME WAY. Otherwise, we wouldn't do it!
I know, it's a mind f*ck, because you're probably thinking, "No really, Julie. I do want to lose 20 pounds. I don't feel like myself, it's making me tired and miserable, I can't fit into my clothes, my relationship is suffering because I'm not confident anymore. HELP."
But in some way, some how, that extra 20 pounds is serving you -- otherwise you would've gotten rid of it by now.
So here's what you need to ask yourself and get REALLY REAL (fo real) about: how is what you're currently doing serving you in some way?
This is where I had my current revelation this morning. I've been trying to lose the same 10 pounds for like, 6 months now. *Side note: It's not about the weight, it's just about how I feel and the way my clothes fit. And I decided to journal this morning, as I always do when I feel I'm not in integrity with what I *say* I want.
TOTAL TRANSPARENCY HERE: I realized that the extra weight has been serving me because it allows me to play small in my business. Deep down, I have this self-limiting belief that I have to show up, physically, in a certain way in order to be taken seriously. Part of that is perpetuated by all the fitness chicks on social media with ripped abs *even though that's not my goal anyway. But I realized that having an extra layer of fluff allows me to say, "I could do a photoshoot, go to more events in the community, find clients in my new city, etc. but only when I lose the 10 pounds so I'm taken seriously." It's serving me because, even though I dream of something BIGGER for myself, it's a lot easier for me to hide behind an excuse that people actually GAF about 10 pounds. It's a lot easier for me to say, "I'll do it when I'm ready, 10 pounds from now" vs. just taking messy action NOW and figuring it out.
Ugh, realizing that was a huge gut check, let me tell ya.
So this means in spite of my best efforts to lose weight: hiring a trainer, working out religiously, and eating mostly well -- I've been bringing myself right back down to my comfortable Zone of Excellence (because I'm doing just fine in my little bubble, thank you LOL) by reaching for cookies, eating off Mark's plate when I'm full, and frankly just eating TOO MUCH of the good stuff.
Mind blowing, right?
Maybe it's just me, but this was groundbreaking stuff.
I hope you can find where you're Upper Limiting yourself and start taking steps toward your dreams. I tell you ALL DA TIME, but you are SO WORTHY of everything you want in this world. But it's not enough for me to tell you, it's up to you to believe it.
I believe in you.
Do YOU believe in you?