Marie Forleo introduction


I'm Marie

You have gifts to share with the world and my job is to help you get them out there.

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Last week was the first time I’ve ever left a yoga workshop, in my life.

Let’s be clear – the teachers were fantastic.

But after my fourth downward dog, I started breaking into a cold sweat, got nauseous and my head felt like it was about to explode.

“Oh great,” I thought.

“Not only do I have to walk out of this yoga workshop, but we’re right at the end of my B-School launch and about to open registration for RHH Live! I can’t get a 24 hour stomach bug now! There’s too much good stuff going on!”

Well, that 24-hour stomach bug turned into a week of being completely out of commission.

And I do I mean completely. For the past six days, I’ve been a hot, sick mess.

Skull crushing headaches. Stomach pain so severe it had me doubled over for 70% of the day. And whatever tiny amounts of food I managed to get down came out faster than a rocket ship.

Not cute.

After the first 3 days with no signs of improvement, I started to get concerned.

I’m “strong like bull” and rarely, if ever, get sick. When I do, it’s pretty minor stuff and I’m back in action within a day or so.

In the moments between bathroom runs, I scoured the web looking for what could possibly be wrong with me.

“Is it salmonella?  Hmmm…there was just that big egg recall.  Some kind of nastyass 10 foot long parasite or tapeworm?  Maybe, but highly unlikely.  A life-threatening stomach disease?  Boy, would that suck.”

It’s important to note that during the first half of my sick week, Josh was in LA shooting an NBC show so I was flying solo in the Hamptons.

Thank God, I had a crew of awesome girlfriends staying in a house not far down the road to help keep an eye on me.

“You’re pregnant!” was the first thought they all had.

No shot in hell. I didn’t need to pee on a stick to know that wasn’t it.

Then my friend Kate, who knows me well, made a very astute observation. “I think you’re having an upper limit problem Marie.”


Cut to day four. I’m pale and emaciated.

Josh is back from LA and it’s clear whatever I had was not going away on its own. We headed straight to the doctor so he could run tests.

Later that same evening, I wanted to get out of the house so we stopped by the girls’ house for tea. One by one, everyone took bets on what was causing my mystery illness.

Then Rachel, Kate’s uber intuitive cousin said,

“Marie, I really think those test results will come back negative. It’s definitely an upper limit problem. You’re going through some major growth right now and I’ll bet this is just part of you busting through your upper limits and increasing your capacity for success.

Kate giggled and nodded in agreement.

Josh smiled, gently squeezed my hand and said “Yeah, that and you really need a break.  You’ve been going non-stop. Since you weren’t about to take one willingly, your body decided for you.”

(Damn him for always being right ;))

So in case you’ve never heard of an “upper limit problem”, what Kate and Rachel are referring to comes from Gay Hendrick’s incredible book called The Big Leap.

Here’s the basic idea.

Each of has an internal thermometer for how much success, wealth, happiness, love, and intimacy we’ll let ourselves experience. That’s our upper limit setting.  Kind of like our success comfort zone.

When we exceed our internal thermostat setting and life gets super duper OMG good (we have an influx of money, get healthy and thin, find a great relationship) – we unconsciously do things to sabotage ourselves, so we can drop back to the old, familiar place where we feel in control.

Upper limit problems can manifest like this.

You’ve just had a huge win and then you…  get in an accident, break a limb, fry your computer, over-drink, over-eat, over-spend, start a fight with your significant other, get really sick, etc.

You know, fun self-sabotaging stuff like that.

The truth is I was so ridonkulously excited about the success of B-Bchool AND the miracles aligning for my RHH Live event this fall (partnering with Donna Karan’s Urban Zen; securing all of my dream speakers…)

That I didn’t just bump into my upper limit… I demolished that sucker with a sledge hammer.

So, yeah. I guess I was bound to have a little re-adjustment time.

Cut to Sunday morning.  I’m reading Breaking Dawn in bed when the phone rings.

Test results time.

“Hi Marie. It’s Dr. Mott. We got the results back from the lab – really good news. There’s nothing wrong with you. No bacteria, no parasites or anything we need to worry about.  You got a regular old stomach virus. Keep doing what you’re doing and you’ll be just fine.”


The girls and Josh, were right on. Upper limit problems – I can handle that. Alien-like intestinal parasites eating their way through my stomach… not so much.

So here’s what I did:

I gave myself total permission to relax. Zero computer time. I told everyone in my world not to expect anything work related from me for a few days.

I rescheduled appointments. Released myself from guilt and totally indulged in healing, coziness and every guilty pleasure I could think of.

I emotionally and energetically celebrated by giving myself permission to relish in a series of non-productive, silly and frivolous things.

(Translation: a whole bunch of Edward, Bella and Jacob plus back-to-back episodes of Mad Men.)

Funny enough, the moment I stopped beating myself up for being sick, my body kicked into speed recovery mode.

Wild how that happens, right?

How To Dismantle Your Upper Limit Problem

Unless you understand this whole upper limit thing, you may mistakenly believe that you’re flawed or simply not “good enough” to handle a big jump in your success or happiness.

It may feel like you’re always on the verge of a life altering breakthrough, but you either can’t seem to ever get there or maintain it.

I can tell you first hand that everyone on the planet has varying degrees of “upper limit problems.” Thankfully, they’re a snap to overcome if you’ve got the right tools and an open, willing heart.

Step 1.  Get that dealing with “upper limit problems” are a necessary part of the journey.

Look. No one escapes this. So don’t feel weak, bad or alone if any of this sounds familiar.

Thankfully, upper limit problems can be super easy to dissolve when you bring compassion and self-awareness to the table.

Which of course means checking both your ego, and your victimy “Why does this always happen to me?” BS at the door.

Important note: Moving through upper limit problems is not a one time event. If you’re committed to continually expanding your levels of wealth, love and happiness, strap in for the ride, baby.

Step 2.  Increase your tolerance for how good you’re willing to have your life be, starting right now.

What’s does this mean? For starters, it means treating exactly where you are and what you have with all the love, honor and respect you can muster. And this isn’t just a mental exercise, you need to act on it.

Tell your your family that you love and appreciate them; be truly grateful for whatever money you have in your bank account; take care of your physical environment and the roof over your head; thank your clients for their business, and nourish your body and soul in every way you can possibly imagine.

Step 3.  Go on high ULP (upper limit problem) alert when loads of good stuff starts to come your way.

Pay special attention to your thoughts, behaviors and actions when things in your business and life start getting OMG good. Here’s a question to regularly ask yourself, “How much wealth, love and happiness am I r-e-a-l-l-y willing to have?”

If “An epic ton!” is close to your answer, then make sure your behaviors and words line up with that answer.

Then keep a watchful, observant eye and open heart.

If you catch yourself about to start an argument, go into some manufactured mental drama or make a royally stupid and rash business decision – stop. Take a few deep breaths. Call your most grounded friend and have a chat.

Remember, any time you’re in the midst of busting through your own upper limits, it’s bound to be a little scary and uncomfortable. You may want to pull back and contract.

Don’t. Hang with the discomfort. It’s a good sign.

It means you’ve just increased your capacity to experience wealth, happiness and love – both for yourself and for us all.

Got thoughts on this one? Ever have an upper limit problem yourself? A story about how you’ve overcome it?

I’d love to hear your thoughts so leave a comment below.


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  1. Louise

    Sweet Fancy Moses!! This is EXACTLY what I have been going through this week. A hugey mchuge possibility on the horizon and I am deep in the throes of insomnia and somehow the super negative people in my universe are finding me. Thank you as always for the instant clarity and radical insight. I am going to hang in there and ride this thing out, reinvigorated with the knowledge that I’m not losing my mind but I am shattering a ceiling.

  2. I love love love this post. Thank you for sharing. This happens to me every time I decide to make a leap in business. But I’ve never had a full week of that kind of misery, so you’ve just showed me that I’m not playing big enough.

    Okay, BIG upper limit problems, here I come!

  3. ABSOLUTELY agree… something internally always seems to put the brakes on things when they go a LEEEETLE too well. I think this may have also been looked at by T Marv Eker, but I like your post better hun!

  4. Sorry to hear you felt like shit, Glad you’re feeling better, and glad you’re kicking that limit’s ass! I’m due for one of these soon, too. (Inspired in part by you and Laura. I’ll tell you more later.)

  5. Marie – wow, this could not have been better timing! lol. I’ve been going through exactly this this week. I JUST started reading The Big Leap for the first time over the weekend, and have been digging into some other really life-changing stuff as well. Then a whole bunch of depression, irritation and other mental shit popped up and had me feeling like utter CRAP. I have at least been able to recognize it for what it is, though, and am ready to push through and come out the other side into my Zone of Genius! 😉

    Thanks so much for sharing your story. It’s really encouraging and inspiring to know that you are dealing with this stuff too! 🙂

  6. Marie-

    This is your BEST story so far. Self-sabotage is the story of the ages, especially for us women who think that we should be barefoot in the kitchen and if we strive for anything BIG, then God help us all.

    Recently, I’ve had some BIG things happen, and whenever it good fortune, paired with hard work, comes my way, just like clock work, I start with the self-doubt, the “it’s-so-much-bigger-than-me” chatter, the I-don’t-deserve-this-live-cuz-there’s-starving-children-in-Africa syndrome, plus a lot more blah, blah, blah.

    What I’ve discovered though is that it’s just Lizzy talkin’, my poor lizard brain who protected my ancestors during the cave man days when volcanoes and bears were threatening their survival. Now, instead of starvation, she’s afraid that someone may judge her, that she might disappoint people, and God forbid, she might make a mistake. Whatever!!!!!

    I love what you are doing. And if you begin to experience any of those lizard tunes, know that you have a group of fired up women cheering you on. You are busting through the limits, and as a woman who desires to change the world as well, I’m right there behind you, scared and having a damn good time.

    I’ll see you in New York. I’m sure Lizzy is coming too, although I hope I don’t have to pay for her ticket. 😉

    I hope you are feeling better.



  7. Shea

    Thank you Marie! I’ve been watching this happen over and over again – very much looking forward to busting through my self-imposed limitations! I just found you last week and had 2 days to sign up for B-School – I did it! Look forward to the process!

  8. Thank you for this. Now I know why I have been suffering with anxiety these past few weeks (I already suspected). I’m working on growing my life coaching business – really pushing my comfort zones. But I won’t let it stop me.

    This is a great article. I have tweeted it. 🙂

  9. Yep, I totally get that (and glad you are feeling better, Marie!).

    I got sick w/ a horrid sinus infection (have not had one for 15+ years) after G got out of the hospital. And yes, part of that was my self care went completely out the window when she was diagnosed … but also it was this strange thing that my life is amazing right now, with all kinds of amazing new things/people happening, and with her being sick I’ve never taken that readjustment time. It was *so hard* to not work 80 hours a week for the last month … but I had to. And just in the last week, I’ve been feeling kickass again. Yay! 🙂

    ~ ElizabethPW

  10. Wonderful and timely post. I’m working on a new project and WTF? my face broke out. I had read the Big Leap and I had also attended RHH (LOL) so I recognized the signs. I’m scared about doing this new thing. I’m scared that it will fail and not take me to the next step in my business.

    I felt the nerves, relaxed and finished the damn thing!

    BTW, I’ve got RHH 2010 marked on my calendar.
    .-= Yvonne Bynoe´s last blog ..Creative Entrepreneurs—Market to Your Tribe =-.

  11. Damn girl, that’s an extreme example of the upper limit problem in action and I’m so glad you are feeling better and back with us. This launch has just been absolutely inspirational to watch and I’m sending you so much love and health. I love you girl.
    .-= Alexis Martin Neely´s last blog ..Ending a Relationship With Love- Honor and Respect =-.

  12. This is powerful stuff–I think I do this to myself–as soon as I say that, the first thought that comes to mind is negative. “no, no, you just aren’t lucky you’re not sabotaging yourself!” talk about getting deep into the negative. So, here I am, ready to self publish my book and I know it will sell. I won’t let anything keep it from being beyond successful. THANKS!
    .-= kathie´s last blog ..Know the Quote Win Georgia’s Kitchen! =-.

  13. Kirin

    Marie, are you psychic? Seriously, this is EXACTLY the thing I needed to hear right now. Thank you!



