Book Review: The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks.

Have you had things go really well in your life and then somehow you’d find a way to mess it up? When you look more closely,  you realise that this behaviour appears to be a pattern in you life. You achieve something great, feel really good for a while, then do something to mess it up. Maybe it’s starting an argument with your spouse when things are going well or going on a binge just as you hit your weight loss goal but there is a reason for this cycle of senseless self-sabotage and it’s the subject of Gay Hendricks’ book, ‘The Big Leap’.

In the book, he describes this self-defeating pattern as the Upper Limit Problem and explains how it holds us back from realising our potential. He presents a blueprint for overcoming the problem thereby opening the way to even higher levels of success and love in our lives.

The book in a nutshell

The Upper Limit Problem is: ‘Our universal tendency to sabotage ourselves when we have exceeded the artificial upper limit we have placed on ourselves.’  This happens, the author explains, because we all have an inner thermostat setting that determines how much love and success we allow ourselves to enjoy. When that setting is exceeded we will often do something to sabotage ourselves and go back to what’s familiar and safe (even when it’s not necessarily good for us). What’s most alarming is that we all experience it. As we try to achieve great things in our lives we inevitably come up against the Upper Limit Problem.

Key Takeaways

  1. The Upper Limit Problem is held in place by four hidden barriers which are based on fear and false beliefs. Success does not insulate us from it and when we encounter one of the four barriers the Upper Limit Problem is triggered. One of the hidden barriers given is the belief that more success brings a bigger burden. As a result of having this belief, we sabotage our success in an effort to not become a bigger burden to others.
  2. A key step to overcoming these barriers is to first identify the ones we carry around. Many of these beliefs took hold in our childhood and will take time and effort to uncover.  Only when we understand how they show up in our everyday lives can we start to challenge them. The author illustrates how these beliefs show up in our everyday lives in a number of ways including: worrying, criticism and blame, squabbling and deflecting.
  3. Our ultimate goal is to fully celebrate and express the gifts we’ve been given. To do that we need to live in what the author calls the Zone of Genius (the set of activities that we are each uniquely suited to do). When we live in our Zone of Genius we get to liberate and express our natural genius and live lives of success and satisfaction.
  4. Making the leap begins with a commitment to living in our Zone of Genius. Our commitment must come before we know how we can make it happen. With commitment we go inwards seeking answers to questions like: ‘What do I most love to do?’ and ‘What is my unique ability?’ As we bring forth the answers, we slowly but surely push up our upper limit creating capacity within ourselves to feel more love, success and abundance. 

Final Thoughts

Most of us have what seem like very good reasons for not taking the big leap. A leap that allows us to live fully expressing our gifts in the world. The Big Leap invites us to consider the possibility of such a life, to have unlimited love, abundance and success. It starts with looking out for those signs of our Upper Limit and constantly pushing ourselves to raise that bar so our upper limit keeps rising.

If you’re tired of constantly sabotaging your success and want to push beyond that invisible barrier that seems to be holding you back. If you’re ready and willing to figure out what your gifts are and take the big leap to live and express them fully, then this book will get you on that journey.


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