Each of us has an inner thermostat setting that determines how much love, success and creativity we allow ourselves to enjoy. — Gay Hendricks

I am currently reading Gay Hendricks “The Big Leap” and it is challenging me to take a look at the ways I limit, or even sabotage, my life.

I admit that after 55 years of life, I have broken through many self-imposed limits like “I can’t go to movies by myself”, “I can’t afford to invest in this educational program” or “I would never be able to survive a spin class”.

Today, I find myself in a situation where my life is shifting so much that I need to “step up my game” and push myself forward towards my dreams a little harder.

My dreams are really big. I have been thinking of them for years and years. They are the type of dreams that can impact many and start changing the planet. They play on my natural strengths and talents. They are dreams that come from the deepest part of my heart and would give me amazing satisfaction to accomplish.

The dreams are also the scariest to me.

This seems so crazy to me. Why would I even tag the attribute “scary” to these wonderful ideas?

It turns out I have an Upper-Limit Problem.

According to Gay, “each of us has an inner thermostat setting that determines how much love, success and creativity we allow ourselves to enjoy”.

It made me think about what I thought might be holding me back from “going for it” and what I thought would be so scary.

After doing quite a bit of quiet reflection and inner investigation, I discovered a few things:

1. When I was young there were people (including my own sister) who would express jealous or envious feelings toward me. Having a big heart, I would choose to downplay myself to relate better to them.
2. By downplaying myself, I started to tone down my strengths and talents.
3. Once my strengths were toned down, I started to become wrongly influenced by people who were “critical” in nature. Their words and opinions (which came from a place of “judgement”) seemed to trigger hurtful feelings inside me, making me start to fear being around those certain people. (Even those in my own family, whose opinion hurt the most because what I really needed from them was lots of unconditional love and acceptance.)
4. I started to become a more fearful person. It was a cyclical pattern that worked to diminish my ability to view myself as God had made me. I had plenty of amazing gifts, but they were hardly used anymore.
5. The gifts that I did use were meant solely to please others. I needed to do that to survive. I couldn’t handle the fear cycle, and serving others was my way of breaking it.
6. I started getting good responses from people and was feeling like I was a useful and kind person. My confidence starting building around those particular strengths and talents.
7. The strengths and talents that I needed to use to accomplish my dreams are different from the ones I have been using, however, and are the ones that started this crazy journey in the first place.
8. Those strengths and talents are very powerful. When used to full capacity, they have the potential to create intense abundance and joy. So much so, that my heart might feel like it could explode. Could you imagine?
9. Yet, there are definitely people who might become jealous that I “get” to feel so happy.
10. This is where my “scary” feeling comes from. BAM!

Do you think this is an Upper-Limit Problem? Can you see there is a conflict with my big heart and people who have expressed jealousy at my success? Can you see how it has caused me to downplay myself over decades? Can you see how bringing up these strengths and talents can cause me some anxiety?

How many people do you know that could possibly be jealous of my state of being if that happens? I know there are many out there and they are probably very close to me already.
It is something I need to understand and face head on.

Playing to my strengths is not wrong. Playing to my strengths can create wonderful new tools to move emotional mountains faster and change people’s lives. Playing to my strengths can make ME really happy, which will be a good ripple effect on this planet.

Why wouldn’t I just go for it and do it up right? Do I have enough talent to fulfill my dreams? YES. Do I have enough courage to deal with the jealous folk? HMMMMM.

What kind of skills would I need to handle those folks, and myself for that matter?

Of course, I googled it and found “How to Handle Haters and Jealous People” from WikiHow. (Don’t you just LOVE Google?)

Now, armed with good instructions, I am FREE to go ahead and use my full strengths and talents to execute my big, big dreams. YES!

Photo Credit: istockphoto (Choreograph)