  14. Hey Marie,

    Growth can be messy and icky, can’t it? I’ve experienced the stomach crap during intense classes when I’ve cleared garbage out of my energy field and everything shifted. I had to drive an hour to get home once before I could toss my lunch. Not fun.

    But upper-limit stuff can be more subtle. I’ve been doing it lately — sleeping in. It’s pure scared avoidance just when things are really starting to come together in a new, bigger way.

    Thanks for sharing and the reality check. Although I’m disappointed to learn you’re not SuperWoman. 🙂
    .-= Marsha Stopa´s last blog ..Warning- Skipping breakfast consumes you =-.

    • Hi Marsha, good point about sleeping – I think perhaps more sleep might help us when we are in upper limit territory – I adore naps and now that I am beyond 50 I let myself indulge in them 🙂 .

  15. Sally Hope

    Hey Marie…I know exactly what you’re talking about and I’m going through that RIGHT NOW. Actually, as we speak, I was just mulling over whether or not I should go for a run because “I really should get back into my workout routine,” while at the same time still feeling beaten down by this cold I’ve had for a FEW WEEKS (can you believe it???). I’ve been fighting the sickness the whole time, thinking the “strong” thing to do is power through it and go do what I would normally do, but it’s not getting better.

    I think some self-care is in order. Perhaps some MadMen as well.
    I think sickness is rarely just germs or bugs. For me, anyway, it’s always about something else. And when I get sick, which isn’t often, I do a mental inventory about what’s going on with me.

    So perhaps, today ( and for however long it takes), I will take it easy. And really kick this thing.
    Thanks for the great post.

  16. Love it. I just helped a client with this same self sabotage mind trick this week and I’m watching out for it myself.

  17. Best post of my day…we were JUST talking about this with a few girlfriends. Self-sabatoge. Because I JUST did it to myself. Why, why, why? 🙂 Thank you for sharing all of this. I enjoy reading your posts because they are soooo real and down to earth. And your comfortable with a few irreverent curse words which I love. You have a lot of great things coming your way. I am working on these things for me as my 1st child left for the Big Apple. You have inspired me…and it appears many. Always, Tamsen
    .-= tamsen browne reed´s last blog ..speakology- BE SOCIAL- RT @eventsforgood- Today is National Duck Out 4 A Drink Day Observed http-bitly-cJ7Dd7 Who wants to celebrate with me ME =-.

  18. Wow. That was enlightening. I totally get that and am thinking I really need to read the book. Thanks for this. BTW, although I will not be enrolling in the RHHb-school, (only because I am maxing out my brain with so many other programs right now) Thanks, your launch videos gave me some really great inspiration. Really great and I appreciate it.

  19. Lord o’ mighty!!! This makes sooooo much sense!! Thank you so much for that post and I’m glad you’re feeling better!!
    Big Smooches!!!!!

  20. lesley

    I just wanted to say how much I connected to the sentence: lots of Bella, Edward and Jacob time 🙂 I always resort to that when not feeling my best!!!! Girls girls girls!

  21. Wow! I never heard of the upper-limit but what I do know is that when this happens many people take it as a sign that they didn’t deserve that great success/experience or whatever it is. They would say see I got sick so maybe that’s a sign from God it wasn’t meant to be. When in reality it’s self-sabotage. Thanks for sharing this and glad you’re feeling better 🙂
    .-= Kimmoy´s last blog ..Opening a Boutique- What do my customers want =-.

  22. Love this post! I’ve done this so many times. Your post helped me look at it a little differently and (hopefully!) recognize it before it gets out of hand next time. Staring it in the face and working through it is ALWAYS the answer.

    Thanks so much for sharing this!

  23. I am the queen of self sabotage. Luckily I feel that we can teach the lessons we learn over and over so I am grateful to be able to work with women on this stuff.

    With children every time they are going through a developmental, huge shift, they get sick, a fever, something. 2 days later they are reading or writing or talking or running. It’s amazing stuff this body of ours.

  24. Liz

    This is amazing, this is EXACTLY what I think my husband is going through. He’s been sick for like 6 weeks straight. He’s got A LOT of stuff going on. He swears he has some kind of flu but I’ve been telling him forever that it’s his mind taking over his body, not any germs. Forwarding this to him pronto!

  25. Love this! I think this happened to me a few weeks ago – I wasn’t physically sick but turned into a cranky psycho mess for a week straight, right as some exciting changes are taking place. Thanks for posting, I will definitely keep this in mind next time I feel a freak out! Hope you are feeling better.

  26. Thanks Marie. Was just telling clients about how I get dizzy when overdoing it. Sure enough flying to guest present each weekend across the US and Mexico this month, you can imagine what my vertigo is like! Nice to know about the Upper Limit Problem and give this “syndrome” a name! Maybe it should be mentioned in Pilates for Buff Bones too 😉 Rebekah

  27. Elizabeth Merrick

    My favorite time this happened to me was when I was on the way to a major, risky, scary, awesome event and someone on the A train PULLED THE EMERGENCY BRAKE.

    Which of course means you are stuck there for 45 minutes to an hour while the cops are called or something, there is a whole procedure.

    I was late. It was embarrassing. But the amazing woman I was going there to help out pointed out the heavy-handed metaphor–emergency brake!–from the universe and ever since I’ve learned to expect it.

    Also, I have learned to warn students who come to my most intense/transformative day-long classes to take the next day off if possible. Over the years it’s become clear that a lot of transformation has a really high correlation with getting the flu the next day!

  28. What an awesome post! Absolutely – been there/done that (& will again). Amazing what we throw our way to keep us from extending beyond our perceived limits & comfort zones. BTW: Can’t wait for November!

  29. Perfect read for me today. I have a big upper limit problem. But awareness is the first step towards mastery and growth. This makes my tweet list today! Thanks for putting this out there!

  30. The timing of this post could not have been any better because I am going through the same thing now. I just launched my new business site and am experiencing all that you mentioned. It is a wonderful feeling to break that upper limit, baby!

  31. Honestly Marie, I got chills reading this, as I am going through this EXACT thing right now. I have been blessed with an influx of good fortune recently (and by recently, I mean in the past couple of weeks) and I am full-on freak out mode. Feeling mentally scattered, physically unwell, weepy, afraid — and meanwhile my life just got so much better! I just ordered Gay Hendrick’s book, and already feel an edge of relief to know there’s a word for feeling miserable when you get what you’ve always wanted. Thanks you so much for sharing this, and feel well.

  32. So glad you’re on the mend!

    I’m always amazed at how our bodies eventually find a way to tell us somatically what our intuition already knows, but our conscious minds scramble to persistently overlook.

    And, btw, loved LOVED seeing you and LKR blow our your launch. : )
    .-= Jonathan “Not the Cookie Lady’s Son” Fields´s last blog ..7 Corporate Sales Persuasion Triggers =-.

  33. I kind of like the reverse perspective of this too. If you’re rarely feeling uncomfortable, a bit anxious, queasy… then you might not be pushing your upper limit enough! I stay on alert for feelings of blah and when they hit I recalibrate what I’m doing and amp it up!

  34. Oh, I SO understand this. I often think that my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is my body’s way of getting me to slow the hell down! Left to my own devices I’d burn the candle at both ends AND in the middle. There’s probably something medical going on too (recent medical research suggests that ME/CFS may be a form of retrovirus) but I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I got an illness that would FORCE me to put the brakes on and practice self-care.

    Also, this reminds me of what I refer to as ‘the post-exhibition Blues’. After I’ve done a big project, finished a big piece of artwork or done an exhibition, I always have a couple of days of feeling slightly miserable, listless and extremely unmotivated. I’ve learnt to just schedule a few days of downtime, particularly after shows.
    .-= Kirsty Hall´s last blog ..Name my product! =-.

  35. Kelsea

    Getting the book! Thank you so much for sharing this was REALLY powerful and so helpful

    Glad you are feeling better!

  36. LOVE this post Marie!

    I think we all go through this self-sabotage stuff all the time, without recognizing it for what it is. Instead, if you’re like me, you’ll beat yourself up over it. When I took the big leap of starting my own business, these episodes came on frequently, and I would get so mad at myself. How can you be feeling like this when you are doing exactly what you want? And now you’ve moped all day and wasted precious time. Guilt. Anger. Frustration.

    But recently, I have come to understand the root of what is going on, and I am learning to recognize, accept and love myself anyways, just as you have written about. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    Much love,

  37. LOVE this article, Marcia – read the book and was literally just having a conversation about Upper Limit Problems with my girlfriend the other night. I’m totally hitting that ULP – what a ride! Thanks for this and hope you’re feeling better!

  38. Beth

    Wow – I always knew you could stress yourself into sickness, but had never heard of the “upper limit problem.” What’s funny is, as a theatre actor, I usually get sick right after opening weekend. Minor stuff, like sinus infections, but it is still NO FUN. Maybe I need to raise my “setting” to fully expect and allow myself to kick ass in that role. I’ll try it out!

  39. Thanks Marie. I was in the room when Dr. Northrup told us to celebrate when your life feels like it’s falling apart. What a moment! It Alla go back to trusting the Universe has always git your back 😉
    Glad you got your much needed rest and that your back in my inbox. I have definitely done some expanding myself over the past 5 days and even though I felt like someone was hell bent on taring me in two, I thankfully am feeling whole again.
    With love,

  40. WOOOOWAH!!!

    f&^$*-ing awesome! this so is exactly what I need to hear right now. I completely relate. The body needs to cleanse the old self, to make room for the new.

    Thank you for your bright light and commitment to TRUTH and full-self expression.

  41. Hi Marie,
    I am going through the same thing. Mine has been for a few weeks though. I have had some really cool opportunities come up and this month and I finally hit my monthly money goal. Yay
    Then why do I feel so icky? It started on my birthday when i woke up and my body decided for me, to do a huge detox. I was in the bathroom for a few hours. My stomach didn’t hurt, no nausea, nothing. Then the following week I woke up in a dead sleep with the nausea. I paced outside for about an hour trying to calm the urge to get sick. On top of that I had a huge blowout with my family and the negative people in my life.
    With all that has been going on I haven’t gotten excited at all the cool things that are here and the other cool blessing that are on the way. I completely self sabotaged myself.
    Now its time to pick myself up, dust myself off, and move into the blessings.
    I am so glad that I am not alone in this (which I though I was).

    Thank you so much for this post.

  42. What a powerful lesson this must have been for you. I think it speaks volumes that you’ve surrounded yourself with people that could identify what you’re going through… for exactly what it is. You are a rock star Marie!

    When does registration open up for the RHHLive event? I’d love more details so I work on my plan to be there.

    xo & belief in you,


  43. I love this. I have never heard of an “upper limit problem” but I certainly get the concept when you describe it and I know I’ve bumped into it many times. Now I’m more aware and can make better decisions around how to deal with my own mindset.
    Thanks so much for sharing this great, totally relevant, and sobering story.

  44. Theresa Dambrose

    Love this Marie 🙂 You are spot on and explain the whole concept exceptionally. Looking forward to seeing you soon. Thanks for the post, and so glad you are feeling better!

  45. Nancy

    Oh Marie…I have been self-sabotaging myself in the ONE area that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE – my new career! Crazy right? I can’t explain it and it made no sense to me….until now. Am I afraid that I could be one of the greatest pyschotherapist alive? that I can actually help people? that I can quit this job and be ok and really focus my time on what “I” want? oh dear…I can’t sleep on this anymore or think about this anymore (“this” is my doubts) – thank you Marie….

  46. Trish

    Well, I’ll be damned ! Been treading water in RHH and getting swept up in the current pushing me on to do things I never thought I would or could. Signed up for B-School, too, because I WANT MORE. Great things have been showing up for me – almost miraculously. It’s almost TOO much.
    So of course:
    Broke up a chihuahua fight last night, (I know..), am now sporting Sponge Bob bandaids, then racing around for some alcohol very conveniently broke my toe. This puts a crimp in my dance breaks, I can tell you.
    Still I’ll take the broken toe over the barfing stuff. Glad you are better. And thanks to you I can see this for what it is.

  47. Marie – This article is so incredibly enlightening! It sheds so much light on some of the issues I’ve been dealing with in my life right now. Thanks so much for the clarification. I’m gonna make it through the fog!

