“It was Mrs. Peacock with the Candlestick in the Conservatory.” Have you ever played Clue? The goal is being first to identify the victim of foul play, by deducing the answer from clues you discover as the game progresses.
Our Upper Limit Problem (ULP) is providing us with clues, also. They’re right in front of us. We just have to look for them. If we know what we’re looking for, we can track our Upper Limit Problem back to the source.
Six Potential Clues
In The Big Leap, Guy Hendricks says there are six potential behavioral clues that point to our Upper Limit Problem. Recognizing these behaviors will help you dissolve it and move into your Zone of Genius. You will find the clarity to get free and do your Masterpiece Work!
Let’s explore these behaviors. As we do, notice whether you tend to do them and when you do them. Often the increase in these behaviors is a clue that we’re moving into our Zone of Genius and our subconscious is pulling us back down to that “comfortable” space.
1. Worry – is your worry real, or is it just keeping you “safe” in your Zone of Competence or your Zone of Excellence? To find out, Hendricks says you should ask these two questions:
“Is it a real possibility?”
“Is there any action I can take right now to make a positive difference?”
If the answer is no to both of these questions, chances are you’re dealing with an Upper Limit Problem. He tells of a group going through his training program for making the Big Leap using Upper Limit Problem as a verb. They referred to it as ULPing. I love these kinds of made up words, so we’re going to use that expression going forward.
2. Criticism and Blame – these two behaviors become addictive and destroy relationships. The break the flow of positive energy needed to move into your Zone of Genius. Often, criticism and blame are self-focused. Both externally-focused and self-focused are destructive. This is often repeating a pattern we’ve experienced from others.
As a parent, this makes me cringe. There were times in my life when I criticized in destructive ways. How do you speak to others? What does your self-talk sound like? Are criticism and blame part of your repertoire? If so, what will you do about it? Noticing is the first step.
3. Deflecting – Listen to conversations around you. You’ll very often hear people deflect the positive feedback they’re getting by discounting it or explaining it away. It keeps positive feedback/motivation or energy from being received, accepted and acknowledged.
The most common example of this I hear responding to a compliment. Instead of saying “Thank you”, they discount the compliment by giving some reason why it’s not valid. “Oh, this is just an old thing I pulled out of my closet.” “I really wanted to do more on that presentation, but I ran out of time. It wasn’t my best work”
Deflecting positive feedback is counterproductive. Someone is taking the time to praise you. Take it in! A simple thank you is the most gracious response. You may discuss how the presentation went or what you’re experiencing after acknowledging the positive feedback. But first, acknowledge the positive. (Can you tell this is my pet peeve?)
4. Squabbling – arguing is occupying the victim role in a relationship. “You are making me miserable”, rather than using an I message “I feel miserable when you do ______.”
Healthy relationships require each person to accept 100% responsibility for the relationship and conflict in it. Then, together, they can end the conflict. Their relationship can flourish. In the middle of an ongoing argument this can be difficult. The only way to gain perspective is to take 100% responsibility and recognize no one is the victim.
If you find yourself in a relationship with someone who will not take their 100% share, please seek help. These people need to be removed from your life. It requires counseling, not coaching to deal with their behavior and its consequences. Seek help if you are in such a relationship.
5. Illness and Injury – sometimes a pattern of getting sick or injured just when things are getting good is a clue to ULPing. Hendricks says, “Examine everything that brings you pain as a potential Upper Limit Problem.”
A headache may be just a headache. Or it may be a clue that you’re trying to stay in the safe place instead of making the big leap into your Zone of Genius.
6. Integrity Breach – lies, broken agreements and withheld truths are the most common forms of integrity breach. Integrity as used here is about wholeness, completeness, rather than morality. Think integrated, not good vs. bad.
It requires wholeness, being an integrated person – body, mind, and spirit – to move into your Zone of Genius. Often an integrity breach happens when we’re lying to our self to avoid dealing with feelings we don’t want to accept. Therefore, our subconscious will cause us to breach our integrity. It’s a way of expressing what we refuse to acknowledge.
What if your conflict is not about what you think it’s about? What are the clues demanding your attention?
Discover Your Story
Discovering your story is crucial in moving into your Zone of Genius – as with your Masterpiece Work. Reflect, the first step of the Masterpiece Work Process uncovers our story and leads us to Rediscover – seeing both the thread that leads to our Masterpiece Work and the ULP’s that get in the way.
Make a Bigger Impact
Are you ready to step into your Masterpiece Work? Join the Activate Your Masterpiece Mastermind. Discover the path to overcome your Upper Limit Problem and make a bigger impact through your Masterpiece Work.