How to Tell If You Have an Upper Limit Problem

Just when you least expect it… WHAM! Everything goes wrong.

Nearly all the clients I’ve worked with have experienced an upper limit problem or two. You might not be familiar with the term “upper limit problem,” but you’ll recognize it when it rears its ugly head.

It’s the frustrating feeling when you’re making positive edits but dozens of obstacles block your path. It’s like the universe is trying to stop you from becoming a better person.

An upper limit problem can be fixed with hard work and self-confidence, but what if your current situation is something more sinister? What should you do then?

Watch this video to learn how to tell if you have an upper limit problem.

The video transcript is below for your convenience.

Next Steps

Video Transcript

Have you ever felt like the whole universe was out to get you?

You’ll be going about your day, editing your life, and making positive changes. Then out of nowhere—WHAM!—everything that can go wrong does go wrong!

Your laptop gets stolen, your car breaks down, your kid spills Kool-Aid all over the couch, and you get the flu. All at the same time.

What’s going on? Are you cursed?

It’s not your imagination! It’s called an upper limit problem, and today we’re talking about how you can tell if you have one. Let’s go!

Hey there! I’m Sage Grayson, a former book editor turned life coach. I help ambitious career women edit their habits, routines, and mindsets to balance their happiness at work and home.

I’m a Life Editor…and so are you!

It can be incredibly frustrating when you’re finally achieving some of the goals you’ve set for yourself, but then obstacle after obstacle blocks your way.

One minute you’re walking on sunshine because you lost 5 pounds or signed a new client. And then the next minute you’re scarfing down a box of donuts or your website crashes.

What just happened? It’s like you could only get to a certain level of happiness before the world comes crashing down on you.

That’s exactly what’s happening!

The term “upper limit problem” comes from the must-read book The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. I recommend this book more than any other, so do yourself a favor and get a copy today.

Basically, there are different levels of success in our lives, businesses, health, relationships, and more.

Where you’re at right now is your comfort zone. Things may not be perfect, but they’re familiar and you know what to expect.

As a Life Editor, you have a drive to improve yourself and make tiny edits to get closer to the ideal version of yourself. Of course you do! If you stop learning, you stop living.

But when you tip-toe out of your comfort zone and stretch yourself by trying something new, you bump up against the ceiling of that next level of success, also known as the upper limit. And then your ego freaks out.

Your ego thinks, “Whoa! This is scary and new. This is not our comfort zone. I’ll mess up a few things so we can slide back down and play it safe.”

That’s when you’ll do something dumb like hit reply all. Or you’ll order 3 large pizzas and eat them all yourself. You’ll start noticing things that are going wrong or you’ll begin attracting bad situations.

So you think, “Well, I guess that next level of success wasn’t for me. I’ll just stay where I’m at.”

You think it’s a sign from God or the universe that you weren’t meant for something better. That’s not true!

Here’s the thing: you are kind and talented and you have something beautiful to offer the world. Don’t let those upper limit problems hold you back.

Randy Pausch, who famously gave his Last Lecture, had this to say about obstacles: “The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They are there to stop the other people.”

So how can you tell if it’s just an upper limit problem or if you’re really making a huge mistake? I’ve got an easy way for you to tell if you’re on the right track.

Stay focused and keep doing your great work.

Keep writing those blog posts, eat your healthy meals, apologize to your spouse, and plan a date night.

When you stick to your positive edits, one of two things will happen.

1. Your ego will see that you’re serious and will stop sabotaging you.

The ego hates effort so show it you’re no pushover.

Soon you’ll pass through that upper limit and land safely in that next level of success. Enjoy it! Eventually, that new level will become your comfort zone, and you’ll know it’s time to work through some more upper limit problems.

2. An unmistakable circumstance will show up to completely stop you.

Let’s say it’s not an upper limit problem, but you’re heading in a direction that is very dangerous for your well-being.

If you keep doing your work, then you’ll be slapped in the face by a huge accident, or you’ll break your leg in 3 places, or your house will burn down.

Thankfully, these terrible events don’t happen often but they show up when you’ve been ignoring the truth. If you won’t listen to God or the universe when they whisper advice to you, then you’ll wake up when they start shouting at you.

Are you getting frustrated by the obstacles that are popping up in your life?

They’re probably upper limit problems, and that’s awesome because it means you’re closer than ever to achieving your goals.

So keep doing your good work, and make those positive edits. Chances are, those setbacks will disappear once you show ‘em you’re not going anywhere.

That’s it! This week, stay focused on your action steps even when something tries to slow you down. Bust through that upper limit.

If you like this video, please be sure to subscribe. Then come on over to and sign up for my free Editor’s Toolkit. You’ll get dozens of printable worksheets, ebooks, and resources to help you on your life editing journey, plus weekly updates and sage advice from me that I only share in email.

Thanks for watching. I’ll see you soon.

This post focuses on Step 2 of the Life Editing Process, Delete Bad Influences. For more about life editing and what it can do for you, click here.

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