  48. Thank you so much for sharing this story so candidly. One of the most glorious parts of being a member of the better-us movement is getting a front row view into others’ experiences so we can once again have a holy shit moment of “me too!”. We can never be reminded enough to take some time to pay attention to ourselves and our limits – both upper and lower – to know that in the in-between spaces, we’re offering ourselves at the least a little sumpin’ sumpin’ to make sure we’re essentially getting what we need. And sometimes… it can literally be nothing.

  49. Ruth

    Hello Marie,

    I am a new subscriber to your site and to your work in general. I thought this post was fun to read and informative to read. Me? well, I have just left a less than perfect live, to go to another country to start creating a more perfect one that actually involves having some of the goodies that you promote as being possible for anyone to achieve. Now, not only have the gremlins come with me, but they seem to have gotten stronger so, here’s what I am proposing……that I read and re-read this article until it sinks in to my gremlin leaking brain.

    No time like the present, so I’m off to get myself back on track and keep myself heading towards the life that somehere deep down I know is mine for the taking.

    Thanks for sharing this Marie! I hope you are feeling much better by now.

    Oh, and I am not sure where I;ll be when your seminar is on, but if I am anywhere near NYC, I’ll definitely be there.

  50. Jennifer

    Just experienced an upper limit issue earlier this year when for two months in a row I made a lot more money than I ever thought possible–and having a darned fine time doing it. Then after the second month of doubling my income, I subconsciously put on the brakes. A couple of weeks later, Synchronicity, my wise old friend, lead me to Christiane Northrup’s radio show whose guest speaker just happened to be none other than the fabulous Gay Hendricks, who of course spoke to this issue. Since that show, I’ve been in the process of demolishing the upper limit block ever since. Example–taking the Rich, Hot and B-school online course in September. Yay me!

  51. kim


    Damn girl! I went through this strange “sickness” last year. The difference is I gave into the sabotage & I’m just now figuring it out. Thanks, this really helped me…looking forward to B-School.



  52. My acting coach called this effect “self-defeating.” Pretty much what you describe as your upper limit problem. It should be simple to manifest an infinite upper limit, so that you never experience what you just went through again.
    .-= Matches Malone´s last blog ..3 Takeaways from this years 168 Film Festival =-.

  53. We’ve been having a mirrored bi-coastal experience, Marie.

    Fortunately the he-man turned into Florence Nightingale for me… Yes, the 5 Love Dynamics went on-hold while I recovered. Now I can go past the upper-limit and roll out http://5LoveDynamics in a few weeks.

    Thanks for this behind the scenes post.

    Sherrie Rose
    The Love Linguist

  54. Touched and honored that you shared this side of yourself, when society expects us to be perfect all the time. Never would have imagined reading this story from you! But that’s what’s gotten me so crazy excited about RHH B-school. It resonates deeply with true experiences, not some bullshit fantasy that doesn’t exist. It’s a part of success that’s not talked about, but needs to be.

  55. OMG, I’m having an upper limit problem!! 🙂

    Now I’m relieved…

    Seriously, things were going so well, my 13month old daughter suddenly changed from seperation anxiety to being a little monkey, I got married, I’m having a blast writing articles for my blog, I got great photos done, my blog attracts more and more regular readers and people love what I’m writing, I just started my own business, b-school came right in time and I actually have the money to pay it effortlessly, I get more things done than ever and I’m having a great time and during all this amazing time, I lost 16 pounds!

    And now my mind starts thinking ridiculous thoughts that cause anxiety, I started over-eating again and I seem to want to pull back to my older me…

    Well, if I’m just having an upper limit problem, I can live with that! 😉

    Thanks Marie!

    .-= Hannah´s last blog ..Let’s talk about poop =-.

  56. I SO had this happen last year – was planning some big things for my biz, had just signed on to work with my coach and BAM… I got sick as a dog with strep throat. Like flat on my back, couldn’t talk, could barely move sick for a full week. (and I hadn’t had strep throat in like 20 years.) I didn’t really know what was going on at the time, but I did figure it was some kind of reset/stretch based on taking thing up a level. And my coach shared with me later on that “all his clients get really sick when they sign up to work with him”, LOL 😉

    Makes me think then that we need to be looking for these “upper limit” moments – otherwise we aren’t playing a big enough game… ? hmmmm.

  57. Awesome! I totally am in it right now. Going to take a stand for my work in the world and feel good but my body is giving me a hellava time. Totally will check out the book and know that when you want to go bigger something’s gotta give. There must be a law for that – oh yeah, Upper Limit let’s say EXPANSION!

    Glad you better Marie and so psyched to be coming to NYC!
    .-= Hillary´s last blog ..Hello world! =-.

  58. Great reminder, tell my clients something along the same lines all the time, but, ya know, don’t practice what I preach 100% of the times. Thanks again for everything! 🙂

  59. Hi Marie, so happy you’re not feeling icky anymore. The last time I had an upper limit prob (which I just recognized thanks to you), I totalled my car. Luckily, no one was injured and the insurance company was amazing. I decided to go carless — in LA! Intererestly, I think the decision not to buy a car helped me break through to the next level.

    I’m new to your site and work, having gotten your B-school launch videos somewhere else. Though fascinated, I decided that B-school wasn’t a match for me…I wasn’t feeling a connection. This post was so heartfelt, wise and enlightening, it has changed my whole view. Thanks!

  60. Hahaha. I love it! My upper limit is tech related: phones out, internet down, and a flat tire on my car so I can’t even drive to a wifi cafe. (until a friend reminded me I have a spare tire… duh). I’ll stick with the silent retreat a few days, and then get it all fixed in time to amp up my biz and income to where it belongs! Thanks for the article, Marie.

  61. Upper Limit Problem, indeed. I notice this happening in lots of places in my life. When friends start to get too close, I’ll push them away. When my weight drops or my size gets smaller, I find myself drawn magnetically toward gluten free cupcakes and chocolate sugar treats. When I’m crafting a new program for my business, my mind chatters away…who will ever pay THAT for this program? who do you think you are to offer these services? everyone will laugh at you…better quit before you start and save yourself the embarrassment.

    I learned through sports that everything my mind tells me is a lie (my body, on the other hand, always knows the truth). I simply tell it, “That’s nice, I appreciate that you’re concerned for me. Let’s chat later when I am not otherwise occupied.”

    But of course, it’s a work in progress. I still get caught in the mind trap, more often than I would like.
    .-= Sukie´s last blog ..How to tap your body’s inner wisdom for health and healing =-.

  62. AMAZING article Marie!

    Want I think really freaking’ rocks as you were upping your upper limits (so brilliant) from my view your biz has been running like a bad ass machine 🙂 not once did I notice you were a hot mess rather…. I want in on B school!

    Congratulations to Marie on your amazing-ness!

    XO Karen
    .-= Karen Fagan´s last blog ..Afraid to Speak Your Truth =-.

  63. Mel

    This blog-post came at just the right time, so thank you for this gift. Here’s my question: How do our upper limits form? And when?


  64. Hi Marie,

    I saw you speak for the first time at Christian Carter’s fantastic seminar a few years ago. I even won a yoga CD from you! I continue to read your e-mails, and was really tempted by your seminar(especially since Donna Karan is involved…I’m in the fashion business!

    But, what stopped me in my tracks is your mention of the “upper limits” syndrome. I am going thru that very thing….and have managed to break thru one barriar, but having a problem with the REALLY BIG opportunity. Now I know why!

    I am a perfect canidate for more info…..keep on your great path, and I will try and get on track to attend your seminar!



    PS Love your taste in movie/books;) just starting Breaking Dawn myself!!!

  65. Yo M,

    Concerning your story and findings: Yup.


  66. Never happent.
    I tend to paraphrase liutenant dan on the midst of the storm.
    is that the best you can do? bring it on!
    and problems just work themselves out.

  67. OMG YES! I just started rereading The Big Leap for the third time and managed to get past some major ULPs—and had an incredible physical, emotional, and spiritual awakening!

    I am on high alert for ULPs in the coming weeks and months.

    So glad that you’ve recovered and that things are going so well that you are pressing against your upper limit! xoxo Hilary

  68. Marie,
    You just described my life for the past three weeks since I did my version of Laura’s email marketing campaign! I’ve been mentally and emotionally through the sieve of becoming a success, and I know it’s working from the hurricane I’m in.

    Lucky for my I didn’t get sick. But the rest of the roller coaster ride is definitely here. I declare this a High Quality Problem to have. Let’s celebrate with everyone on the blog. YAHOO!

  69. Aha, very interesting to read about your experience – I always find myself doing really pointless, needless tasks when I am about to do something really major – like when I was studying recently for my nutrition qualification, I would find myself trying to use my hard-won ‘study days’ as a time to catch up on laundry (doh!), instead of studying. I did manage to fight it enough to actually take my exams and pass (Yipee), but it was sooooo hard to fight my own determination to fail.

    Speaking from a health point of view though, when you get ill, and take time to look after yourself (just like you did!), you will grow, flourish, expand and just get better in every way – making you perfectly ready for the challenges you face next.

    I am loving reading all about you and wish that I could somehow have signed up for B-school – maybe next time??????????

    With amazement from England,


  70. Great post! And this is actually coming at the right time for me! My readership for my examiner page has increased 500% this month alone. I find myself doing crazy self-sabotaging things like missing my self-appointed writing times, losing things, overeating, or just becoming preoccupied with frivilous shit.

    This morning I said to myself “What’s up with you????” And I realized that inside, although I am super happy that my readership has increased, I am also unbelievably scared. I am moving out of my comfort zone by leaps and bounds and…wowza…what happens if the bottom falls out from under me??? Knowing that 1) I am not crazy and 2) I’m on the right track puts my mind at ease a little.

    Thanks for sharing this. 🙂


  71. Hi Marie,
    Great post, indeed! I’m just about to launch my business, am eyeball deep in all the “stuff” involved (ie lots of work and MAJOR freakin excitement) and yesterday had a complete and utter meltdown. My gremlin was going NUTS (and as most of us know, when our gremlin gets uber loud, it’s because we’re on the verge of something bad ass).

    And today I read this. 🙂


  72. Dave Koeleman

    I appreciate myself for taking the time to read this article!
    Love it!

  73. stephanie*

    Hey Marie,
    WOW, I am amazed, how often I got your posts and they just fit perfectly in what is going on here in my life. Thank you for your compassion-and allowing-ourselves-a-truly-good-life-reminder 🙂 I just got new courage to move on and dream on/create on and also take a break from time to time 😉
    Big hug and love, Stephanie.
    NB. I ll finally give myself sometime to watch Mad Men – yeah 🙂 celebration time*

  74. Kate knows!

  75. Marie, I’d never heard of the ULP until now — but by George, I believe you’re on to something! There have been times in my life when I’ve broken out in hives because I was so excited about something. Never knew there was a term for it. Thanks for sharing this about yourself; I’ll be able to put things in better perspective as amazing things happen in the future.

    By the way, my hubby and I just discovered Mad Men. We’ve been getting the episodes from Netflix. That is one wild show!

    Keep up the pampering and self-care.

  76. I have an ULP problem too, only I get sick *after* the big step across the comfort zone. What’s with that?!


  77. Marie – this has to be one of your best posts ever — and maybe because it hit me so perfectly today or maybe because I’m going through my own fog and shift right now. Thanks for sharing this honest account of what’s going on with you. I’ve never heard or read this concept explained quite so well. Thank you for that.
    I am glad you’re feeling better!
    .-= Anne Samoilov´s last blog ..Why Letting Go Can Be The Best Way To Get Exactly What You Want =-.

  78. Well, we’re all in good company then, aren’t we? All of us who have experienced “upper limit” issues. Man, I’ve done a ton of personal development work over the last two years, and I’ve never heard of this concept — but it makes all the sense in the world. And dovetails nicely with some other concepts I’ve been exploring lately. For example, when you are trying to love yourself and believe in yourself and saying affirmations and honoring yourself, and you get just near to the point of falling in love with the fabulous person you know you are, but the subconscious mind/beliefs havn’t quite caught up to the conscious mind and its beliefs, and so the sabotaging stuff starts to happen.

    For me, I am not where I want to be just yet, but recently some very good things have happened, and things are definitely continuing to progress in an upward trajectory for me. Yet just the other night, I was standing in the middle of my living room, feeling shaky and teary and emotional — for no apparent reason. I mean, I couldn’t figure out where the hell it was coming from! So I’m thinking it’s the upper limit thing. Holy crap, I really think that’s what it is. : )

    So this morning in the shower, I had a serious talk with my subconscious mind and said to it, “Stop effing with me and trying to make me feel anxious and scared and unworthy, I am kicking ass and I rock!” Yes, I know it sounds crazy, but it worked!

