“I almost ULPed, but I caught myself and tureen that energy into creativity. Thank god!”
I wrote this to my coach and a couple friends – who share my language – today.
What is an ULP? It’s a term developed by Gay Hendricks and stands for Upper Limit Problem. In his book “The Big Leap” he describes it. It refers to a moment of self-sabotage we reach after a moment of joy, and success.
The concept is that we enjoy stability, and routine. So if my professional life, love life, or health has been difficult, and then I experience a major success, the ULP theory suggests I’ll immediately create some sort of problem or drama to get myself back to what I know.
He references people who have great success and then immediately get into a huge argument with their spouse, get a DUI, burn their hand on the stove or worse. He even refers to Bill Clinton getting impeached as a huge ULP. Whether you believe his logic or not, it’s an interesting theory to play with.
My personal experience? I had an amazing week. My doTERRA tribe which is growing unexpectedly and exponentially into this abundant community of people who inspire and challenge me. When I thought it couldn’t get any better, my little brother joined enthusiastically to build the business with me. He said “We’ve been working these last couple years to be a family, so I thought, why can’t we be a team?” cue my eyes welling up with tears, since that would have NEVER happened 5 or even 2 years ago. That same week, friends and family were supporting me in so many ways. I felt incredibly safe and abundant – something that was foreign to me.
So major expansion right? In comes the ULP. I need to sabotage myself somehow to get myself back to what I know. Where’s the best place to do that? My ex boyfriend’s Facebook page, naturally. My ego told me I was going on to innocently to wish him a happy birthday, but my heart knew I was going on to experience the pain and chaos of our relationship.
Sure enough, once I got on, the most classic form of heart ache: Two photo albums had recently been uploaded. One of our trip hiking the Peruvian Andes in July, and one of him and another woman (another blond Canadian yoga teacher en plus!) hiking in the states a couple months after we broke up. OUCH. Major dagger to my heart.
I considered doing all the classic ULP-y things. The self-sabotager wanted to bring me back down from my new height of joy, connection, flow, peacefulness and get into a spat with him by playing the victim or by getting angry at him for not sending me the considerate “Just want to let you know I’m dating someone else” email. Or even writing him a friendly message and getting tangled up in some ambiguous relationship that compromises my boundaries and life’s vision.
Luckily, I have so many tools to deal with that sort of emotional pain, that my ULP didn’t sabotage more than a few hours. I moved my body, danced around, shook my hands and feet, cried, journaled, yoga’d. Made a vision board of what I want to create. Refused to sabotage the workshop I was giving the following day. Rocked the workshop, experienced more abundance and expansion in my business and relationships. Connected with dear friends. Went walking in the woods. Played with my puppy niece. It was my amazing coach who helped me realize the whole play of events had been a mini ULP, and then me intuitively preventing a bigger ULP with nourishing activities and fun.
So here’s my question to you: Where in your life and you putting a limit on the amount of joy, freedom, peace and inspiration you can feel?