Success freaks me out. That's pretty much the definition of an Upper Limit Problem. I make some great progress, even hit a breakthrough, and then comes the whiplash. Oh God what have I done? This is not my comfort zone! Take it all back! The award, the money, the happiness! I'm not used to this!
It sounds funny, but I'm not the only one. Have you ever had a great writing day where you feel really inspired, and then 24 hours later you doubt everything? Is that an upper limit problem?
Yup. You got it.
Gay Hendricks wrote about this in his book, The Big Leap. It's when you don't want life to get too good. It could be the thing you want the most (say... incandescent success and happiness as a writer) is actually what scares you more than anything. Maybe you subconsciously don't believe you deserve it. Maybe you fear loss of control. Maybe you're just a fundamentalist believer in the phrase "too good to be true."
The fact is, this slows down your process, and can halt your project right when you're really getting somewhere. It can leave you circling around a goal forever and never touch down. Novels get stuck in drawers. Seven books get started and none of them are finished. You can't get out of bed the day after a major breakthrough (that's me!).
However, despite my upper limit problems, I have become more and more successful in my writing, business, health and family life, because I've found ways to calm myself down. Whenever I hit a panic because life's getting to good, I use one of these tips:
1. Build Community
Don't go it alone. Whenever you're trying to accomplish something that could potentially change your life make sure you have friends to support you along the way. As you move into new circumstances it's important to have conversations about it with people who understand. Otherwise as you progress it will seem surreal, rather than real, and you might try to knock yourself back to where you're comfortable. As always we have an awesome community in the Facebook Group.
I do a lot of energy work to help me arrive at new levels of success and goodness. In fact sometimes I reach an upper limit with energy work because I'll manifest something crazy and freak myself out. That's when I go back to tapping. It's simple and effective and it returns you to that precious feeling of Safety. I recommend Brad Yates. He'll teach you everything you need to know. Google him after you finish the blog.
3. Blog About It
Ha! That's what I'm doing right now. But blogging or journaling can coax you out of overwhelm. It can help you uncover the underlying problem as well as increase your confidence as you watch words spill back onto the page. The key here is to gently weave progress with comfort. That will calm you down.
4. Take a Nature Walk
Lord, there have been days when I meant to write a chapter, and instead I just needed to walk out my progress staring at leaves. I think of it as walking into the next stage. Great writers have been walkers throughout history. For instance Henry David Thoreau. Don't underestimate the power of just taking a break under a tree for a while and letting it ground you again. That's a real thing.
These tips are especially important to remember as you get ready to publish. Have you ever found yourself wanting to start a new book before you hit publish on the first one? This could be an upper limit. All you have to do is find ways to become comfortable as the "new you" i.e. a published author makes her way into reality.