    Gawd, thanks so much for sharing this whole “upper limits” thing, it gives me a whole new framework for seeing and correcting my own sabatoging behaviors.

    Gotta agree with some of the other commenters here — I am SOOOOO glad I found you and your blog!!
    .-= Kimberly´s last blog ..“I-Don’t-Really-Drink-Wine” People- This is For YOU =-.

  79. Marie – This is fantastic news…ie. that you are all better and it was nuthin’!!! Not to mention that it is a sign of the next great wave to come…

    And let me tell you, if you looked that great and were that radiant walking out of my yoga class with a stomach virus, I can only imagine what it will be like to see you when you are in full effect, sweet One!

    Looking forward to that,
    Big love,

  80. Good to hear that you’re feeling more yourself now Marie, how horrible. But what grounded and inspired friends you have – I hadn’t heard of the Upper Limit idea before but it makes so much sense, especially when I look back at my early singing career. There were a number of occasions where the most incredible opportunities were coming my way, but I would end up with a huge cold or a hoarse voice, and I felt like my body was deliberately sabotaging me. Of course I suspected things were psychosomatic but this is a different kind of angle…and of course it will always kick in everytime I reach the limits of every new set point.

    But that’s liberating. Totally frees you up to be kind to yourself, doesn’t it?
    Instead of berating your body for letting you down, you can thank it for the internal heads up that you have some awesome receiving to do! 🙂

    Take care Marie and can’t wait to see you in November.
    .-= Natalie Peluso´s last blog ..Return On Joy =-.

  81. Hi, Marie,

    Thanks so much for this article, it’s really good))

    I think I had a ULP when I met my husband and we strted living together. I felt sooo good with him and my life changed so quickly and so radically that I… felt sick all day for a month or so. I didn’t have an idea of what the hell was wrong with me! I visited doctors, I made a pregnancy test… Then in one day it just stopped and I started feeling OK. Now that you wrote about the Upper-Limit Problem I realised, that’s what is was!

    It’s very very good to know this, I’ll be calmer the next time I hit my Upper Limit))

    .-= Olga´s last blog ..Тренинг – Как Заканчивать Зависшие Проекты =-.

  82. Okay, don’t hate me (especially cuz I love you so hard), but I’m not buying it.

    I’ve definitely found that when I work too hard to have too many things on my plate I get stressed and if I don’t take a time out I get sick the SECOND a project is over. Like, within the hour.

    But my body sabotaging me because I’m “doing too well”? Sounds like an excuse to me. Granted, I think everyone’s bodies effects them in different ways and what might effect you might not effect me.

    That said, I’m freaking SAD AS SHIT that I won’t be in the States for your event… Big sad face 🙁

    • I do believe in the ULP, but I also agree with Ms. Schembari about the getting sick part. I think that’s not a function of things being too good. It’s a function of you working too hard, or stressing too much.

      Now, on the other hand, the ULP makes sense when you go look for a fight, or when you’re like, “Yay! I’m the skinniest I’ve ever been! Where’s some cake?” (Well, not you; me.)

      Or, with money: I have a habit of setting a lower limit for how much is ok to earn in a year and making sure I don’t go below it, but when it comes to how much I really want to earn, I think “I wish I could make that much,” not really believing it’s possible.

      Marian, I’m sad as FUCK that you won’t be here. Top that.

      • marie

        I hear you ladies and love you both and have too considered that. The big BUT here is that throughout the ENTIRE launch and past few weeks, while I have very been busy, I’ve also gotten into the best physical shape of my life. Yoga/working out 4-5X per week; juicing almost everyday; cut out 90% of crap foods, gotten a lot of sleep (I sleep way better in the Hamptons) and home cooked meals way more than when I’m in the city.

        So while I don’t deny stress can and likely did play a part, I was actively participating in my health/well-being waaaay more than usual. Just trying to provide an honest picture!

        • OK, now we have our answer. You, in the best shape of your life? The Universe wasn’t prepared for anything that spectacular. It struck you down.

          • Now I’m just responding to myself to get my gravatar in here. I guess I wasn’t logged in. I hope it works now.

  83. REALLY helpful – thanks so much Marie. I especially like your point about “it’s gonna happen a lot so strap in and enjoy the ride, baby!” Yes!

  84. Wow, I’m feeling like you wrote this post directly to me. I get sick every freaking time I step up and make my life better. I’ve read The Big Leap and know that it’s an upper limit issue, but still haven’t figured out how to resolve it. Thank you for providing the 3 step plan. I will take that on.

  85. Lauren Lionheart

    Hey Marie, thanks for sharing this story and idea with us. My absolute favorite blog posts – the ones that are so magnetic and useful – are always personal stories of growth like this. A lesson without a personal example is usually too effing preachy. Your honesty is much appreciated.

    I keep coming across articles & concepts from Gay Hendricks but the terminology “ULP” is new to me. I can totally relate, though. In fact, I’m there right now, and it’s very tempting to get into self-blame mode. This was the perfect reminder to get me back on track: focusing on what I do have, loving it, and riding the wave of discomfort through to the finish.

    I know I can do it. And I know all you other amazing women going through your ULPs can do it, too. *respect knuckles*



  86. Hi Marie,

    Keep Rockin all the wisdom. I so needed this, I am the master of self sabotage when it comes to my success. I have been experiencing my body shutting down in terms of energy levels, increased stress and motivation over the last month. My body is sayin your workin too much get back in your shell.

    I think big, dream big and act on my thoughts. I am going to start focusing on my INCREASING MY UPPER LIMIT POTENTIAL.


  87. Hi Marie,

    There is another aspect that I see. ; )
    Yet you suggested we leave our thoughts, not our insights, right? ; D

    I’ll keep it simple: Can you imagine that it might be part of a transformational shift that your body-being needed in order to release some old stuff that you needed out of your way … in order to embody the new higher vibration you are ready for???

    If you have any questions e-mail me, ok? xo

    P.S. Last night before I went to bed, I was wondering if it would be ok to tell you this. Then I had a funny dream with you in it … which clearly said Yes!

  88. Great post, Marie. I’m so happy my cuz Rachel and I were right about the Upper Limit Problem. It’s so freeing to be able to name what is going on when life gets really good and then all of a sudden we get sick or have an accident to bring it back down again. This really is all about “how good can you stand it?” And I love that you reminded us here that this is not a one-time thing. The more we expand the more upper limit problems we’ll have…so I’ve begun to celebrate my ULP’s when I get them. It means I’m busting on through my limits. I recently wrote about waking up in a total financial panic and how I discovered some hidden ULP’s having to do with my financial reality…Here’s the article: Cash, Truth + Upper Limit Problems:

  89. I reached my own Upper Limit this week after a great preview call. All I wanted to do was start following up and filling my new program. The universe thought lots of naps and comfort food was a much better option. I still got stuff done, I was just tired enough to not be mentally sharp. I realized what was going on on day 2 of staring at the computer zoning out. Now I know that I need to pace myself after a big breakthrough so I don’t end up sabotaging the whole project.

  90. Carol

    Thank you so much for this post!!!! You have no idea how MUCH I needed this right now! My biggest “fault/habit” is sabataging myself JUST when it seems/feels like my life/work/dreams are coming together! Now for the 1st time I get it – I’m 55 yrs old and have been so afraid that I will never get the life I want! I see “it” I feel “it” I’ve just never been able to LIVE IT!

  91. Hi Marie,
    this post literally blew me away. Everything you described I could relate to and I was actually going through it just as I read the article – it could not have come at a better time! Like any “illness”, once you can identify / label it, it becomes much easier to deal with so rather than feeling defeated, this time I let it ride and pushed through. The whole ULP / self-sabotage thing is a reall issue, especially for women these days, but knowing im not the only one….can’t tell you what a mega relief that is.
    Marie you touch so many women in so many ways from all over the globe, you are truly amazing. Keep it up, love from Anne, London 🙂

  92. Eleanor

    Amazing article Marie because I had a massive nauseousness attack for 4 days last week too! ULP it was – thanks So much for posting this – My ULP cure was relaxing into it and letting myself get used to more – You’re the best Marie, Eleanor

  93. I love this! It completely explains an almost identical experience I had that earlier this year immediately following a yoga workshop — It makes so much sense, and I’m inspired by looking at in this way. I always appreciate when someone can illuminate a situation through humor, thoughtfulness, and good writing. Thanks!

  94. Mina

    Hi Marie!

    Love the article and the insight. I can definitely relate. Mine manifests in oversleeping. It seems liek whenever I am making massive progress all of a sudden I oversleep and find myself having to play catch up.

    Any thought?


  95. Wow. I can relate. I find when I work hard on a project for a week or more, my body tells me to sit my ass down or fall down (dizzy spells). Watching these signs and being in tune w/my body before these hit is so helpful.

    I think it’s our body’s way of telling us that we’re running out of juice and it’s time to regenerate.

  96. Marie, this is great! I’ve done some training with Gay and Katie Hendricks, and Gay believes that our only *real* problem is an Upper Limits Problem (or ULP). Currently I’m involved in consciousness training at the Boulder Center for Conscious Living where we learn to recognize when we’re having an ULP. And now when I feel like I’m catching something or my stomach is upset, I wonder first if I’m scared.

    I’m glad you’re not sick, just ULP-ing!

  97. Michael Callejas

    This is sooooooooo awesome! I am going through this is we speak and I will be ready for it next time. Sick as a dog for the time being though. But I love it! Success is near…

  98. Marie, you did such a wonderful job of outlining the basic concepts of the upper limit problem, but I can’t help but comment that The Big Leap was extremely poorly written. I find the juxtaposition of this post with the actual content of the book to underline the intuitively ‘correct’ conceptual points in contrast with the anecdotal evidence that made his book difficult to really take to heart. Well, I mean I derived value from the concepts, but I feel someone who understands the concepts and is more logically grounded might be able to better convey Gay’s messages. And I feel like you, Marie, would be an ideal candidate for such an undertaking, provided that you didn’t just create this post in response to it being such a trendy topic among netpreneurs. 😉 Love everything you do!

  99. I’m currently reading The Big Leap now, so feel I’m so SO on the right track and right there with ya sister. I also am seeing ( 20/20 ) how I recently trashed some amazing opportunities in my life cause they were actually Amazing and I was totally uncomfortable with them. Ah…. alas… I’m loving myself through it. And speaking of love, I can feel the love that you have for yourself in your writing. This, beneath the bad ass marketing stuff you’ll teach us, is what strikes me the deepest about your work Marie, the love. I feel it. Thanks! xo Tancie
    .-= Tancie´s last blog ..Self Responsibilty =-.

  100. Marie,
    I find your wisdom, compassion and enlightenment absolutely amazing at such a young age. I’m wondering if you were born that way? (are you an Indigo? 🙂
    I love your combination of spirituality and sexiness. I suspect that you have heard of Mama Gena, right? I graduated from her Mastery Program in 2007, or was it 2008?
    Anyway, I luv ya sistah and keep up the great work!

  101. Hey Marie,

    Its interesting your use of terms “upper limit”.. The idea of sabotaging success is also interesting. My girlfriend once told me when things look bad, “milk it”.

    She kind of meant what you wrote in the later part of your article , “It means you’ve just increased your capacity to experience wealth, happiness and love – both for yourself and for us all. “.

    I love the way you put that! We call it “breakthrough” to new levels. But the idea of “capacity” is very cool… I’m thinking that you mean that “endurance” creates a space for “wealth” to fit in! Does that make sense?

    Well, thanks for this article. ‘preciatcha!
    xo Caryn Elizabeth

  102. this book is being pushed into my life. 3rd time im hearing about (each time from a VERY POWERFUL LADY).

    thanks for talking about it & sharing, love.

    see you May 12.

  103. Wow, Marie, you are always relevant and amazing. Also, the subject of your e-mail was spot on, if I didn’t know better I’d think you were sneaking a peek at my Kindle. 😉

  104. Wow Marie that was amazing,!

  105. Kaori

    Hi, Marie. I had a upper limit problem myself several years ago. It is getting better now. Like you say, it is the hurdle that everyone with an aim has to overcome. Anyway, I never told anyone before now that I want to be a writer as a part of being an entrepreneur. But certainly not a erotic fiction writer. I just want to let you know that I am on the stage of pondering the direction I should go with concrete ideas. And, it is not ready to show it to anybody else so far. I will fill up the materials for RHH immediately when I am ready. Thanks.

