Sep 25, 2023
Whether we know it or not - all human beings have an internal thermostat, a certain level of abundance, joy or success we’re calibrated to. If we’re not careful, that level can make us blow up our lives and self-sabotage when we get everything we’ve always wanted.
Call it your comfort zone, your average or your upper limit problem, this internal temperature gauge runs our lives, and often runs us into the ground if we don’t do something about it. Our comfort zones are wrapped up in our identity, and anytime we have to assume a new identity, our brains can fight us and ratchet us down to the standard they are used to.
It’s how we can lose all the weight and then start eating junk food, or how we can achieve a financial goal and then make a bad decision with money. Without fixing this problem, we’re doomed to create unnecessary drama in our lives, constantly sabotage ourselves, taking 2 steps forward and 5 steps back.
How do we become aware of our own upper limit and start to raise the temperature? Real estate leader, entrepreneur, coach, speaker and Head of Industry at PLACE, Vija Williams talks about how a season of intense personal growth helped her break through her upper limit problem and become 100 times lighter emotionally.
Conquering some upper limit problems is the number 1 most important thing I’ve done. -Vija Williams
90% of getting past an upper limit problem is just awareness. Anytime you see yourself sabotaging, take some white space time and ask, “what am I not admitting to myself right now?” -Vija Williams
I have learned to think in questions, not answers. -Vija Williams
I’m a big fan of asking myself questions, that’s my awareness tool. -Kevin Kauffman
How to identify an upper limit problem
A sure sign of having an upper limit problem is sabotaging yourself when you’ve succeeded at something or got what you want. You hit your weight loss target and immediately binge on junk food. You make money and then go and spend a ton of money unnecessarily. In real estate, it’s having a really great listing appointment but procrastinating and failing to follow up. All these are signs that we’re trying to ratchet our lives back down to an underlying identity.
Upper limit problems don’t always manifest in the same place. Instead of sabotaging your weight loss results by eating a bunch of junk food, you could lose weight and then go and needlessly spend a bunch of money. You can actually cross-sabotage ourselves without even knowing it by blowing your life up in a completely different area.
Intense Clusters of Growth
Personal growth can happen gradually over time, but sometimes we go through intense clusters of personal growth that concentrate the learning and also concentrate the results. Often we’ll feel that we’re gaining momentum, and no one sees it, and that’s the hardest part of the journey. If you’re still going through the process, and it seems like no one’s seeing it, keep going. If you keep your eye on the prize, the change in you will become very obvious on the surface.
The right question, not the right answer
Asking ourselves questions is one of the most powerful awareness we have. When we’re aware enough of what’s going on in our lives, we can ask ourselves high quality questions that move the needle. In coaching, a session should end with the right focusing question, not the answer. Then someone sits down and unpeels the layers to get to the right thing for them.
Sneaky ways your upper limit problem creeps up on us
Another sneaky way an upper limit problem presents itself is avoiding taking risks to create or maintain stability. It’s having all the money to buy an investment property and just not being able to pull the trigger. It might also manifest in an inability to celebrate big wins, or having an unquenchable, undisciplined pursuit of more.
Vija Williams is an entrepreneur, 2nd generation Realtor, coach, speaker and Head of Industry at PLACE. She is the president of Ben Kinney Brokerages. Under her leadership the eight offices had explosive growth: climbing from 1,330 agents to over 1,700, amounting to a 23% increase in agent count and 25% growth in sales volume. Vija also owns and runs Vija Real Estate powered by PLACE. This team of residential real estate specialists focuses on the move-up and luxury segments in the Seattle, Washington market. Vija is a co-founder of “Her Best Life,” a national women’s group that hosts annual events and is comprised of some of the top female business leaders and influencers in the nation. She is the co-host of the Empire Building podcast with Wendy Papasan, Sarah Reynolds and Seychelle Van Poole since June 2020.
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