The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks* examines different ways that we hold ourselves back from success. It is for anyone who feels they are not living to their potential. The book covers how to deal with self sabotage, how to live in your zone of genius and how to live in Einstein time to achieve true success.
”You have at least one hidden barrier that is keeping you from being completely successful.”Gay Hendricks
Why I wanted to read it
This the third time I’ve read The Big Leap. I originally came across through a social media personal development book club. I reread it so I could refresh my knowledge about upper limit problems. I knew I’d hit one with going to bed as I’d go to bed before midnight for several days, and then it would be 2am for no reason. And this would happen on repeat.
”The Upper Limit Problem is our universal human tendency to sabotage ourselves when we have exceeded the artificial upper limit we have placed on ourselves.”Gay Hendricks
The key takeaway for me is the concept of the upper limit problem and how it leads to self sabotage. We all have hidden fears that create an artificial limit on the success we’re willing to have.
Upper limits are restrictions that we believe are fixed. So if things are going well and pass the imagine level (the upper limit) we will do something to bring us back down to the level we think we “should” be at. We subconsciously self sabotage. Gay Hendricks uses the metaphor of a thermostat that is set a level and will stop heating a room once the temperature is exceeded. So our goal is to increase the setting on the dial.
The first step is to recognise your pattern. What is your barrier? How do you sabotage yourself?
I mentioned that my bad habit is about going to bed. Now that I’ve recognised it I can take action:
- look into why I have that belief, is it based on facts
- be more observant about my behaviour and ask if my actions are taking me towards what Iwant
- take actions to pre-empt my behaviour. For example I would scroll on my phone so I’ve removed some social media apps from my phone, and when it was very bad I put time restrictions on my phone.
Another reminder I got from the book is how similar fear and excitement are. In fact, if you breathe deeply you can often turn fear into excitement.
”The very same mechanisms that produce excitement also produce fear, and any fear can be transformed into excitement by breathing fully with it.”Gay Hendricks
What I’ve changed
My focus has been on getting to bed earlier, so I get enough sleep and wake earlier and I’ve introduced a few changes
- I track my bedtime every day, so I can not pretend I’m doing okay (I have facts)
- I’ve started listening to fiction audio books as I get ready for bed. It is the only time I listen or read fiction so is something I look forward to
- I’ve got an app that gives me a message every 30 minutes when I’m on my phone, so I know how long it has been
- I’m building my morning routine to be something I enjoy, so I look forward to it and feel disappointed if I wake late and have to miss it
- I’m realising when I feel good. I used to think I was a night owl with high energy levels in the evenings, but now I’ve realised I feel much better when I go to bed and wake early.
”When we exceed our inner thermostat setting, we will often do something to sabotage ourselves, causing us to drop back into the old, familiar zone where we feel secure.”Gay Hendricks
Journal prompts inspired by The Big Leap
After I read this book I was keen to explore my upper-limits, and of course my journal was essential for this. I developed four prompts that encouraged me to look at a pattern of behaviours and assess if I was limiting my potential through limiting beliefs. As well as The Big Leap, the prompts were inspired by Soundtracks by Jon Acuff (my review). If I did have an upper-limit mindset I used another series of journal prompts to help change my thoughts.
Should you read The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
As this is the third time I’ve read The Big Leap you can tell it is a book I find valuable. The upper limit problem was a revelation for me as I could see how I’ve been affected by them. Each time I identify a new (or returning one) I come back to the book for a refresh on how to deal with them. I appreciate the section on the zone of genius as a future area to work on. I’m less convinced on the section on Einstein Time. Maybe I’ve got too many upper limits to work on or too many clocks around to give this a go yet.
If you find yourself struggling to consistently expand your habits and behaviour as you fall back to a default position through self sabotage I highly recommend this book for you.
The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks explores the concept of the Upper Limit Problem, a common tendency to sabotage ourselves when we exceed the artificial limit we have placed on our own success. This book is perfect for anyone who wants to break through their limiting beliefs and achieve true success.