Gay Hendricks – The Big Leap – Finding Your Zone of Genius 

Every so often with this podcast I speak to someone that has changed things so fundamentally for me, that I can literally mark it as a day in the calendar.

Today is one of those conversations.

It all started a few years ago when a book arrived through the post from two people I respect very deeply.

Now when two people send you a book, with a note saying ‘you should read this’. It’s usually a pretty clear sign from the universe that you have something to learn.

So I did what you would expect. I put it on my bookshelf and ignored it for six months.

When I did finally pull it down to read, true to prediction, it was as if that book had been written for me.

That book was called ‘The Big Leap’ by my guest today Gay Hendricks.

The Big Leap basically describes a phenomenon known as The Upper Limit Problem. Where we all have a limit on how much success and love we’re willing to let into our lives – kind of like an inner thermostat setting. 

Exceed the limit and we start to self sabotage, burn out, play small and create situations that make us unable to move from our Zone of Competence (where we are comfortable but unfulfilled) into our Zone of Genius (the truest and most powerful expression of who you). 

So I made a commitment. I would read The Big Leap every morning for 15 minutes and continue to do so until I felt a shift in my own upper limits.

Did things change immediately? No. 

Did I start to feel my grip and attachment to the limitations I had set on my own existence slowly begin to loosen? Yes.

Has it fundamentally changed how I monitor and continually reset my own internal thermostat for the level at which I show up? Absolutely.

Today’s Guest 

Gay Hendricks has been a leader in the fields of relationship transformation and bodymind therapies for more than 45 years. After earning his Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Stanford, he served as professor of Counseling Psychology at the University of Colorado for over 21 years. 

In that time he has written more than 40 books, including bestsellers such as Five Wishes, The Big Leap and Conscious Living (another book I wholeheartedly recommend) all of which are now used as primary texts in universities around the world. 

Gay conducts seminars worldwide and has appeared on more than 500 radio and television shows, including OPRAH, CNN, CNBC and many, many others.

LinkedIn :



You’ll Learn

  • The Upper Limit Problem – what it is, how it works and the 4 hidden barriers that trigger it. Including why Gay sees it at play at every level of accomplishment, from award winning musicians to Fortune 500 CEO’s.
  • The Zone of Excellence vs. the Zone of Genius – the best way to think about this one is how we feel when doing what we’re great at, but not necessarily passionate about, versus what brings us alive.
  • The concept of ‘Ally Thinking’ – why most of us make poor allies to ourselves and how to stop talking to ourselves like a failed DIY project.
  • Why 85% of what we hear as children is negative and how to rewrite that script for ourselves and the children in our lives.
  • Finally, the difference between being a ‘victim’ of time vs. the ‘source’ of time. For anyone that feels like you’re constantly being chased by the clock, this one is for you.

As an influencer or trailblazer in any field you are going to get stuck at some point. Caught in the wilderness between what got you here – and what you know will get you where you want to go.

Here’s the rub – it doesn’t matter how far along your journey you are. Believe me.

When that happens we usually have two choices. 

We can either continue to fight for our limitations. Fight for all the reasons and stories that justify why we’re not able to make our next Big Leap, why it can’t be us, why we don’t have time, why our situation and circumstance count us out.

Or, we can find and slowly begin to unstitch the Upper Limits of our thinking.

This book and this conversation reminded me which battlefield I want to show up on.

References and links mentioned

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