I'm Nicole!

5/1 Emotional Manifesting Generator, Peak-performance Coach, Human Design expert, and Gene Keys Guide

hey there!

Get Your Free Human Design Chart

Gimme that

TOp categories


Breaking Through Your Upper Limits

Episode 246

Today, Nicole shares with us a challenge that many entrepreneurs face but seldom overcome: the Upper Limit Problem. Whether you’re battling to break through to your next level, hustling to find your flow, or aiming to scale new heights of success, this episode promises to shed light on the invisible barriers that may be holding you back.

Nicole explores the Upper Limit Problem through the lens of Gay Hendricks’ influential work, “The Big Leap,” providing listeners with a comprehensive understanding of how self-sabotage can manifest in four distinct ways. But it wouldn’t be an episode of this podcast if Nicole didn’t intertwine the principles of Human Design, EFT, and NLP to offer a unique perspective on overcoming these self-imposed limits. By examining the intricate relationship between human design and the Upper Limit Problem, Nicole offers a roadmap to recognizing and dismantling the internal glass ceilings that limit our potential.

You’ll learn more about how it might present in your life and the steps you can take to address it. This episode is an invitation to become an unshakeable entrepreneur by overcoming the fears and limiting beliefs that stifle growth and success.


Find out more about the membership community for Human Design enthusiasts. A space I’ve carefully curated to give you EVERYTHING you need to accelerate your understanding of Human Design and take daily action to become the most authentic, unshakeable you. Find out more and sign up now at nicolelaino.com/lab.

Learn more about your Human Design and get your full chart for free. Click here to get your free chart.

Be sure to visit nicolelaino.com/podcastlinks for all of the current links to events, freebies, and more! 

If you enjoyed this week’s episode, I’d so appreciate you doing a few things for me: 

  1. Please subscribe to the podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotify, or wherever you listen!
  2. Rate and review the podcast on Apple Podcasts
  3. Tag me @nicolelainoofficial on your IG stories with a story of you listening to the podcast and I’ll make sure to share your post! 

Interested in learning more about working with me?Click here to learn more about how we can work together. 


  Welcome to Unshakeable with Human Design, the show dedicated to helping entrepreneurs use human design to shift from hustle to flow without sacrificing results. Come here to become an unshakeable human and build an unshakeable business according to your human design. I’m your host, Nicole Laino.

Hello and welcome to Unshakeable with Human Design, everybody. I’m your host, Nicole Laino, and we are here with a solo episode today where this was something that came up on a coaching call that I had today, and I felt like this would be a really great topic to bring up on the show because we haven’t talked about it in a while.

I talked about this years ago on the show, but I really want to revisit this topic because I think this is something that everybody faces. If you are in the entrepreneurial game and you are climbing the ladder, and you are trying to break through to your next level, and you are hustling and grinding, or trying to find your flow, and also achieve new levels of success.

You are going to bump up against this problem. So, this is a really valuable episode, and I’m going to keep it short and sweet, I’m not going to keep you long. I really just want to hammer these concepts home for you, so you can become aware of them. And you start to understand what they might look like in your life.

So, my client, we talked in our hot seat last week, and I brought up that this concept that we’re going to talk about today might be at play. She was talking about being overwhelmed, she was talking about having a lot of balls in the air. She was talking about not feeling like she had enough time to do things, which there’s typically very tangible, plausible excuses in our lives for us to not be able to do the things that we commit to, or to not be able to fully execute or see things through.

There’s usually a lot of very reasonable reasons where we could point to things and we could say, because of that, because of that, because of that, because of that. So, we never want to give away our power to excuses. We don’t want to give away our power to the circumstances of our life.

We also do sometimes have to accept that there are circumstances that are causing us to pause or have a lull or take a break. We don’t have to be machines moving a thousand miles per hour forward, sacrificing everything in our life in order to achieve more. That’s not what we want either. We do want there to be balance.

