Malibu Retreat – The Big Leap – Part II

Congrats! You've made it to Part Two! In this section of The Big Leap, Gay Hendricks discusses the four types of upper limit problems. Let's get into them, shall we? "The Four Hidden Barriers all have something in common: although they seem true and real, they are based on beliefs about ourselves that are neither true nor real. The fact that we unconsciously take them as true and real is the barrier holding us back. We take them as true and real until we shine awareness on them. Then the barriers dissolve, and we are free.


Four fears and four related false beliefs hold the Upper Limit Problem in place. The fears are based on specific long-ago situations you will probably recognize when I show them to you. The beliefs based on those fears are false and cause you to have a misunderstanding about who you actually are. These fears and false beliefs cause us to live our lives out of a success-limiting mantra that says:

I cannot expand to my full potential because ____________________________________________.

In relationships, your Upper Limit mantra says:

I cannot enjoy abundant love and relationship harmony because ____________________________________________.

In financial wealth, your Upper Limit mantra says:

I cannot expand to my full wealth potential because ____________________________________________.

Sit with those questions for a few minutes. What's the first thing that comes to mind as you read them? Don't judge or react, just observe what comes up for you. Take notice of what you tell yourself when these questions come up. Now, take a step back, and ask yourself if these thoughts are actually true. Is it a possibility that they may not be true? Explore these thoughts with curiosity.

Then take 5 deep breaths, and proceed...

"When you remove those false beliefs, you feel a new freedom to invent a life based on your natural genius."

Hidden Barrier #1: Feeling Fundamentally Flawed

"I cannot expand to my full creative genius because something is fundamentally wrong with me."

If this resonates with you, I'd like you to close your eyes and imagine how you would feel as you operate from the innately good part of yourself. What if there is nothing wrong with you? How would you be different? How would your decisions be affected? What does your life look like as you feel loved and know you're enough...exactly as you are?

This barrier holds us back from our potential by convincing us that no matter what we do, we will never be good enough. Can you see how that belief would subconsciously cap your potential? The truth is you are absolutely capable of achieving anything you want, and becoming the person you know you already are. What's holding you back is this unconscious belief, so as you explore it, you become aware of it, and with awareness you then have a choice, which is whether you want to hold onto, or release this belief that no longer serves you. As you clear this block, you breakthrough a barrier that's been keeping you from where you want to be.

Hidden Barrier #2: Disloyalty and Abandonment

"I cannot expand to my full success because it would cause me to end up all alone, be disloyal to my roots, and leave behind people from my past."

When I read this, the example of small town dynamics come to mind. I think about when you're 18 and leaving for college, and there's a social shift that occurs. Some people choose to stay close to home, and others simply cannot wait to leave. This particular barrier is illustrated in the individuals who want to leave, but feel obligated to stay. They may leave, but there's a guilt they feel if they do. This guilt is an Upper Limit Problem. To rewire your mental and emotional landscape, you shift your focus to your strengths, and purpose in the world. You appreciate where you come from, acknowledge how it has contributed to who you are, and you choose to move forward in order to be loyal to yourself and your dreams. Plus, you can always visit, and stay connected as you choose to. The idea that because you gain, someone else loses, can be replaced with the allowing of the possibility of there is enough for everyone.

Hidden Barrier #3: Believing That More Success Brings a Bigger Burden

"I can’t expand to my highest potential because I’d be an even bigger burden than I am now."

This can be illustrated in the thought that being more, having more, and living larger is a bigger burden. When in truth, your life becomes easier. Like any transition, it probably won't happen overnight, but as you start to unwind the beliefs from which you operate, you can begin to see things in a different light. If this belief is resonating with you, let's explore it for a moment. Think back to the time when you first felt as if you were a burden.

What's the situation?

Where are you?

With whom?

What were the circumstances at the time?

Is there anything you know now that would change your perspective of this experience?

Is it still true?

If so, why?

If not, are you willing to release this belief as it no longer serves a purpose for you?

Are you willing to mark this learning experience as complete?

Now, take a moment to acknowledge a recent personal win, recognize three things you're really good at, and then think of one way in which you can share your gifts with the world today.

Hidden Barrier #4: The Crime of Outshining

"I must not expand to my full success, because if I did I would outshine _____________________ and make him or her look or feel bad."

I first encountered this barrier in middle school. I've always loved learning, and have always wanted to be a good student. Also, being a good student came naturally for me. My friends were content, though self-deprecating, for being average students. A's and B's were victories for them, but I didn't celebrate mine because they were normal for me. The message I got was that it was cool to not be that good of a student. However, I still wanted good grades. So, I wouldn't bring them up unless asked, and if I mentioned them, I would downplay a good test score. I was satisfied, or wanted to be better, but I kept that to myself. I didn't want to look or seem better than anyone. I didn't want anyone to feel less than me. The Crime of Outshining can show up as turning down the volume on your genius, so others don't feel threatened by it. While I wasn't aware of it at the time, I now can have empathy for my 12-year-old self, and how wanting to fit in is totally normal, especially in the most awkward stage of your life. As a 27-year-old, I can now release that belief as it no longer serves me.

If The Crime of Outshining resonates with you, give yourself permission to explore it. Dwell on one of my favorite quotes in the universe:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

-Marianne Williamson

Feel free to read over that a few times, and even say it out loud! Thank you for going through this exercise with me. It's a brave encounter, and your willingness to push the boundaries of your comfort zone moves you continuously closer to your Zone of Genius.

For those of you attending the Malibu retreat this weekend, we'll get into emotional clearing on Sunday morning, so this personal work ahead of time will prepare you for a deeper level of transformation. If you're not clear now, this is part of the process, and you'll have support and guidance as we explore these things, and gain new depths of clarity together.

If you're interested in more information about Rituals + Retreats' personal programs and group events, visit