Ep. 57: Upper Limit Problems

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I’m a type-O blood type and am usually good with biological challenges – viruses, bacterial infections, street food in foreign countries. I almost never get sick. So when all of a sudden I had laryngitis and no other symptoms…I was confused.


I was about to launch my podcast and had blocked out a complete week to record, my Freedom School launch was going so well, and I was spending some mommy-daughter time with Maia while Thai was in Utah. 

But after some reflection and some friends calling me out, I realized I was having an upper limit problem.

So in case you’ve never heard of an “upper limit problem,” Gay Hendricks coined the term in his 2009 book The Big Leap – which, BTW, it required reading for my adventure mastermind students.

Here’s the basic idea:

We all have a set limit – almost like a barometer – for how much joy and abundance we let into our lives. Kind of like the happiness “set point” you may have heard about.

When we exceed that upper limit because life is going so well, we unconsciously do things to sabotage ourselves so we can drop back into the place we feel in control.

How do these upper limit problems manifest? Well, it might look like when you’ve had a really good streak of luck, or life seems to be going soooo well – better than it has been in a long time – and then you wonder why it all went to shit because:

> You picked a fight over nothing
> Got in an accident
> Started to over drink/eat/spend
> All of a sudden find yourself sick…

So what happened for me is that I was so psyched about the recent successful launch of Freedom School and pumped about the excitement everyone had for my new podcast, that I  had to run interference (I go more into how to do this in the pod).

Everyone has varying degrees of “upper limit problems.” Thankfully, you can overcome them with the right tools and an open heart:

  1. Step one is to accept that ULPs are a completely normal – and necessary – part of our evolution – the journey to uncovering our true nature, our buddha nature, our highest potential. We’ll meet this challenge, whether on a path to start our own business, grow spiritually, take how we show up in relationships to the next level…
  2. Start expanding your beliefs about what is possible for you in or life, and start practicing seeing it, feeling it as if it is happening RIGHT NOW, and believing it. Kind of like building a tolerance for how amazing your life can be
  3. Start to anticipate it happening as your success grows, and keep an eye out for it. 

A good practice to check in with this is also to ask yourself, “ How much abundance, success and love am I really willing to have?”

Is it a shitton?

Then keep track and make sure your thoughts, feelings and actions align with that, because when they don’t, that tends to be where the self-sabotage starts  -when our thoughts and feelings aren’t aligned with what we want.

Now, this is not to say there aren’t actual limits like glass ceilings, racist institutions and patriarchal structures and the like. Those are not upper limit problems. But we often let our ULPs sabotage WAY before any of these systems would.

Remember that because all of this is uncomfortable –  as expanding past our comfort zone always is –  you may want to shrink back.


Remember that this is a good sign. It means you’re on the edge, on an adventure.

So take a moment and think about where you might be having an upper limit problem right now – and go through the steps I just mentioned, because it’s totally normal, especially as you take your life to the next level.

Life is going to send you challenges – that’s just how it is. So let’s make damn sure that  YOU are not going to get in your own way, ok?

In this episode:

// What’s an upper limit problem?
// How I almost sabotaged the Rebel Buddhist podcast
// How can an upper limit problem manifest? (it can be sneaky!)
// 3 steps you can take to overcome your upper limit problem


// These teachings were heavily influenced by Gay Hendricks as well as stories / teaching shared from Marie Forleo – an Upper Limit Blasting Queen!.

//  If you’re new to the squad, grab the starter kit I created at RebelBuddhist.com. It has all you need to start creating a life of more freedom, adventure, and purpose. You’ll get access to the private Facebook group where you can ask me questions! Once you join, there’s also a weekly FB live called Wake the F*ck Up Wednesday, where you can ask questions that come up as you do this work – in all parts of your life.

// If you’re interested in finding out more about how to free your mind and free your life, join Freedom School. Enrollment is open, and we are diving DEEP into ways to cultivate clarity and courage so you can create your best life. There are also some sweet bonus courses for you there. It will set you up to live the best version of you in the year to come. Learn more at JoinFreedomSchool.com