  106. Thanks, Marie
    I believe I am going through it right now.
    Everything is so right and awesomely promising, that I can’t breathe well and I wake up in panic: “Something must be wrong!”
    So I won’t wonder even for a moment why your post came to me today 😉

  107. I’ve discovered that Bioplasma from Hyland’s allows a dramatic increase in the amount of Energy that your system can allow to flow through.

    Also Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic and anti-inflammatory.

    Whenever I experience flu-like or cold-like symptoms I find that taking 10-12 tablespoons a day will lead to dramatic improvement.

  108. This is SO what I needed to read today … AGAIN!! I’ve been experiencing a lot of self-sabotage lately, and I think that is MY way of dealing with the success that is coming my way in my new business! I need to just hang on, change my thoughts up to take away that sabotage thing and replace it with respect, love, empowerment, belief and so on!!

    Thanks for your amazing posts every week Marie! I’ve really come to anticipate them! Loving it!

  109. Marie, you are such an inspiration girlfriend! Every week I look forward to your thoughts, advice, and wisdom…you’re such a massive help for women like me who are just starting out in their own business. Holla!

  110. Boy do I know what you are talking about! Last Fall when my stars were aligned and I made big things happen/reached big goals I also felt cocky enough to challenge someone I should not have and the shit hit the fan! As I am now trying to get our of a deal (a lease to be precise) I find myself wondering “why the heck did I do that?”.

    Although the past is in the past and can’t change how I did things last fall this serves me as a big EGO check. Next time I will meditate and get centered before I take any major decisions!

  111. Hey Marie
    Do you know what’s weird? I actually thought I was clicking on another article of yours, but this one came up and it was EXACTLY what I needed to hear.
    I’ve been affirming lately “I’m ready for the next step” and all sorts of opportunities have been popping up – some that are scary and I catch myself saying “But, I’m not ready for that!”… It takes me a moment to see the irony and then I gently say to myself “I AM ready for the next step”.

  112. Marie, thanks for the most excellent post. To me, the “upper limit problem” equals fear. I’m so glad you brought attention to this and that you offered tips on how to avoid or solve it.

  113. Ayisha

    WOW! You’re the girlfriend that we all need… I love this “Upper Limit” concept. Before reading this article, I totally thought that I was alone in this world sabotaging my successes and I was doomed for a life of failure. Muah! Big kisses to you for empowering and resetting my thought process. I CAN and WANT and WILL ACT on any self-inflicted acts of sabotage. I appreciate your honesty and love oozing out of your website… You help make us women stronger!

  114. Cheryl Hardacre

    Hi Marie and all,

    So good to hear you talk about this as it is such an important issue and one that is not often mentioned.

    So often I have gone for things and then got stuck just before achieving it, people would say you have a ‘fear of failure’ and I kept saying no, it is actually a fear of SUCCESS that I have – exactly the issue you mention here. They say it is hard for us to go past the success level of parents, I agree but there are many other factors also.

    Anyway, great advice about staying aware and watching behaviour at times of ‘breaking through’ old success levels…it is as if we have to watch ourselves from the outside in a way. Thanks again for another timely motivational video!

    Sydney, Australia

  115. Nicole Bradford

    I’m LOVING going through the links you sent when I signed up. Another WOW. Mix with what I have in me so far and stir and….AWESOME!!!!

    Here’s my two bits…

    When we “jump into the next level of orbit”, or however you want to put it, IF we go with the “physical world as a product of not physical world” model, we have just cleared out a bunch of soul level CRAP, like old beliefs, old points of view, so it MAKES SENSE it might need to clear the physical versions of all that out. Ta-da! A flu, or whatever puts us into a sweat, a liquid diet, a nice clearing out of guck.

    I have been known to get headaches. I believe it often is crap clearing out. I decided to give up Advil and start paying attention to what my head was trying to tell me. I focus on on the pain, often get some kind of insight and it dissolves, pretty quick. Sometimes the insight is…just renovating the ole brain, here, so it fits the energy you’re putting through it now, Nic! The “other” headaches come when I have got off track some way, lost heart, got tired out. Maybe my brain is un renovating?! Getting back into my passion groove is the solution then.

  116. Laura

    Thank you for the upper limit post. I cannot believe the timing as I have been banging my head against my own without knowing what to call it with similar symptoms to yours plus a bit of overt agitation towards all those I love. 🙂 Whoops. I run a 100 person manuf. company plus just launched a coaching / consulting entrepreneurial co – both of which are going exceedingly well. Yet – I am squirming on the inside & converting energy from adrenaline which is pretty much ripping up my stomach and ruining my sleep. So – right after I apologize to my husband for poor spousal performance in the last week – I am going to embrace your tips for moving through the upper limit. So the irony is… developing awareness of when you are self limiting & exploding through that anabolically is exactly what I coach high potentials to do every day…. And yet, here I am – down the hole and in the cave – blind as a bat to what’s going on. Thanks for the wake up. I’d love to see you post more on this topic.

  117. veronica

    EXACTLY what i was looking for!

    brought tears to my eyes, i have sabotaged so many things because of that, the “pb” is i have never managed to stop my heart from craving for my dreams so i feel always like a lion in a cage wanting what i want and not being able to go for it

    I wish i could give you a big kiss on your lovely face Marie! the past is done there is nothing i can do about it but the present is right there and i can stop all this now, thank you so much

  118. Gray

    another great article! i admire and thank you for inspiring and sharing it with us. your tips are very helpful. i already bookmarked this page so i can read it again from time to time. great job!

  119. Marie,
    I use Gay Hendricks work with ALL of my Image Coaching clients. It is SHOCKING how much Upper Limits come into play! I see ULP’s in my life every day. It helps you let go of sooo much self judgement on Why The Hell Did I Just Create THAT?!
    I consider “The Big Leap” critical and essential to anyone leaping forward and upward in their lives.
    fyi..busy moms/gals/entrepreneurs~it’s an easy read! BUT one you may have to take several paragraphs at a time to chew on. (Great for bathroom breaks!)
    Image Coach, Sexy Stylist!

  120. Lee Konecke


    I just singed up with you. I love your energy, and I was curious about your content.

    I’m about to venture into online coaching and blogging. My biggest, yet “temporary block” is wondering about providing unique content. I really respected what you mentioned about copy catting others.

    That being said, I’m wondering if you can help me with what constitutes as original and unique when it comes to blogging. Please, I don’t want this next part to come across as criticism. I seriously would like to know so I have some framework for when I start.

    The blog on “upper limit” problem, to me, is just a concise summation of Gay Hendrick book The Big Leap. I have worked with him on events. I was surprised when there was not mention of him.

    Again, not a criticism. I just want to know if a summation of someone else;s work is viable as to use as your own material.



    • marie

      Lee. Dude. You need to read again! I TOTALLY credit Gay and link to his book on Amazon.

  121. How interesting – everything comes just in time.

    I met you, Marie, on the GKIC conference (one of two Russians on that conference), then read about you in Jonathan Fields’ “Uncertainty” and now reading about “upper limit problem” I have experienced since the conference (which is great – to go to the next level) and this is a great help not just for my but for the clients in my coaching program (I am coach for Russian women).

    Thank you again!

  122. My friend Rachel Boucher sent me this link. I’ve always thought that the auto accident (December 2007 sandwiched between a pedestrian and someone in a big car going way too fast) was an upper limit thing and something bad often seems to happen when I break through a ceiling. (I fell on my bike and the oil covered sprocket went right into my leg the day I was packing up my art for the very first art show I’d ever gotten into. I sold one of my 2 pieces too.) I’ve gotten really afraid of succeeding. The bigger the breakthrough the bigger the accident it seems. I’ve been afraid I won’t survive the next one. Especially now that I have no intention of playing small any more and have used my recovery period to lay the foundation for my big plans. I’m glad to see this post, it looks like there’s an alternative to fear and I’m on the right track.

    Thank you with love, Mercedes

  123. I want to share this post with everyone. Can I ask you Marie what you found you were afraid of? What about your next level of success was scary for you?

  124. Yup.. can totally relate. Hanging with the discomfort, giving it space to move and breathe and had a MAJOR breakthrough today!! I’m on my way.. Giving thanks!!

  125. I just came across your site by chance this morning. This post comes at a very necessary time for me as I embark on a trip around the world for the next year. A goal that has been 5 years in the making, and a blog (though still under construction) that is finally coming together. For the first time, I’m seeing a return on the past five years of saving, and its scary as hell. Watching my self put together a blog to share my story and pursue a bigger dream is even scarier. Thank you for putting me in check today, so I can get past my fear. Really, thank you.

  126. Hi Marie, I join today because everything is relevant to today’s problems in life, we are moving at shocking speed, terrifying to the faint hearted and strongest of people. Wondering at what junction to separate oneself from it all. When I first started a website, the niche was obviously wrong in all ways. \my whole computer crashed twice, battery went dead, then hard drive corrupted…How strange.
    As we speak, Truth matters a great deal in one’s self portrait,Karma will get you if you do not be true to yourself first. Love is the first order, everything else should come in synke.As I go forward in a new direction..shall I say the right path for me. I am holding my breath, in the back of my mind, knowing to let that go, chill down, and just learn from the experiences gained and new understandings come into light, like just at this time clicking on and signing up in your site. Glad for it and gaining much from reading. thank you again

  127. I am sure as everyone else I feel like you have been watching the last couple weeks of my life and I was just telling my husband I have never felt like this before! I have achieved 5 of the 10 goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year some are just not attainable right now because they haven’t taken place. Well as soon as I thought now what? I started self-sabotaging myself and basically negating ALOT of things that I have already achieved in the last 4 months. I have been searching for something to motivate me again for the last couple days and get out of this icky feeling (not the stomach bug but emotional bug) last night I was reading and then stumbled upon this site by chance this morning on facebook and I am starting to feel like my old determined happy self again. Thank you for sharing your experience!!!

  128. Tiffany

    Thank you for sharing… I can sooooooo relate… I’m in bed sick right now, but after reading this… I feel I will come out of it stronger (physically and mentally) to take on the goodness waiting for me to open to…

    Again, Thank you for posting and thanks for the comments… so super inspiring!!!

  129. So true, I do a Big Leap Challenge at my studio Yoga On Chocolate in Hershey, PA. 28 Days of Yoga, Meditation and we read the “Big Leap” Book, by Gaye Hendricks and have a weekly meeting to discuss our “Upper Limit” issues. So GOOD!!

  130. Very insightful and so true! Thanks for another great book suggestion! I added it to my book wish list!

  131. Marie!! LOVE this post!! I’m new to the whole online business and just found you! I launched my FIRST program yesterday woohoo “Turbo Charge Your Transformation 30 Day Cleanse”. I have 3 people in my program :)) And of course…I got sick too just as I was launching my marketing campaign….so this post is perfect timing. Would Love to participate in the B-school. Are you offering any scholorships for the program?! Glad I found you….look forward to learning more from you!

  132. Kimberly

    Marie….you are spot on! I have just recently found you and I am so thrilled! I look forward to your newsletters, your videos, and reading your book:) You know exactly what I have been needing so keep the info coming. Much appreciation for your savvy wisdom!!

  133. Fajr

    This is my first time hearing about an upper limit problem, but I like being able to put a name to the feelings you get when you think things are too good to be true. This is the second time I’ve come across “The Big Leap”, I’ll take that as a sign to buy it.

  134. Wow! Timing, perfect. Articulation lovely & smart. Thank you for sharing this. I’ve never heard of the “Upper Limit Problem” but will be procuring a copy of The Big Leap this weekend. I too have had the strangest week with a handful of very big, bad things all happening right on the heals of the best business months ever. I did think something might be wrong with me, and have been a bit paranoid to see so many things fall apart just as I was getting so close….
    This dose of love, encouragement towards self grace as well as the sassy and oh-so-classy perspective is exactly what I needed. Thank you Marie!

  135. I just wrote a blog post on the same subject that is ridiculously boring compared to yours. Thanks for modeling what engaging writing looks like. Ouch!

