Upper Limit, by Freestocks-org, Unsplash

What is my Upper Limit?

The feeling is, we are all (or almost all) limited. Limited by our money, limited by our time, limited by our society, limited by our commitments. Abundance is not something that comes out naturally. It is hard to feel it in today’s world. And the Upper Limit curse just makes it worse.

Why is abundance so hard?

First and foremost I think it is hard to have an abundance mentality because there are indeed things in life that are limited.


At a macro level, there is a limited amount of money in the world and in most scenarios it is a zero sum game. Now, the world is in theory large enough that there is sufficient money that you could have an abundant flow of it that it would still not affect the overall balance. However, deep inside we know that if we have more, someone has less. But it does not always need to be personal.


It is a fact, we have 24 hours in the day. And in places where you spend 8, 10 or 12 hours a day working and a fraction of that sleeping, there does not seem to be a lot of time left. We grow up constantly feeling late for something. An activity, school, a play-date. When we grow up, meetings, lunches, parents’ meetings. Being late is one of my triggers. And even though I have worked out an entire new perspective as I started thinking of my week as having 168 hours and bullet journaling for more intention with my time, the feeling is mitigated but does not disappear.


Despite being one where I believe less in, there is in theory a limit in love. So I won’t leave it out as I observe it often, though I am blessed not to believe in it. Despite the abundance of people in the world, when you love someone that loves someone else, that does not feel abundant at all. The ONE person that you wanted to have does not want you. And at that moment in time you really do not want anyone else, nor even think there is anyone else in the world that may want you.

Is it our fault?

I would not call this our fault. Indeed the concepts of time, money and love have always been around. Maybe not always in parallel. In theory, these concepts precede and outlast our existence. And I know Abundance Fans will try and argue me out of it, there is a beginning and end to these, at least to the first two.

However part of it, it is indeed in our hands. Which is what we do with it. How we react to it. How we let these influence our life. And upper limit ourselves.

Family commitments.

Work ambitions

Social background

And the list could go on. This is when you can get in the camp of upper limits. The limits that are not really there but really are. Those that limit us in the worse possible way – the invisible one.

Ok, you are being
spooky now!!

What are these upper limits?

The Upper Limits is one that we establish on our own. Last week, as I read Gay Hendricks’ The Big Leap, I ran into different situations where people were just upper limiting themselves in a way that only they could not see. And my eyes having been recently opened (or refreshed) by the concept, I could not resist but lecture. Yes, admission of guilt. I lectured a bit. Let me go through these famous “upper limits” in no particular order, in my own words. Apologies Gay if I am not giving them the appropriate wording.

#1 the deserve not upper limit

This one relates pretty well with the impostor syndrome, I find. I am flawed, I don’t deserve this praise, I will be found, I must hold back. I don’t deserve this promotion, I don’t deserve this love. Sometimes, it can affect those in abundance of both love and money. Common belief is that you can’t have one with the other. Money is some sort of curse that takes away your possibility for a happy love life.

When I look at our home, I know that this upper limit comes up here and there. We are so bless with happy and healthy children, financial safety, a comfortable home. So we can’t expect to have it all in what concerns careers. Sometimes that is our excuse. Other times, we’ll go ‘hell no, we can have it all, why not, who said we has to chose?

I did not know it was called an upper limit until last week, but I have seen it around.

#2 the should not upper limit

This is the one that I gave one of my lectures in last week. I should not do this, as it is not what is expected in my relationship. I should not want to take a long trip on my own. I should not chose to stay in a different city from my boyfriend for career reasons. I should not break away from my parent’s traditions. It would be close to betrayal.

My colleague was in overwhelm. Overwhelmed by conflicting emotions that were not letting her think. She was submerged in grief. Grieving by what she should not be. Thanks to being right in the middle of my own lessons about upper limits, I shook her up and told her the words she was afraid to put out. I could not help myself. She has not leaped yet, but she is walking.

Should was a long friend of mine. I banned it a few years ago from my vocabulary. It still pops out here and there, but I can see it when it hits me with a limit.

#3 the can not upper limit

This one can take so many shapes. And it comes in the way of a burden. I am a burden in the world, and if I do any more of this I will just make it much worse.

I feel that with the charity. We were recently challenged by the board on what our vision was. Truth is, we are not in a position to have one. I responded swiftly we want to grow at a very mild pace, no big ambitions. But when we discussed it later we knew we don’t have the real answer.

The Burden

We are all afraid. I am afraid that growth means I just put an even bigger burden on everyone. I feel more often than I desire that I have created this burden that is on my family and my life and that I can not grow.

A burden on my marriage as I use up most of my free time, a burden on my children as I am always so tired, a burden on my mum as she has taken this baby as her own and it creates so much anxiety, a burden on my sister as she can not limit her volunteer time (with her own #2 limit on) and takes away time from her own family. I admit I sometimes wonder if I should stop this burden on everyone. Give up.

I never come around to do it. But I have accepted we need an alternative as I can’t live with this burden anymore. A limit I did not even know I had until I wrote this paragraph.

#4 the may not upper limit

This is the fear of outshining others. A very high level of self-awareness keeps me very distant from fearing this – I have trouble thinking I have any special gifts.

However, I have observed this behaviour in myself in what concerns my day-to-day life. Sometimes I get called superwoman. People try and complement it. In a vague attempt to normalise and make it all attainable to any common mortal, I downplay it. I point at flaws, I highlight the shortcomings. It happens at least once a week. I stop myself from shinning, from being the superwoman I can be. Without super powers. Even when I really needed a pat in the back. I just can’t take it.

I have been upper limiting myself in living at my full potential by constantly finding flaws. By making people believe I am just another human  being. And as I write this I have trouble writing the next sentence in a public space. I am special. And I do achieve a lot. I think I downplay it because I want every woman to believe it is possible, so they can feel less overwhelmed and lost. But what goes inside my head is more than that. And the outcome is less shine.

Find your upper limit

One thing the book does not explore is the incidence of upper limits in men and women. I can’t help but bet on the differences I have to admit. But whether you are men or woman, finding your upper limits is absolutely crucial. By being aware of them, you can accept them and make them go away, stopping the limits you are imposing on yourself, beyond the world’s limits of time, money and love.

PS- If you are wondering how I do 2 book related posts in 2 weeks, it is only because audible makes it easy and the topic and size of The Big Leap make it possible. Look at me with upper limit #4 here 🙂


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