I'd Like to Stop Banging My Head Against the Ceiling, Thanks (by Amy K. Nichols)

I have a problem. I keep banging my head on the ceiling.

Not the actual ceiling. That would be weird, like a problem with gravity, or maybe a caved-in roof. No, I keep banging my head on the invisible ceiling above me.

See, I have an upper limit problem.

I didn't know what it was called, or even really what it was. But I did know it was there. I felt my upper limit every time I bumped into it.

For example: I'd get an email request for an interview--something really cool and flattering and without a doubt an opportunity I'd want to accept--and then I'd dawdle and procrastinate responding to it until I absolutely had to. It would take a huge act of courage to hit reply and respond. After, I'd sit back and think, "What is my problem?"

I wondered if maybe I was depressed, or overwhelmed, or just scared. The truth is, maybe there were (are?) tinges of all three in there.

Then I came across this blog post by Marie Forleo: Stop Self-Sabotage With This One Vital Step. In the blog post is this video, which kind of blew my mind.

Holy light bulbs, Batman! I bought The Big Leap (the book mentioned by Marie in the video) and dove in to understand better what my upper limits are and how to overcome them. 

I swear by The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, and I have to say, upper limit problems feel and behave a lot like Resistance. (If you've read The War of Art you understand what that is.) Maybe because they're tied to a self-limiting belief or programming, upper limits are just specific and individual forms of Resistance? I'm not sure. But even being able to identify an upper limit when you encounter it is a huge relief. While I'm still working on the "overcome" part of the plan, now when I get an email and that overwhelming urge to hide comes over me, I recognize it for what it is. Oh look, there's my upper limit problem. That alone feels like half the battle.

So, that's my big spring awakening. My big opportunity for personal and professional growth. I'm determined to break through this barrier, because holy guacamole, I've been banging my head against it for a long, long time. It's exhausting to have big dreams and then hold yourself back. I'm ready to move on. To move through. To see what's above that ceiling. 


  1. This is really interesting, Amy. I know I've been guilty of this at points. My TBR list is really growing this month. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Amy, have you ever read The Artist's Way? That might give you more clues about your upper limit issue... PS. LOVE War of Art. I reread it every year.

  3. Thanks, Jen!

    Yes, Jody, I have read The Artist's Way, though it's been a few years. Thanks to The Big Leap, I do know what my upper limit issue is (I just didn't reveal it here). But it might be a good summer activity to revisit The Artist's Way. Thanks for the suggestion!

  4. I absolutely love this! Wonderful post!!


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