Are You On Track To Achieve Your Goals So Far This Year? (Part 2)

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In this recent post, I explored some ideas to help you understand why you may not be quite on track toward achieving your goals this year.  In this blog, I’ll offer some ideas for how you can transcend self-created interference and begin some new success habits.


Let go of the old fears and shift your focus to support your success.  Neuroscience, deeper self awareness and coaching are three ways to help you re-set  your “Upper Limits” and break through your own glass ceiling.


From neuroscience we know that the brain is hard wired to keep us safe. It’s the brain’s job.  Going too far past our internal glass ceiling, as desirable as it may seem, presents scary results. We may fail, screw things up, alienate others, embarrass ourselves and go further than we know our abilities can handle.  We convince ourselves that if we hold ourselves back, we will be safer and set a limit for how far we can go and rationalize that we will settle for that.  With the brain, safety trumps our attention over pleasure on a 5:1 ratio.  It’s hard to enjoy your life if you don’t survive it first.  This means retraining your brain to more rational decisions about what are or are not safe upper limits, otherwise your brain will work against your efforts.


The Enneagram personality system shows how we develop a belief system starting way back into our childhood that we weren’t aware of at the time.  Each personality type is prone to being sensitive to emotional issues that don’t feel comfortable or safe but are not consciously dealt with.  Our personality kicks in with strategies to adapt and deal with this discomfort.  This contributes to us developing strategies for staying safe, and  stuck in a way of behaving that is often very useful, just not always  Often the core concern of our personality structure is at the heart of our upper limit story.

Below is a quick reference of each Enneagram types motivations and concerns*.  Understanding our underlying patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving is why it is so liberating to learn about our Enneagram type.

Ones | “There’s always a right way to be.”
Twos | “I must make myself indispensable to others.”
Threes | “The world values winners and ridicules or ignores failures.”
Fours | “I am intrinsically lacking, deficient, flawed, and missing something.”
Fives | “I have to constantly guard against utter depletion.”
Sixes | “I can’t trust myself and have to doubt everything to feel safe.”
Sevens | “I’m here to excite and energize everyone and must have every option available.”
Eights | “The world is divided into the strong and the weak; I must be among the strong.”
Nines | “It’s more important to be nice and agreeable than to be true to myself.”

As Gay Hendricks says, “If you want to eliminate your Upper Limit Problem—if you will make a commitment to clearing it out of your consciousness—you’re more than halfway there.”


Sevens want stimulation, excitement, and options.  They also want to avoid discomfort and pain.  To illustrate, an Ennea 7 Sales Manager I coached held an upper limit story that if he took the promotion being offered to him, he would have too much responsibility and work longer hours that would cut into his off hours hobbies.  He wanted the respect and earnings that would go with the role, but he was anxious about having to give up his play time in order to succeed.   Instead of turning the promotion down, we debunked what was, and was not true about his Upper Limit story.  He realized that taking a bigger role did not have to mean working harder.  He would need to learn to be more strategic about using his time and become a better delegator.   He took the promotion and after a few months of sorting things out is succeeding in his role and his after work activities.


The Upper Limit Problem can be resolved by creating a new set of beliefs, albeit, those are hard to create.  Because we are wired to protect ourselves, a skilled coach can provide us with ways to “clear out our consciousness” and draw out our self limiting beliefs.  A coach can help to create new habits and redefine a new threshold to our upper limits.

*Enneagram descriptions written by Ginger Lapid-Bodga,

It is still early in 2016 and success is not defined by one month.  If you are already sensing you could get off track, give these ideas a good look.  A little inner work can go a long way toward attaining your outer success.

Are you on track to achieve your goals this year? Tell us below!

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