Only two weeks to the July bar exam. Will our 2013 graduates take the big leap?
My business coach recommended that I read, The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks, which suggests ways to conquer your hidden fear that prevents you from keeping and enjoying greater love, financial abundance, increasing success, and more creative energy. You can find more information at http://www.thebigleap.net/
Hendricks is a psychologist, writer, and practitioner in the field of personal growth, relationships, and the mind-body connection. He has written 25 books, taught at University of Colorado, has a consulting business, and graduated from Stanford University.
The Upper Limit Problem
He uses the term “Upper Limit Problem” to identify our tendency to follow great leaps forward on all these dimensions with big mess-ups. We subconsciously use the mess-ups to keep us in our comfort zone when increasing success is taking us to new areas of personal growth and happiness. “The Upper Limit Problem is our universal human tendency to sabotage ourselves when we have exceeded the artificial upper limit we have placed on ourselves.”
We are not hard-wired to allow ourselves to maintain happiness and success as the default setting. We must consciously choose thoughts and behaviors that enhance positive emotions and support growth, while monitoring for the inclination to engage in self-defeating behaviors.
Our bar exam takers are facing this subconscious peril to their ongoing success. So, please read on. Here are a couple of examples.
“You’re feeling close to your love partner. Perhaps sitting together quietly, sipping a glass of your favorite wine. Seemingly out of nowhere, an argument sparks into a flame. The close feelings disappear; you’re embroiled in a conflict that stretches into hours or maybe even days.” You have just sabotaged good feelings and deeper intimacy.
President Bill Clinton created his own Upper Limit Problem. He served at a time of peace and budget surpluses. But, in the end he faced impeachment and public disgrace. His relationship with Monica Lewinsky was a self-sabotaging expression of his inability to enjoy fully his success and his place in history.
Four Hidden Barriers
Hendricks then describes the “Four Hidden Barriers” that lead to the Upper Limit Problem. The Four Hidden Barriers reflect fear and false belief. You may subconsciously take one or more of them as true and real and allow it to limit your personal growth. They are:
- I cannot expand into my full creative genius because something is fundamentally wrong with me. Given that I am fundamentally flawed (or wrong or bad), how can I possibly be this happy, rich, and creative? Good things do not happen to bad people.
- I cannot extend to my full success because it would cause me to end up all alone, be disloyal to my roots, and leave behind people from my past. It’s disloyal to my roots to soar too far into the stratosphere.
- I cannot expand into my highest potential because I’d be an even bigger burden than I am now.
- I must not expand to my full success, because if I did I would outshine _______________ and make him or her look or feel bad. Instead, I need to dim the bright lights of my brilliance.
I suspect that many of our law grads, especially those with working class backgrounds, may struggle with the second Hidden Barrier. Women law grads may also struggle with the last Hidden Barrier. I know I do.
I don’t have the space to provide examples of each. But you can listen to Hendricks for additional insights at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k04MEXjnCbE (27 minute coaching session) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vqterautik0 (25 minute interview).
Identifying and understanding our own hidden barrier frees new energy in us to achieve abundance, love, and creativity. He recommends that you watch for the expression of these fears as they translate into behaviors that keep you from growth and happiness. Some tell-tale signs include:
- Worrying about things you have no control to change;
- Criticizing other people or yourself;
- Blaming other people or yourself;
- Deflecting compliments that come your way;
- Squabbling and arguing;
- Getting sick or injured;
- Everything that brings you pain and suffering.
Peril to Our Bar Exam Takers
Our law school graduates have already had great success. They got admitted to law school. They survived three years of rigorous training. Now, they must take an exam to be able to develop more competency, excellence, and then expertise (or genius). The exam is the next leap to more success, happiness, and creativity. So, how do bar exam takers keep themselves from moving to this next step in personal growth?
- They don’t study enough.
- They don’t study appropriately.
- They plan weddings or buy new houses or engage in other activities that distract them from the required task.
- They get drunk the night before the exam.
- They fail to do a pre-exam run-through so they know how to get to the exam site and how long it will take to get there.
- They walk in to the exam with a prohibited item.