What she was talking about, I brought up something last week, and she said, I think maybe you were right, I think maybe this is happening. So, I’m gonna share with you this concept, it’s not something that I invented, it is something that actually came from a book by Gay Hendricks called The Big Leap, and it’s a concept called the Upper Limit Problem.

And the Upper Limit Problem basically deals with self sabotage, but it breaks it down into some core reasons why we might have self sabotage and why we might sabotage our success. And then I’m also going to show you how human design plays into this in the way that I approach Upper Limit Problems from the perspective of being an EFT practitioner, an NLP practitioner, and then also working with human design the way that I do and the Gene Keys.

So that’s what this episode is going to be about where we’re going to focus on those core pieces, how they work together, and how human design can be that guide to help you understand how this is at play and how you can see your way out of it. So, let’s start with what the upper limit problem is.

The upper limit problem is basically that we all have some sort of maximum that we have set. An internal maximum of how much love, respect, success. Money, whatever it is, whatever good thing, whatever thing you’re after, there is an internal maximum, there’s a limit on what our nervous system feels it can handle.

A certain number of clients. A certain amount of money per month, a certain amount of love, a certain level, a certain type of love. This is the best that it will ever be for me. So there are different reasons why these levels are set and why we can’t break past them. And in Gay Hendrick’s book, way that this shows up, I refer to them as inner glass ceilings.

And even before I read that book, I was like, I feel like I have this inner glass ceiling. He just wrote an entire book where he broke down this whole concept in great detail, and I think he’s done it better than anyone else ever has. But they talk about this upper limit problem, and what that does is it causes us to inside we say, I can’t have that, I shouldn’t have that.

There are four reasons he gives for hitting your upper limit. There’s four internal reasons that basically inside of you, your brain is saying it’s not safe to have that because. It’s not safe to go past that point because. So those four reasons are, I’m unworthy, which I go a level deeper than that.

I think a lot of people feel like they are unlovable. That is something that I encounter a lot with the people that I’ve worked with. It was actually something that I worked on deeply with myself, was this deep feeling of unworthiness and being fundamentally unlovable. Like something is wrong with you.

That’s number one. Number two, you don’t want to feel better than anybody. I don’t want to succeed because then people will think that I’m better than them. I will outshine someone. Maybe you were always told, don’t brag because your sister doesn’t get the grades that you get. So, we don’t talk about them.

Maybe it didn’t feel like that was desirable, maybe it felt like you were bragging, conceited, all things like that. We never want to seem boastful. That’s another fear. We don’t want to succeed. We’ll actually hold ourselves back from the thing that we are going after. Because we are afraid of outshining somebody or them thinking that we are trying to outshine them.

Number three is mo money, mo problems. Success, we either can’t handle it, there are issues with success. So think about clients. You might have on your vision board, I want to have 50 clients in my program. Well, do you really believe that you can serve 50 clients?

If 50 clients signed up tomorrow, would you really feel yay? Or would you be like, oh my god, I have no idea how I’m going to manage this. What if I let everybody down? That’s an example of a fear of success issue, a hurdle, a challenge that you have to internally get past before you can externally receive it.

And then the last one is fear of abandonment. This is that feeling of if I grow beyond my family and friends, they will no longer love me. The people that I care about will no longer support me if I do well. It’s very close to number two. There are similarities there, but they are different. It is that feeling that people really won’t be happy for you if you do well.

That they will actually leave you. And one of the essential core needs that we have is to belong. That feeling of being ostracized from a tribe, that is a terrifying primal fear. So, going all the way back to when we were Cro Magnon and being ostracized from a tribe literally meant that you died. These are primal fears that we have.

So, the fact that you might intellectually say, well I don’t care what they think, inside, energetically, you very well may. So these are issues to examine and to look at. Now in human design, these themes exist in your chart.

Like a line 4 might have that fear of abandonment very strongly, you might want to look at that one and decondition it. Inside my Human Design Lab VIP, we do deconditioning. In all of my programs we focus on deconditioning. Just in the regular Lab, we do it with awareness.

