Have you ever wondered what keeps you from making the leap into your Masterpiece work? Somewhere along the way, we’ve picked up messages that place a limit on the amount of success, love, and money we deserve. These limiting beliefs and fears create a scarcity mindset that blocks you from receiving or accepting the abundance God wants to give you.
Gay Hendricks calls these limiting beliefs and fears the Upper Limit Problem. This learned response to success prevents us from making the biggest impact possible. It also keeps us from experiencing fulfillment in our life. It keeps our key relationships spinning in the same space, rather than growing in depth and intimacy.
Four hidden barriers underlie the Upper Limit Problem. These barriers appear real, but they’re based on false beliefs and fears from our early life. Each is capable of interfering with our ability to step fully into our Masterpiece work. Most of us wrestle with a combination of two or three in our lives.
In The Big Leap, three questions expose these limits:
- I cannot expand into my full potential because………
- I cannot enjoy abundant love and relationship harmony because………
- I cannot expand to my full wealth potential because…….
Upper Limit Problems
My experience in answering these questions was eye-opening. I am pretty self-aware, yet my answers to these questions definitely pointed to underlying Upper Limit Problems. We all have one; many of us have two or three. Let’s explore the four hidden barriers that make up our Upper Limit Problem.
Hidden Barrier Number 1: Feeling Fundamentally Flawed
Believing I am fundamentally flawed means I believe there’s something fundamentally wrong, bad or flawed about me. This subconscious – or sometimes conscious belief causes cognitive dissonance between what I believe about myself and my current experience.
This belief can come from many places. For me, it’s memories of rejection by those I thought of as friends as we moved from elementary school to junior high. One specific time I remember was a good friend from elementary school making fun of me at a football game and really hanging me out to dry. That experience of being made fun of gave me the message I was flawed. Oh, the joys of growing up!
There are two ways we can address this cognitive dissonance:
- Pull back from our current success and not challenge that false belief
- Shine the light of awareness on the false belief and call it what it is; the Upper Limit Problem.
This is a false belief that will bite you if you don’t expose it and kill it. You need to throw water on it, just as Dorothy did to the wicked witch in the Wizard of Oz. I like to picture the false belief melting into nothingness, just as the wicked witch did.
Hidden Barrier #2: Disloyalty and Abandonment
This hidden barrier says, “I will end up all alone, I’ll be disloyal to my roots, and I’ll leave behind the people from my past if I step into my Zone of Genius.”
Hendricks says two questions will expose this hidden barrier:
- Did I break the family’s spoken or unspoken rules to get where I am?
- Even though I am successful, did I fail to meet the expectations of my parents had of me?
If you answer yes to either of these questions, you will experience guilt as you expand into more success. That guilt will hold you back from moving into your Zone of Genius.
This is an interesting barrier for me. One rule I heard growing up was, “Don’t go into sales”. I am very sales-averse, which gets me into trouble. If you can’t sell yourself, how can you provide the service people need? My youngest sister; however, is a sales professional. She excels at sales. Did this family rule change in the seven years between my teen years and hers?
Addressing this barrier requires establishing your independence. Hendricks says, “Behind every communication problem is a 10-minute conversation you don’t want to have.” Oh, how true this is. The anticipation and agony about being honest with your parents and family is much worse than the conversation itself. The freedom you feel once you’ve established your own space is well worth the time you spend being honest in that conversation. And you just might be surprised with the outcome.
Hidden Barrier #3: Believing More Success Brings a Bigger Burden
This false belief says that being a success makes you a burden to others – an even bigger burden. It’s as if you’re convicted of crimes you didn’t commit. This often is related to family of origin issues – it may be related to your birth order or there may be health issues in the family that impact you. Perhaps a sibling has serious health issues or generational patterns may be playing out in ways you’re not even aware of.
This barrier is expressed when you have a big breakthrough, then start feeling like a burden to the world. The big breakthrough is a trigger for guilt.
The solution for this barrier is recognizing this guilt isn’t about you. You didn’t cause the situation. When you choose not to accept guilt, you become free of the Upper Limit Problem.
Hidden Barrier #4: The Crime of Outshining
This barrier shows up as thinking, “I must not expand into my full success, because if I did I would outshine ______ and make him or her look or feel bad.” It looks like being successful, but not too successful. You can’t be so successful that you steal attention from other members of the family or group.
What a trap! How do you determine how much success is enough, but not too much? It sounds like Goldilocks and the Three Bears – a chair that isn’t too big or too small, but just right. That’s a tough spot to find.
The unconscious solution can take one of two forms. First, you might “turn down the volume of your genius”. You don’t step fully into your Genius but rather hold back on the full potential you have to offer. The second way to not outshine the other is to still shine brightly, but not enjoy the fruits of your success.
When you recognize this barrier in your life, dis-solve it by calling it what it is and step into your Zone of Genius.
We overcome these barriers by shining the light of self-awareness on them. This dissolves them. Free of these barriers that formerly constrained us, we can step more fully into our Zone of Genius, our Masterpiece Work.
Renewing Your Mind
As I consider each of these hidden barriers, I am grateful for the process that reveals our Masterpiece work. When we trust God to show us our true identity, we have the potential to see our self as God sees us. The key action that allows us to step into our Masterpiece Work as our Zone of Genius is being transformed by the renewing of our mind. That is a true picture of who we are and the success we are capable of achieving.
How freeing to know that we can overcome these hidden barriers! God who wants to shine the light of truth on the lies of false beliefs and fears so we can overcome our Upper Limit Problems and step into the abundance He wants to provide for us.
Which hidden barriers are interfering in your life? How can you overcome them and step more fully into your Masterpiece Work?