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  • Juna Mustad

The Upper Limit Problem: A New Way of Working with it



What is the Upper Limit Problem?


All of us have a comfort zone - we all have a limit on how much positive or expansive stuff we feel comfortable with.


When we hit that glass ceiling, and expand beyond our comfort zone (ie. because we are feeling a burst of creativity, falling in love, getting our dream job, experiencing some joy or success), some part of us gets afraid and cleverly finds a way to bring us back down to a "safer" or more familiar level.

The problem is, the Upper Limit Problem is largely unconscious, insidious and it can keep us stuck in a limited version of existence.


When opening to greater joy, love, creativity or success, we can "upper limit" ourselves by suddenly thinking a worrisome thought ("Don't get your hopes up, this won't last."), beating ourselves up ("You don't deserve this, you're not good enough."), starting a fight with someone, stubbing our toe, getting sick, etc.


So... what can you do about your tendency to upper limit?


1. Notice the Upper Limit:

If you were just feeling expansive, and now suddenly something is arising to slingshot you out of that expansion, get suspicious... and then curious: “I wonder if I am just upper limiting right now?”


2. Befriend Your Fear:

Generate compassion instead of shame or judgement for your upper limit. Take a few breaths and say, “Some part of me just got afraid.” Honor the part that got afraid. Bring it presence and compassion instead of judgement.


3. Recommit to Your Expansion:

You can say, “I recommit to expanding or opening to... " Commitment and recommitment are lifelong processes. Once you commit to something you don’t just stay committed, you need to recommit again and again when/if you fall out of your commitment.


4. Take Your Fear with You:

Connect with your fear again, and with genuine curiosity ask, “If I am to continue to expand in this way, I truly want to help you feel supported and safe. What can I do to help you feel supported as I take these steps?”


I would love to hear how your upper limits show up and what steps you take to navigate them - feel free to comment HERE on YouTube. And for more videos, subscribe HERE to my YouTube channel.