  136. A great post! Thanks for this Marie. It’s all making sense now. I must read that book as I think it will help me. I suffer from aching limbs when I overdo things & burn the midnight oil too much, or I get migraines. I need to learn to chill out too & take a break. The problem I have is that I feel I have to move fast (learn & implement) so I can change things & empower myself in the way I need to. x

  137. Wanda Fanning

    Yes, many of times!
    Once when I realizes my boyfriend was a creep. I tried to brake off with him and it turned into a night mare and I ended up in the hospital sick as a dog but nothing wrong with me.
    Once I had flat tires 3 Fridays in a row. On the third Friday my tire rim was bashed in, along with that I had something spread all over my desk that made my hands break out!
    I broke down couldn’t breath, think, or function. Forced myself to go to work to save my job. Big mistake!

  138. Fascinating! On Friday, May 11 I woke up and it took every ounce of energy to get through the day. The description is “sleeping sickness” to a degree. Basically cancelled the whole day and was in bed at 6:30 PM and up 12 hours later and feeling okay – normal now on Sunday. Upper Limit Problem might have been it as some rather positive things were going on. It was not the blues or even being sick – it was not be connected to me and the end result was exhaustion. Peace… Tom

  139. One again, amazing! Thanks so much xx

  140. Nicole

    It’s funny, Marie. I will feel a tad guilty when things are going too well for me or when people show that they love me. I feel I don’t deserve it although I know it’s a result of some of my efforts! At the same time, I feel really blessed and grateful for all that I have. But I’d also wonder if all these goodness are just the sweetness before the bitterness…that maybe something bad was coming. It actually creates a little fear.

  141. sujatha prakash

    Thanks for this amazing and insightful post! I just “discovered” you yesterday and am becoming an avid fan:) Have signed up to be wait listed for your
    b- school and RHH live!
    Looking forward to learning a LOT from you.
    Loads of love

  142. Thanks lovely lady for reminding me of this. Divine providence. Just averted ‘a poor little me’ episode from this sledgehammer cold which arrived in the middle of a major business move and before a weekend retreat that I’m running tomorrow. I’m expanding my upper limit right now!

    Big love to you and the crew…


  143. Brilliant, as usual. 🙂

  144. WHAT! I AM – the Upper Limit Problem! ..

    This has been the story of my life.. Why didn’t I learn about this at birth?

    I have been aware for some time that I tend to sabotage myself every time success begins to flood in, and it has tried to come to me SOOO many times.. when it does.. huh, I just lost interest, got board, needed a change, not what I really wanted to do….. you get the idea? And I could never understand why this would happen every time things really began to go well and opportunities were throwing themselves at me.

    Thank you so much for sharing this incredibly important advice.. with this little tid bit in my back pocket.. I am prepared this time so bring it on!

    I am so ready to break though my way to low – upper limit!

  145. I’m on day 8 of the worst cold ever. I’ve had to take time off my day job and it all started the day after I committed financially, mentally and emotionally to studies that I plan will bring me to working on purpose and living my life my way. Oh yes, things are gonna get good but right now after a week of coughing I’m like a wreck. So, computer’s getting switched off, and trash tv, comfy blankies on the sofa and hot mugs of soup are getting switched on.
    Thanks Marie!
    Maggie :o)

    • Holy macrals Maggie. You have just identified my trigger for self-sabotage.

  146. Mandy VH

    Holy frijoles, you are the BOMB, the bizzle, the biz-nass!! This has been a reoccurring theme in my life without me really being able to put my finger on it, other than knowing there was some guilty self-sabatoge happening. I SO appreciate your candor, you are so gracious to share your stories with all of us and I am uber thankful that I read this today! I am pretty damn sure i came out of the womb as a self-proclaimed “Fly Girl”, and I’m almost certain you are currently living my dream life. I think the only thing I can do here is figure out the steps I need to take to follow that path, so I can get a guest spot in your next video OR you can celebrity guest in mine!!

    I’m on fire right now, thank you SO much!!!!

  147. Yes! Brilliant! Perfect! I’m writing an awesome new program I know clients want, and my self-saboteur is having a party in my head. Thanks for reminding me it’s just part of the process. Feel SO much better now. xx

  148. Hi Marie,

    I don´t have this ULP problem yet, but I would love to have…it seems my effort will be worth. Right now, I’m struggling to put my business on the internet and believe that it will work. I have a small production of children’s clothes but sometimes I get very discouraged with all the difficulties they face daily, especially when I think of Chinese producing cheap and good clothes…and I have this self sabotage problem too.
    Anyway, forgive my english and thanks a lot for the advices, I will pay atention to everything!

    Best wishes,

    Juliana Bernabó

  149. I am so grateful for this insight! I have had some amazing things happening in my life that I would only have ever dreamed about! I am working on my own website, which I never thought I would do, I found the love of my life, we bought a business together and next year in March we are moving to Koh Phangan Island In Thailand. I have gone from a single mother with no money etc to having all these great things happen in one year. I have been meditating, doing yoga, eating better and doing all the things to clear all this negativity! Now that I have an understanding of what may be going with me I actually feel a shit load better! Thank you!

  150. “A shit bunch!” That was my answer exactly. How did you know? I’m really excited to have had your site recommended to me. Onward and upward!

  151. Hi Marie,
    I had this exact thing happen to me a few weeks back. My blog had hit 2000 visitor per day and I started to imagine this whole new life that I could be having – travelling around the world, just doing blog, earning money from my blog and well…. just doing what I love and getting paid for it! I felt such freedom and excitement in it and then…. I somehow seemed to sabotage the whole idea. I decided to change my theme on my blog and overnight…my traffic dropped to 300 unique visitors per day! I was absolutely depressed for weeks! It really hurt and I was really at a point of thinking: why am I even doing this? Well, I decided it was a good thing because now I am much more focused and really had to ask myself some serious questions about the direction and marketing of my blog. Thank you for sharing:)

  152. Stacey

    The amazingly wonderful thing I believe about life is that the right things come to us at the right time – and this post certainly did.

    This is the first post I have read from your site, and I can already tell that I will be an avid reader of your blog. You style of writing is spot on too! Amazing, thanks for sharing this.

    Stacey 🙂

  153. Crisann

    Marie, Marie, Marie!

    This, plus your sh*t sandwich video and branding video have completely rocked my morning. I’m in the midst of that whole scene and your wisdom and clarity are shining some light in my skull. Thank you bella bella! I am inspired, grateful and ready to rock it.

    Huge smiles!

  154. Marie,

    I cannot believe how exactly like this I am. I have the biggest cases of upper limit problem! I’m so glad I read this.

    For me, every time I get to where I want to be and everything’s going good, I revert back to the old unproductive me!

    This has completely blown my mind. I guess I just need to hang on.

    Thank you!
    Nadia Chaudhry

  155. Love the reminder! I read the Big Leap but was reluctant to notice my resistance to help and assistance as an upper limit problem. Thanks for sharing and reminding me to continue forward with an open heart. Big hug full of health and hotness to you! 😀

  156. Mary C

    Thanks so much for reminding me of the Upper Limit Problem! It’s like the plague for too many of us. I’m going to remember it when I get to feeling
    that things are going too well…

    Thanks and all the best,
    Mary C

  157. Ok, so fine.. I’ve come to this conversation a little late in the game.. I’m cool with that. 🙂 I want to say, after reading this, I realize I’m just recovering from an Upper Limit Problem. I knew I had manifested this medical issue, but really was having trouble diagnosing the root cause. While I’m pleased to express my UL is expanding, I want to acknowledge Upper Limit isn’t finite, and this was my UL#1. I have been in business for 2 years, earlier this year (April to be exact) I parted ways with my business partner. We were not meshing (it happens, right?).. In June, I launched my solo company, with the help of man and the moral support of my AMAZING gaggle of gals. The most amazing thing happened… Within 30 days, I had done more business as a solo entity, than I had done in the entire time I was in a partnership.. I was both scared and delighted. I was moving at the speed of sound, started shipping internationally, offering sponsor ships, and really feeling ready to take flight.. and then it happened, I developed a potentially life threatening infection. I too, like Marie, am SUPER healthy.. Last time I had the 24 hour flu was a half a decade ago..I never even get a case of the sniffles.. I was utterly confused, and as a one woman show, it literally put me and my business out of commission (only for a couple of days THANK THE GODS).. Until this incident, I had a favorite phrase “what a pain my butt” and this is literally, I developed this severe infection on my left gluteal region. I had this sneaking suspicion I was self sabotaging, and have had this nagging feeling and then I found this article. So.. I realize I’m verbose, and while my experience is profound to me and probably only to me alone, I’m very pleased to identify this as a “core” issue, label it a ULP, honor it, put in my bank of wisdom and process it, and dun, dun, dun … move forward. It feels good not to be an island! (opps, I wasn’t supposed to use that exclamation point, I’m an exclamation point diet) All my love to you, and all the ladies who find comfort in what you are doing here Marie.. Thanks

  158. I’ve found what’s helpful for me is remembering what a wise woman once told me, ” it’s not that you are having a BREAKDOWN, it’s that you are having a BREAKTHROUGH on the way UP. Great article and thanks for reminding me…..


  159. Barbara M

    OMG, thank you for identifying this for me. I know when it is happening but i get so caught up in “I can’t believe this shit is happening again” that I dont move through it! Now I have a plan thanks to you. So sharing this with all my business friends!

  160. Oliver

    Thank you… this is so true… I do have this problem and I wil try to fix it with your valuable advice in the days that follow.

  161. Ani

    I can totally relate to this article. After I finished my first NLP Course I was so pumped with energy and ready to take on any task necessary to fulfill my dreams. The course was abroad, when I got home I was sick for two weeks…

  162. Richard Carignan

    .When the student is ready the teacher appears.Exactly what I needed to learn at this time, it explains events(car accidents) in the last few years.I am just starting on line marketing.Your example is very motivating. Marie ,Thank you. Richard.

  163. Morin Lam

    Hi Marie! I absolutely love and adore your personality. Two of my friends were at the DotCom Xpo in CT this past weekend and saw you. I love being an entrepreneur and your videos has helped me out tremendously! Also, I wanted to share some great products with you. I haven’t been sick in over 2 years (haven’t had a cold, flu, stomach virus etc) and for people who get sick, can heal within 2-3 days. These natural supplements are delicious and 100% absorbable which gets to work immediately. Please check out I’d love to meet and learn from you one day!

  164. BEST POST EVER! So far. Okay, all your posts are tell-it-like-is-genius… you just have a way of putting your honest self out there and speaking to the heart. Thank you for always being so candid and professional at the same time!

  165. wow, your insight is truly going to help my life in general not just my business, thank you so so much.

    Kindest, Lizzie

  166. YES! Upper Limits sounds like a ski slope that is a double black diamond and cold sweat pours down your back. I have been there and it is worth the technical difficulty. Once you ski the slope a few times you advance your skill! Its neurological reprograming!

  167. Markisha Sloan

    OMG! I knew “it” was called something. I thought I was crazy.. I have often said, to myself of course, “Why doest it seem every time that I get so close or even right there I do something dumb to mess it up.” I usually procrastinate…. need I say more. I am happy and relieved to have found a diagnosis (LOL) for my ailment.. ! Thanks so much for your site Marie and your incite too….

  168. Thanks for the lovely lively article on our upper limit. One of my friend call it a DNA upgrade. I like to think of a way to deal with it as an integration of a new level of happiness, love, abundance. Stay with it is my moto. The urge to go down is so tempting. Getting use to the higher plateau is the thrill.

  169. Patanisha

    My mother always said when you get sick “outta of the Blue” to get excited, it’s your Angels rewiring you to a higher frequency to receive more… this sounds exactly the same. My first email and pretty damn cool content, thanks Marie!

  170. Judi

    Just exactly what I needed to read right now. It helps to find an understanding of the down turn in my spirit. I get it. As I have started to become more open, more has been coming. Sometimes I am so amazed and stunned that it seems surreal, very new, very scary. I can see how to move past the self sabotage now.

  171. Aminah

    This is a great post, thank you so much everything that your doing!

  172. Marie,
    Thank you for sharing this story. This has been one of my biggest challenges, but I’m now realizing this and finally willing to embrace all the joy and abundance I deserve. I am now open to receive financial abundance and loving relationships in my life. And so it is. Amen.