And then in the VIP, we do EFT, we do breath work, we do NLP, we do all sorts of deeper work to help you move past the conditioning of your design or of your life. And we of course do this inside my mentorship as well.

But the fear of abandonment, that is a line four fear. That doesn’t mean if you aren’t a line four, that you don’t have that. You could of course have a fear of abandonment. Maybe you have the channel of community, the 37-40, where that might be a very real fear of losing your community, of the bond breaking. The chart can give you some insight into what your fears might be, where they might be hiding, why they might be real sticky, and what we can do to start to move them.

So, I use tapping a lot for the deep deconditioning. I find it to be incredibly effective and fast. There’s also breath work. There are other ways that you can start to move this energy, and start to explore what is stuck and what is causing you to bump your head against this upper limit.

So, which one of these stands out the most to you? This might be something that is very obvious to you. Your upper limit problem. But your upper limit also can be very hidden. It can be really sneaky and kind of covert. And it often is. So I encourage you to dive in and to observe yourself. And to go through these four main categories.

There are subtle life experiences underneath each one. I’m unworthy. Or, I’m unlovable. That was something that I dealt with on a very deep level. That started with feeling like I wasn’t good enough for friends at school when I was growing up.

That kids didn’t like me. It was absolutely a way that I felt. But then when I dug deeper, it was like, well, I didn’t really feel that from my father. And then you start to see where these relationships, where there’s a tear, where there is a wound that is ultimately trying to keep you safe from feeling the pain of it again.

So these are Incredibly useful when you’re trying to figure out why you’re not achieving, why you can’t break through your inner glass ceiling. So I encourage you to take a look through this I encourage you to dive in and let me know if this resonated with you. I’m @NicoleLainoOfficial on Instagram.

So send me a DM over there Let me know what you thought of this episode and which one of these number one, two, three or four. Unworthiness, are you afraid of feeling better than other people? Is it the fear of success? Like, I can’t handle what comes with success? If I make more money, I’ll pay more taxes.

All of those things fall into that, mo money, mo problems reason that I gave. And then the fear of abandonment that growing beyond my family and friends will cause them to leave me, that I’ll be ostracized, that I’ll no longer be like them and I will no longer fit in, and they will no longer love me. Which one of these felt like it resonated the most with you and do you feel like they’re at play for you now?

Or they were in the past? I would love to know. So I hope you enjoyed this episode. I hope that this gave you a little kickoff into your week, cause when you start to move the energy around these things, what ends up happening is you move forward without resistance. And that’s where human design can really help you out is we get you out of your head and we get you into just listening to your body.

Your body doesn’t have these same levels of fear. It doesn’t have the thoughts on top of it that are holding you back. It’s not thinking about your mom and how she would feel about your level of success and whether she would really be happy for you if you made more money than her.

Your body tunes you into what is correct for you and what excites you. It tells you what is safe for you and what is not. And then if you’re still finding that you’re not in tune with that, then that’s where the deconditioning work comes in. So if you’re looking for help with that, go over to NicoleLaino.com/lab or DM me the word Lab on Instagram.

Check it out because that’s what we do inside the Human Design Lab, we do all the deconditioning work there on the VIP. So thank you so much for being here for this episode. I appreciate you.

Remember, in order to have an unshakeable business, you must first become an unshakeable human. So thanks for letting us help you become unshakeable with human design, everybody. We’ll see you next time.

If you love this episode and you’re a fan of the show, please show us the love on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you’re listening to the show and leave us a review. And if you’d like to connect with other entrepreneurs on their human design journey, join our free Facebook community, Human Design for Entrepreneurs.

Go to nicolelaino. me forward slash podcast links to join the group, book a human design reading with me or access our free human design resources. We’ll see you there.

+ Show Comments

- Hide Comments

add a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get My free chart

What if life came with a user manual?

Something that could tell you what your purpose on this earth was, how to lean into your gifts, stop leaking energy into the "shoulds" and expectations of others, and live a fuller, happier life?

This is what human design can teach you. 

My Human Design Chart