Are you unknowingly sabotaging your happiness?

Guess what this week is? My wedding week!!

And even though we have been blissfully happy together for over 3 1/2 years and I’m so excited for this, there is something still scary about what we’re about to vow to one another and I ain’t gonna lie, it recently freaked me out a little. Here’s why.

I was married before and never thought I would ever divorce but I did. And so my inner mean and bitchy voice saw this as a terrific opportunity to razz me and put lots of fear thoughts into my head about it happening again. She said, ‘Whoa Kelly. You have never been this happy before so you better watch it. Do you deserve it? And besides, it didn’t work out for you before.”

Thanks bitch.

But guess what I have on my side? Knowledge! Now that I know what’s happening I can pull out my tools to manage that bitch and show her who’s boss. She’s not going to sabotage my happiness.

A great book I read, The Big Leap, speaks about this and actually gives it a name:

UPPER LIMIT PROBLEM

 

The author, Gay Hendricks, has studied this and he says we all have a pre-set thermostat setting for joy, success, creativity, and love and when we exceed that setting we often do something to sabotage ourselves that causes us to get back to our comfortable setting.

Knowledge truly is power and being able to recognize what was happening allowed me to breath into the thoughts, acknowledge and feel them, and then deliberately tell them to go.

I then reminded myself how much I have grown and that I hold the power to be in the happiest relationship of my life because it’s me who is creating it every day (by my actions or inactions).

Before I had this knowledge I used to listen to my inner mean voice and believe what she was telling me as truth. I gave her a lot of weight and clout in my life and ended up getting exactly what she had me all worried and scared about as a result.

Have you ever experienced the Upper Limit Problem in your life? Here are some questions that will shed some light:

Have you ever gotten sick or hurt when or before you started a new job? Got into a new relationship? Before going on vacation?

Do you blame circumstances or people for why you can not be or do something better?

Has your relationship been going great and then you start nit-picking and focusing in on what they’re doing that bugs you? Do you ever start a conflict?

Do you worry about and dwell on how things are going to turn out badly when you’re planning something fun?

Do you crave a truly happy and healthy relationship yet in the same breath back away from commitment? Are you always waiting for the shit to hit the fan?

Have you ever gotten money and then either lost it, gotten sick, or have something expensive break that took it all?

When you don’t think you deserve something, something that takes you to that next level of happiness and success in your life, you subconsciously find ways to sabotage it.

SO, HERE ARE SOME THINGS YOU CAN DO:

#1 Bring awareness to what’s really going on. Ask yourself what you’re afraid of if you allow yourself to experience more love, success, joy, or creativity. Is it founded or simply an Upper Limit Problem to identify and work through?

#2 Acknowledge the worry and fear thoughts instead of pretending they aren’t there (what we resist persists.) Bringing these thoughts out into the open allows you to move past them and into much more productive and useful thinking. Thinking that helps you take positive action steps to create the joy and success you want more of in your life.

#3 If there is a positive action you can take – take it! This puts you back in the power position.

#4 Gay Hendricks encourages repeating this up-leveling mantra: “I expand in abundance, success, and love every day, as I inspire those around me to do the same.” I happen to love this mantra and the positive power it evokes.

#5 Get the book, The Big Leap, and apply all the tools he talks about! There is a lot of good information that I don’t have time to share in this post. 

I acknowledged that my marriage fears were an Upper Limit Problem and I took action steps to replace the fears with confidence by reminding myself about this fact: I hold the power to create as much happiness in my relationship as I damn well please!

So long bitch. Hello happiness!

TIME TO GET MARRIED!

A Self-Development Quiz

Where are you when it comes to self-development and change?

Here’s a self-development quiz:

Do you buy a really great self-development book and

a) never read it
b) read it and say “wow, that’s a great idea, I should implement that’’ and then don’t (or half-heartedly try)
c) stay stuck in some area of your life because you’re not sure what to buy so you don’t buy anything or
d) read it, implement the tools, and up-level your life.

This quiz applies to any area of self-development including seminars, workshops, coaches, webinars, etc.

What your answers mean:

A) You never read it

You are in the very beginning stages of change. You kinda-sorta know you need some tools to get you moving forward in some area of your life or health but you’re not all in yet. Often times this stage is filled with inner turmoil that sounds like this:

What if I don’t succeed?

What if I do succeed? (fearing the unknown)

What if it’s too hard?

How will I find the time?

It probably won’t work for me

What to do about it

First of all, give yourself a break. Us humans hate change even when we know it’s good for us. Why? Because it takes us out of our comfort zones even though we’re ironically not that comfortable there.

Start allowing yourself to let go and dream a bit. How do you want your life be happier? What’s exciting about that?

Be a possibility thinker. Sure, it’s natural to think of all the negative ‘what ifs’ but please know that you totally have the ability to think the opposite! List out all the positive ‘what ifs’. Which feels better? Which would you rather focus on?

B) You read it and don’t implement the solutions or only give it a quick ‘try’

You’re further along on the change continuum yet your inner voice is still pounding you with negative ‘what if’ scenarios. Again, don’t beat yourself up. Recognize the voice and choose to take a positive action anyway.

Sometimes you also ‘try’ to implement something but don’t give it enough of a chance to take hold. You get impatient, buy a new book to ‘try’ and start the destructive cycle again.

What to do about it

Take action!

A very common reason for not taking action on tools we learn is because we think we have to implement all of them at once. That always sets us up to fail and stalls us out. So just pick one small action step and be consistent doing it! Reminder: It takes 21 days to form a new habit.

Another common pattern is to over-think where to start. When you think there is a right and wrong place to start you set yourself up to fail. Starting anywhere is always going to move you forward vs. being afraid of starting in the ‘wrong’ place. All places are right!

If you’re the person who keeps thinking the solution is always in the next book vs the book you’re reading, recognize this sabotaging pattern and commit to sticking to one tool long enough to give it a fair and objective shot. That typically means 3-4 weeks doing it consistently.

C) Stay stuck and don’t buy anything

Your critical and judging voice is super loud when you’re stuck in analysis paralysis. You think there needs to be a ‘right’ place to start which makes it overwhelming.

You may also be so burned out from over-functioning that your head simply feels too fuzzy to make any decisions.

And last, not buying anything means you also don’t have to take action on anything. A twisted way we like to stay safe and comfortably uncomfortable.

What to do about it

First, start asking yourself the benefits you receive by listening to your critical voice. What if you started listening to the voice that made you happier?

Do you need a reset? A time to quiet your mind and get clear about what you want for your one, precious life? Take it! Put yourself first for a change. Your kids, spouse, the dog, the grass, your boss, etc….will survive.

Take action and embrace the discomfort. Buying any book that resonates with you is a step in the right direction.

D) Read and implement strategies

You have been practicing and applying positive tools on a regular basis and have developed positive habits. Your consistent follow-through has strengthened your self-confidence and your comfort zone. Yeah!

What to do about it

Keep growing! And keep a beginners mind because there is always a next level to embrace, develop, and learn from.

A final note:
If a book (workshop, coach, etc) resonates with you, you can identify with what they’re saying, and their tools/ideas have merit you need to TRUST that doing them will get you to a better, happier, more kick-ass life!