  173. You Go Marie, shatter those limits! Glad you are feeling better and can turn a miserable week into an inspiring lesson for the rest of us. It is so true how that happens. Our bodies physically react when we get uncomfortable with new experiences and can sabotage great opportunities. I´m glad you didn´t let it sabotage yours. I think awareness is one of our greatest assets. Keep on keeping on right on through girl!

  174. Neurological re-programming, DNA updating….its all good. Its like when you are driving a car and shift gears. For a moment, the gears separate then lock back into the higher speed. I seem to lose things during this shift time….. keys, phone numbers, ipod, etc. That’s my clue that I’m shifting. Also, in spiritual practice, high fever and knock-you-out yucky stuff is sometimes called a “spiritual crisis”. Once you acknowledge it, it goes away!

    p.s. lost my ipod this morning, hmmm…..

  175. You are totally reading my mail right now! I’ve got some pretty serious momentum going and BOOM! Injured my calf and out of work (group x instructor), recovering from an argument with my husband and feel like I’m totally out of the game! Thank you for this excellent article. I am so encouraged! I have been rockin’ the same strategy you suggested instead of beating myself up. Good to hear that I’m oh so close to more love, more impact, and more life! xoxo

  176. phoenix

    Awesome ~ Marie! What a wonderful reminder to not stay tied to our old limited selves and go for our fullest in life!

  177. Laura

    I´ve done this before. I got a great job making lots of $, extra $, which I think was my downfall because I didn´t have a plan for the extra cash that was rolling in. Now it´s gone, ho-hum! I´m learning! Thanks for your insight, its great to be part of this community. Laura

  178. Kshama

    Marie, This is so useful but I have a question. What if you do make that stupid impulsive decision, have that awful fight with your SO and then fight again and again and again. How do you forgive yourself, how do you let go of that awful fear?
    What do you do to start making things right, that you’ve totally messed up for a few years now.

    OMG, you are a god send Marie, or should I say universe send. I so need you and your awesome wisdom in my life right now

    • Hi Kahama….I am encouraged your question because from the asking will come the answer. You started by noticing something is not working for you just as Marie did. Have you ever tried Tapping. The FREE Tapping World Summit is starting very soon. It changed my life to learn the simple self applied tools. I am not affiliated, just inspired by it. Here is a link. I hope you are inspired too! If that does not work Google 2014 Tapping World Summit to sign up for free.

  179. Ty

    Talk about learning the deal with the reactive mind. Though I never understood it, recognizing when I was about to sabotage a good thing coming was my M. O. Thank you for helping to identify this upper limit and how to put it in check.

  180. Thank you for this insight Marie. I realised I had a massive ULP episode similar to what you described. In my case, the drama was serious. I just opened a new business which was taking off nicely. It was a huge step for me. But I had an underlying clotting disorder I didn’t know about, even though I am a doctor and I recognised the symptoms multiple times. But I always laughed it off. Then, I had a lung clot the day before inspection of my clinic was about to happen, to give me the big licence to do treatments I wanted to do. Big deal it was in every way. The night before I ended up in hospital with excrutiating pain in my lungs, and needing intravenous morphine to settle the pain. However, I managed to convince the staff at the hospital that it must be just a pneumonia and I pleaded with them to let me go so I could keep the appointment with the inspectors. They let me go, never diagnosing me correctly. Two weeks later, I suffered 3 more lung clots and suffice to say that 4 years later, I am still quite disabled. It initiated the spiral of constant medication, uncontrollable asthma, huge weight gain from steroid medication, inability to diet or exercise ( I used to be a very active person before), me losing all my friends (not many people want to hang around when you are no longer fun), losing my looks, and I can no longer work as a doctor because of fragile helath. My only hope was that doctors said that in 10 years I should be as good as new.
    I totally identified with what you said about ULP. Having gone through a very difficult childhood, being a refugee, working so hard to get somewhere in life, I neglected myself and I freaked out right when things were going to go really good for me. But I won’t maje the same mistake again. Thank you though, for clearing it up.

  181. This is something I have to check in with every day. I go to bed every night counting my blessings (even things that haven’t happened yet). Sometimes it takes up to an hour to get through all I’m grateful for and, usually, my body is buzzing by the end of it and I have a smile on my face as I fade off to sleep. It reminds me that ALL things are possible and I AM making it happen (and already have in my mind) as long as I keep my belief and take those well needed breaks. I also take nature walks daily, do pilates 3x/week, and practice Byron Katie’s self-inquiry whenever stumbling blocks cross my mind to keep those limiting beliefs and “seeming” setbacks from stopping me.

  182. Thank you, Marie, you are “giving back.” You have made my day! My sister sent me an email this morning that lead me here to Upper Body Limit. I am enthralled with your knowledge, wit, and writing style. Step Two in your advice: Start NOW to love where you are, what you are doing, and the people around you. From that place one opens up to what can be possible. Sometimes when I am looking out my west window at the sun setting over Colorado mountain peaks, I cry, because at that moment I’ve passed all limitations. It’s hard to contain the free beauty, and the free love I am willing to have for myself, and for others in my life who just happen to be around right now.

  183. bernie

    hi marie
    its so laughable (on a good day) isnt it to realise that that is what it is . thankyou for sharing . im reading gay hendricks book “conscious loving’ at the moment and he grought the ULP to my attention. learning to let go of alot of limiting beliefs i have to increase that ceiling! lol bernie x

  184. WOW! That is all I can say!…. I have definitely suffered this and just thought to myself “just when things were going GREAT in my life, I sabotaged my relationship and lost the great things in mylife… But I can gladly say that I am even better now and so glad I read this before heading down destruction mode again… THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for sharing! XO

  185. This is a great article for people who are lucky enough to be normally healthy. (Don’t take it for granted, you are DAMN lucky!)

    Could you consider doing a post on what to do if you are chronically disabled?

    Thank you.

  186. Hi, Marie! I first heard of you when I saw your interview with Richard Branson. Man! I have to say I was jealous as can be (a very unusual feeling for me) for I would love to be part of his inner circle (actually I have sent Virgin a business idea and am waiting to see what happens). Anyway, the reason I am sending this is to share with you something that I have been doing for about 10 months and I have seen the results in my life. It is called Holosynch and it is amazing. The goal is to heighten one’s stress threshold so that one can deal with life’s situation more appropriately. Obviously, all the “stressful” things will continue to happen, but your ability to face or deal with them will be completely changed and one will certainly start to live a better life. It is highly technological and scientific stuff that will improve your ability and results of one’s meditation sessions. I think it is worth checking it out at Have a good one

  187. Me again! The reason I mentioned Holosynch is because during the program one may experience temporary upheaval, emotional turmoil, physical symptoms, etc. This is all due to the growth one will experience and that will stir things up. So far I haven’t experienced much discomfort, but I may as I progress with the program, which is rather long for it will cause literal changes in one’s brain as far as causing it to bring the two hemispheres to synchronize so that one will become a more integral individual. It is serious business, no bull.

  188. WOW… looks like this post is timeless!!! I have been searching physically, emotionally and spiritually why some things have been happening in my life. This article HITS the NAIL on the head!!!!!
    The day before I was going to an event to showcase my new products, bam… I injured my back and was immobilized for 2 months, fast forward 3 months, still healing. Now, 3 weeks ago same thing happened to my poor dog and now he is paralyzed. Last month I was able to go on site to a job and got horribly sick (as described above!!) during the shoot!!! I could not return… I’m thinking, “WHAT the heck is going on???”
    Even with all that, I really haven’t stopped to take that down time. I keep pushing… OK, I AM getting the message. This message has come from friends, family, spiritual aspects and now “by chance” (NOT) reading your blog from 2 years ago. This is a BIG upper limit… I’ve had them before, not realizing what that was and got thru it. I’m baffled at this one!!! Trying not to have the “why me?” syndrome for sure!!!
    I am blocking off my schedule next week and will take inventory of what lies ahead and get ready for new and exciting things with a much needed change in how I’m currently running around like a chicken with its head cut off!
    Thank you!!!

  189. Elisa

    HUh, I would have never of guessed that. I have been ridiculously sick for 3 weeks and I am finally starting to feel better but You can bet that I powered through it for those 3 weeks! Now I feel like a dummy for not resting! I am ready for some good BIG changes, I think I am 2 hurdles away from embracing all the goodness. 1-taking advice from non clients, when I want to help the people looking for help!
    2-feeling bad about something that seems to weave in and out of my head, for weeks, manifesting itself in lots of different memories, emotions!

  190. Nema

    Reading your words made me smile, dear sister. I am just in the middle of a huge wave… This morning one of my spiritual guide reminded me: Relax! Let the update happen! I love when they talk 21st century language with me. May the love flow into whatever we touch.

  191. Natalie

    “…strap in for the ride, baby.” lol Don’t hold back, Marie…tell us like it is!! I love it. Thank you, thank you, thank you. for explaining upper limit to me (gonna check out Gay’s book and read it, tho), and for being such an inspiring role model.

    I just ‘met’ you via an interview with Jessica Ortner, at The Tapping Solution. Looking forward to more from you as well as more growth for me (-; Cheers!

  192. Hey there!
    I absolutely LOVE this post and your take on the ULP is one that needed to be heard! Our bodies have a very funny way of telling us what is wrong, and are smart enough to heal themselves when we allow them to. I am also so happy to hear your thoughts on having the self belief that having “A Shit bunch” of love and happiness in our lives is OK- there is no threshold! Thanks so much all of your insight- I appreciate your NYC attitude, and though I am LOVING the sunshine in my new home on the West Coast, I need a little dose of my old city every now and then 🙂
    Love and light!
    – Amanda Alimo


    Thank you again for your wonderful insight into MY HEAD!

    I have always been “self-sabotaging” and right before I met with success – I would quit! This time I told myself I was not going to let that happen – I am going FULL STEAM AHEAD and when I get those feelings – I will know what to do!

    Thanks again – YOU ARE AWESOME! I know I am about 20 years older than you – but “when I grow up” I want to be JUST LIKE YOU!


  194. The first time I ever owned a new sports car I took my friend Peter for a spin. When we got back to his house, I parked out front and looked at him and said, “I just can’t believe it’s mine!” Then I took my foot off the clutch without taking it out of first and the car lunged forward as the back of the flatbed truck parked in front of us flew halfway up the front hood of my new car folding it up like an accordion. I looked at Peter in shock and he just said, “I’d get rid of that thought if I were you.” Lesson learned!

  195. Ana

    It all makes sense until you get to the sickness thing. I mean, it could well be self-sabotage but you didn’t deliberately set out to make yourself sick, right? It was beyond your control. How are you possibly going to control whether or not to get a stomach virus?

    I got an especially nasty bout of pneumonia just when I had started a new job that would have given me just the level of security I needed to get my business off the ground. I lost the job because of the illness, which led my economic life into a downward spiral that 3 years later I’m still trying to get out of.

    Sorry, Marie. I can’t relate to getting sick being “self-sabotage.” Unless you’re really not taking care of yourself, you can’t help every bug you get — serious or not.

  196. Meg

    Thanks so much for sharing! Proof that Mother Nature always knows best. One way or another she will slow us down when we need it, make us work harder when we can, and make us stronger when she sees that we have room for strengthening!

  197. Answering “How good can you stand it?” is as important as fixing other mental blocks. Great article!

  198. Ivy

    That is so what happened to me. I was realizing that everyone in my life has been controlling me. I felt relief in finding that being the youngest child came with “you can’t because your to young”, “you can’t because they want to do this”, “you can’t because what ever”. Then I got mad, starting arguing and allowed them to have the control back. The next day I had a cold, short of breath, stomach problem. You are my new mentor.

  199. Jana Carrey

    Yeah. I’m busting through one right now! Or did this past week with starting B School. I got the worst PMS and my body bloated up out of no wher a few days B School started. (the same thing happened when I started grad school…hmmmmm). I was a physical and emotionally a bit off to say the least. A few things got my little tushie back in gear (the B School Q & A on Thursday was a great reality check), I took a Byron Katie approach to my feeling like crap – and got out of myself and just asked how can I be of service – and just decided to take myself less seriously and lighten up! Yesterday I was feeling better, laughing, proud to be on the B School train, listening to the audios while stuck in traffic (never loved traffic so much b/c it was Marie time!), hiking at Griffith Park and giving my friend slamming insights about how to break through her creative blocks. Thank you for this! (And I do love me some vampires and men in tights as my guilty pleasure too – 🙂 AMEN SISTA!

