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4 Tips to Bust Through Upper Limit Problems

Things are going great. Things are going magically, in fact.

Better than you imagined. Ease and joy and clients and purpose.

And then it happens.


Everything feels like it’s falling apart.

You’ve just hit your “Upper Limit”.

This is a term from Gay Henrick’s book, The Big Leap.

He says everyone has an inner thermostat. That thermostat is where you set how much love, happiness, success and money you feel you DESERVE.

If you go beyond this self-imposed limit, you do something to sabotage yourself so that you go back down to that old and familiar feeling level.

Have you ever let your Upper Limit Stop You?

Of course you have.

I have.

We all have… it’s especially easy when you’re an entrepreneur and the master of your own destiny.

That Upper Limit sabotage might come in the form of getting sick, drama in your relationship (or elsewhere), massive overwhelm and paralysis or other not-so-fun things.

We all do this! It’s ok AND you must find ways to break through your Upper Limit to grow into the person who has the business you want.

4 Things to do when you think you may be experiencing Upper Limit discomfort.

1) Forgive yourself.

Realize it’s all part of getting comfortable being uncomfortable and that is a VITAL part of being an entrepreneur. It’s ok to feel the fear and discomfort. Don’t add to it by being hard on yourself. Be kind to yourself.

It’s a great idea when you are NOT experiencing Upper Limit Problems to put a “break glass in case of emergency” plan.

This could be anything from creating a cocooning ritual of your own, going into full rest and rejuvenation mode, going into reflection mode with a journal (I recommend doing a Journal of Appreciation – more on that in Tip 2), engaging in physical movement, having an emergency buddy for social support.

2) Radical appreciation

Try to find things to feel appreciation and things you are grateful for. That always gets me out of a funk and into movement. I usually do a Journal of Appreciation and fill a page with things to appreciate.

When you’re in the middle of an Upper Limit moment, you might just be able to say “I appreciate the sun today” or “I appreciate the sound of the birds” and it may feel difficult.

When it becomes difficult for me to find things to appreciate, I always find someone who needs my help. This always shifts things for me.

My neighbor Mr Aldrige was this person for many years. His wife and only son had passed away, he was homebound and on medication. A visit from me always lifted his spirits.

The truth is, those visits fed my soul more.

3) Be very aware of the 3 C’s.

The 3 C’s are from Dale Carnegie and they are “Don’t Criticize, Condemn or Complain”.

When you’ve smashed headlong into your Upper Limit, it’s easy to be critical of everything, especially of yourself.

This is a time to make the effort to lean towards the positive, however slightly.

4) Look at ONLY the next baby steps.

Sometimes, when you look at your big dreams in the BIG picture it feels daunting and SO non-doable.

Just focus on the next baby step.

Then take the baby step.

I always think of the first marathon I ran.

If I had thought about running 26.2 miles, I NEVER would have begun. When training, I could only think of the next baby step, and the next, and the next… and I tried to celebrate as many as I could.

When experiencing an Upper Limit, re-focus on the baby steps to keep moving through it.

A couple of days ago I experienced a client going through her Upper Limit. She’s been doing incredible things and there’s so much more on the horizon if she can get through to the other side.

what to do with upper limit problemsI drew this girl last night while thinking about this client. This is my mantra for her and for anyone experiencing an Upper Limit Problem (including me).

Everything is always working out for me…
It’s ok to grow and feel uncomfortable…
It’s ok to become the bigger me that I am becoming…
I can trust myself.”

Being an entrepreneur is one of the hardest and most fulfilling personal development journeys you will ever undertake.

Keep going because it is WORTH pushing through your self-imposed limits to shine your light in the world.

As always, with love and appreciation!



  1. James Vana on February 25, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Thank you so much for this article. I am at the tail end of this upper limit and also in a physical sense. I noticed myself starting to complain mentally about my current job status and had a recent medical bout. I’m on the mend now and I can’t see me going back to the daily grind. This inspires me to get started and stop worrying about fear of failure.

    • Maritza Parra on February 25, 2016 at 5:27 pm

      Thanks for your comment James! Sending you lots of positive prayers for your continued physical recovery.

      I think complaining is so normal when we reach our upper limits AND it is so IMPORTANT to be aware of so that we can shift it. One thing I do is use a rubber band around my wrist. If I find myself complaining or criticizing, I snap it hard as a reminder of what I don’t want to be doing.

      Science has shown that there are different chemical reactions that happen in the brain when we shift our thoughts to more positive ones. It’s so worth doing.

      As for your job, I’m sending you all kinds of positive energy for you to either find another one that you enjoy or find a smart way to start a business with low overhead. That means, to have savings or a way to bring in income BEFORE you leave your job. O start one on the side that you can monetize quickly before letting go of your safety net.

      Even in the old “daily grind”, I’ll bet there are a bunch of ways you can make it more pleasant for yourself, just by shifting the way you think about it. And maybe even start to enjoy some aspects of it, while you create your exit plan.

      So great to see you here from Twitter, my friend! XOXO

  2. Laura on February 25, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Maritza, this is great. It is so true for me. I think is common for many people to be a little afraid of the unknown even if it is positive and good. With your help I have learned to face my fears and stretch my horizons and when the results are in it does feel good and the growing pains were well worth it.
    I’m printing the adorable cartoon and the mantra and placing in my vision board.

    • Maritza Parra on February 25, 2016 at 5:29 pm

      I hope she keeps you company as you stretch your courage muscles. LOVE that you’re printing it out, Laura! We’re actually collecting some of my cartoons to start getting some swag like mugs, journals, etc… you read my mind!

  3. Jodi Flynn on February 29, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Oh, I am in the middle of this. First webinar coming in March and 100 reasons I need to put my attention elsewhere. Breathing through it helps, asking for help helps, and appreciating all I have…adding it to my list. Thank you, Maritza!

    • Maritza Parra on February 29, 2016 at 4:11 pm

      Jodi, That is FANTASTIC! Have fun, give value and make sure you have a call-to-action where those who are interested can get more from you. Super excited for you! XOXO, Maritza

  4. Lian on February 29, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    What a beautiful way of showing how we sometimes unknowingly limit ourselves. Thank you for the reminders and encouragement to grow beyond what we limit and allow ourselves in life! Great and uplifting article. Here’s to growth, ups and downs, and hitting our upper limits higher and higher in limitless ways 🙂

    • Maritza Parra on March 2, 2016 at 9:02 pm

      Lian, I love your comment about “hitting our upper limits higher and higher in limitless ways” <== I SO believe that - when we use these kinds of tools the upper limits get higher and the lower places, they get higher too! 🙂

  5. Kathy Lundborg on March 2, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    Ha!!! I know this one! Actually, I just broke through my Upper Limit, essentially resetting my inner thermostat. This is a feeling I love!! However, I know that as I edge up to that new comfortable ceiling, I’ll have to overcome my fears to inch it up some more. I CAN trust myself AND I trust the powers of the Universe. Step out of my way, and goodness rushes in. Yayyy!! Thank you for the easy 4 steps I can use for the next time my head bangs into the ceiling!

    • Maritza Parra on March 2, 2016 at 9:04 pm

      Kathy, LOL! I have a few knots on my head too 😉

      Love this ==> “I CAN trust myself AND I trust the powers of the Universe.”

  6. […] a client was having a mindset shift or had reached an upper limit in their beliefs, I’d send them a painted card to help give them […]

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