    Speaking of which. I’m going back to B – School homework RIGHT NOW!

  200. WOW! Such a great post. This shit does happen to all of us. I’ve read about self-sabotaging behavior before but hadn’t realized it in myself YET. But thankfully I am slowing becoming aware of it. And once awareness sets in, it’s that much easier to recognize it and squash it before it takes complete control over you.

  201. Love this post! This has really made me rethink my extremely inconvenient migraines that keep popping up, with no known cause.

  202. I’ve been experiencing the same thing recently in my life. I get on a roll and then I end up doing something I know isn’t good for me and sabotaging myself. This really helped me clarify my thoughts with what’s going on right now, and for that I’m thankful!

  203. Stranded until 2:30am an hour away from home, the night before an early photo shoot for my first published interview….and such has been the past year of my life 🙂 I am learning to look at these as training sessions rather than “the world is against me” (although it feels that way!) moments.

    Learning to thrive under pressure is vital to operating a business. I say roll with the punches…don’t quit, just improve your padding!

  204. elizabeth

    This is so timely and on-point. Spot on diagnosis. Really really helpful for me to read today, Marie. Thank you so much. :):):)

    • Goodness gracious! Marie, you have just opened my eyes to my inconsistent behaviour towards success… What great value! I’ve got some re-thinking to do

  205. SM

    Right on, Marie! Let us all expand our limits and take that Big Leap!

  206. Amazingly great article, Marie.

    Thank you very much for your useful article and I am deeply glad that you have overcome it once and for all. congratulation to you.

    Agreeable that awareness is the first step to any wisdom. Follow by action to make thing happens.


  207. It’s exactly what i experienced – on three separate occasions when i was about to ‘speak my absolute truth’ to someone, a huge risk with a huge payback of expanding in a new and uplifting direction. I got sick, nauseated, cold or flu, and almost car accident! (the trembling after the close-call stayed with me all day).
    And i KNEW the moment I started feeling this stuff that it was because I was about to take on the world in a new way…the excitement in me was overpowering and my little body wasn’t ready to contain all of this without burning-out!!!

    Your discovery of this and explanation (albeit from your situation – everyone’s is a bit different) confirmed for me what I suspected.

    When i was on my way to those ‘talks’, I almost drove myself home again saying: “Anna, maybe you aren’t really ready for this. Maybe you aren’t up to it. You don’t have to do it. This is your body telling you it’s not the right thing to do.” Well, how confusing is that? A message of “I can’t wait to do this” and a message of “take care of yourself” – conflicting. Who do I listen to?

    I remember what I had gone through in the days leading up to this day (these three different days) and recalled my decisions to take this on…to make this happen. I knew I was ready. I didn’t understand why I was getting the physical symptoms. I thought I wasn’t taking good care of myself…but I really was. I was on the right path…and I realized that this right path is going to have stuff on it that doesn’t only come from within ME. It will have stuff on it along the way from the Universe – a vast entity much more loaded than I am! I will accept what comes, but still stay true to my resolve and original direction…and take it head on…see what happens. Turns out that I was able and ‘then some’ to taken on the talk I was heading to. I nailed it. I stayed sick after it was done, but I still nailed it and felt better the next day. So, butterflies? Burn out? Over-excitement? Upper Limit is an awesome way to describe this!!! Thank you for the thought-confirming article.!!

    • veronica

      i love what you wrote, i believe we need to learn how to deal with it, its great to go for it etc but when these “things come up” what to do? great sharing thanks

  208. Oh heck yeah, I know that feeling.
    I had a massive migraine headache last Monday right after starting B-School!!
    That thing came out of nowhere, knocked me out the whole day.


  209. Claudia

    OMG… I never understood what was happening to me until now.
    It’s what always happens to me, but because I’m also a hypochondriac my worries about the physical things that pop up worry me so much that these things hang around for months sometimes. And it keeps coming back, every single time I’ve stretched myself or overstretched myself. Sometimes making it unable to enjoy what I’ve just achieved.
    But now I understand so I’ll read the book the Big Leap and hopefully next time I can break the cycle.
    Thanks Marie, you’ve been changing my life for a while now with your videos and those have led me to Gabrielle Bernstein, Kate Northrup, Mastin etc… You’re my power posse!

  210. nolii

    Thank you so much for solving a year long mystery for me. I had no idea what was really happening. One long year of crazy is culminating this week with the worst allergies/sinus infection/earache I’ve ever had. I will definitely pass your post along to my friends!

  211. I blog quite often and I genuinely thank you for your information.
    This great article has truly peaked my interest.
    I will take a note of your website and keep checking for new details about once per week.

    I subscribed to your RSS feed as well.

  212. I’d never heard of upper limit problem! So interesting. Thanks for sharing this post and I hope you’re feeling better now and are ready to continue your success and take on the world xx

  213. veronica

    Currently experiencing one big time! this is such a common pb yet its difficult to explain to others, for me its mainly about either being super exhausted like needing to sleep and stop doing whatever is that makes me move forward when i am experiencing a shift or it can also be having my periods (like when i’m not supposed to have them) or money gets short or belly “concerns”, this week i have been moving forward on different levels i started to run (first time of my life), to get my diet super clean, to meet new people, to work big time on my money issues, etc so great then omg! this furious need to sleep and sleep and sleep and rest and be quiet and not go out and cancel everything i am doing! this is so annoying until I start to not judge myself and to breathe into it, i’m fed up with it to be honest but maybe its time i look into it for real like for finding solutions because this is really blocking me big time, well i believe so, great topic Marie!

  214. O-M-G!!! Yes! The brakes aren’t always (or even usually) within me, it’s everything around me. And then, overwhelmed with it all, I engage my environment in all the self-debilitating ways you mentioned and wind up sick. Totally gotta read The Big Leap. Uber-grateful to my friend and “schoolmate” for putting me on to this.

    It’s about to go down.
    *shoulder dancing…and singing…uh-huh…this is happening…shoulder dancing* 0_o almost stubbed my toe but I was on ULP alert. Take that Universe!

  215. Kellie Cathey

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this amazing and simple explanation of exactly what I am going through! I am putting ULP alert on high!

  216. Barbara AK Franklin

    Yes. I’m 99% through with a book I think will help a lot of people, it’s written and rewritten and all but ready to go, and I even have someone to help me publish and publicize it, and I have done everything else I “had to do first because of timing,” and there is nothing more standing in my way. SO NATURALLY I have totally run out of money, and gotten really sick (after the election of course) with a bad cold that has now turned into sinusitis. If this is not an ULP, I don’t know what else to call it. Really need some help with this!!! Am going to read and re-read this blog for starters.

  217. Love this post! I recently got hired for the job of my dreams and got sick to my stomach for a few days following the meeting. I got so scared! But this article helped so much! I feel better too! Thank you to you and your team!

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      I’m so glad this post helped, Callie! Congrats on landing your dream job! 🙂

  218. Marie,
    I am currently experiencing the biggest ‘Upper Limit’ problem of my life …

    I too have read ‘The Big Leap’ multiple times by Gay Hendricks, actually, ironically enough I just completed it a few days ago .. And here is an article reminding me of what is going on in my life.

    As a regular 9 to 5’er for the last 35 years of my life, I have studied, interviewed and been mentored by, some of the greatest minds of our time. I decided to bust loose at age 35 after suffering from major Anxiety … I do mean major.! It allowed me to see that is not who I truly am, I decided to track down and interview people who I thought were unreachable !! Much to the outrage of my Anxiety – It turned up the heat and tried to cripple me 🙂

    Now 4 years after commencing my BIG QUESTIONS JOURNEY, I have the credentials, insurance, knowledge, real world experience and the network, to bust loose for good…. But for some reason (that is bigger than all of us), I cannot seem to put a clear plan in place, to show others how to break free from a mind that only restricts your individual brilliance… !!

    I am now a personal brand like yourself … I study and adore Wayne Dyer, Tony Robbins, Brendon Burchard, Yourself and Mooji the amazing Spiritual Soul.
    The clouds of frustration seem to lift momentarily, but then close back in when a breakthrough is imminent… Bringing back the vicious cycle of frustration !
    I have applied the upper limit technique multiple times, reclaimed my power consciously in each moment.

    I know that simply declaring this upper limit problem to the world, means that I am setting my intention to reclaim it and move beyond it !!

    It is time to step into the shoes that were designed for me… (as it is your other readers also)

    Thanks for the article and the shining light 🙂
    Troy Devine

  219. Raymond

    We are spiritual beings living in a physical world. Progress is made much faster through the spirit first. There will be a delay before the physical body catches up to the spiritual changes.

  220. Marie!
    This is exactly what I needed to hear. I’m in a wonderful relationship with a loving man, we both work from home so we’re about to travel to work from Mexico for two months, I’ve lost weight recently, and I’m about to finally present my life’s purpose/message in the form of a podcast in a couple days. Lately, I’ve been started to self-sabotage and I didn’t realize until tonight. Right away I knew it was an upper limit thing. So I googled. And alas… I found your article. It’s right on the money. One giant serving of upper-limit issues to go please. Yep… time to get the sludge hammer our and bust outta here. 😉

    Thank you <3 xo

  221. Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting your experience!! I am going through this right now myself. I am in the process of seeing my dreams and visions coming to fruition. I got this sinus, tonsillitis, ear infection and cough that won’t go away and of course, I have a speaking event this Saturday!! Today is my rest day from working too much and taking care of aging parents. Glad to hear that you’re feeling better. “This too shall pass”

  222. I’ve been feeling like dog crap for more than a month now and took a turn for the worse again after exporting my first documentary film. Then I remembered your episode about this. Thank you for the blog. I’ll give myself permission to watch the last two episodes of Outlander that I haven’t even watched yet and the season ended two weeks ago!

  223. So funny not long after reading the beginning of this while undergoing big changes in my career/mindset/business I got really sick with three cold sores…interesting! The article helped. Feeling better but trying to be low key for a bit. Really trying to recoup to the fullest degree.

  224. Nice reading his story.

  225. Great stuff. Thanks. I’ve been wondering for some time why I run away from success. This answers part of that question.

  226. Savannah

    Did anyone get this while going through a wedding/getting married? Please share! I feel like I am going through this now, just got married a month ago!

  227. Mary Beth Sasso

    WOW! Glad you’re back and that you for sharing I only thought that stuff happens to me. Interesting when I look back on events in my life I guess it’s sort of a sabotage thing. I had spring break last week and I decide to take care of myself and felt really good so this week I had to deal with some shit and guess what I did it without getting faked out because like you say…It’s figureoutable! Thank you

    B-School rocks!

  228. Totally relate! Was reminded years ago I would keep keep going & override so super conscious now to schedule time for TLC. More importantly, be spontaneous and free when things come up to take a day & give love. This happened two days ago. Noticed esp when I take massive action – last week was amazing – and calling in abundance & freedom in alignment with faith, feeling & focus that shifts happen,

  229. Thank you Marie.
    It hurts me to say this, but I have an Upper Limit Problem.
    The good news is I now understand what is happening a bit better.

    • Julia - Team Forleo

      Paul, you are SO not alone! We’ve all experienced this at some point or another in our lives, and understanding this about yourself/your patterns is a huge step in the right direction. We really hope this helped, and you may also want to check out this episode of MarieTV:

  230. I’m launching a COVID-19 relief startup in the middle of COVID-19. I’ve never really started a company before, and I’m totally out of my depth. Surrounded by experts super excited to share their wealth of experience and ideas, supported by unusually talented individuals volunteering their time until the money kicks in, and fast-tracking everything to market at a rate way beyond normal—according to my mentors. And then it hit me. I’m a loser. I’m a poser. I’m utterly inadequate, everything I’m doing will fail and bring harm and humiliation to everyone involved, and the world will be better off if I shut it down now or give it away. But then I read about ULPs, and this article gives me a little hope. There’s a pattern here I’ve kind of seen my whole life, but I honestly thought it was simply my own inability to function properly. You’ve helped me engage hope again. Thank you.

    • Kristina - Team Forleo

      Hi, Isaac! What a beautiful idea you have to build a business to help bring relief during these challenging times. You absolutely can do this, and you’re definitely not a loser in any way. We’re thrilled that this article helped you, and you might also like this MarieTV episode:

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