Personal Growth Book Review: The Big Leap

By Melissa Brown, MD

The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks is one of those books you’ll want to read more than once. I, myself, have read this book at least three times since it was first suggested to me. It’s been a pick for a personal growth and development bookclub I co-facilitated, too.

Whenever I read a personal growth book, I always put notes on any blank pages I find in the front or back of the book. I include the page number where I found that nugget for easy reference. This makes it so easy to pick up one of my favorite self-help books and get a refresher just by re-reading my notes inside the book.

Each time I pick up my copy of The Big Leap and read it or skim my notes to think about the concepts, new insights leap off the pages at me. With this book, I’ve started adding different colored sticky tabs on pages so I can easily flip the book open to those key concepts for a quick read.

Meet The Author

Gay Hendricks is an American author, psychologist, and thought leader in the field of body intelligence, body-mind therapies, and relationship transformation. Together with his wife, Katie, they run The Hendricks Institute where they teach the principles they live. He has authored or co-authored more than 40 books throughout his career.

Book Summary

The tagline for The Big Leap is ‘Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level.’ The premise in this book is there is one problem that holds you back; an Upper Limit Problem. This is the one thing–your hidden fear– that’s standing between you and your wildest success dreams coming true. Not just success with business, but every aspect of your life. No one is immune to the Upper Limit Problem. No one.

In the introduction section, Hendricks defines ‘The Problem’ as a limited tolerance for feeling good. When things are going great, you’re just waiting for the other shoe to drop. When all seems well and you’re experiencing peacefulness or success and you’re happy, you manufacture worrying thoughts that ultimately make you feel bad.

You may be subconsciously feeling you need to ‘pay’ for all this goodness in your life. Then, before you recognize it’s happening, you do something to bring yourself back down from your Upper Limit. Back to where you’re comfortably miserable. And the cycle continues unless and until you understand the Upper Limit Problem.

The rest of the book is designed to help you identify and solve this one problem so you can live life at its best all the time.

Hendricks takes the reader through the 4 main zones of all our activities:

  • The Zone of Incompetence-This is exactly like it sounds. These are those things you’re not good at. Hire someone else to do them or delegate them.
  • The Zone of Competence-These are activities you’re good at, but others can do equally well.
  • The Zone of Excellence-You do these activities extremely well. Even so, you may actually be trapped here since it’s a comfortable place. Nice place to visit, but you don’t want to live here.
  • The Zone of Genius-This is where the magic happens. This is where you want to live. These are the activities you are uniquely qualified to do, expressing your unique talents, gifts, and strengths.

The Zone of Genius is the one you want to aim for. This is where you shine. Identifying and spending time here is your pathway to success and life satisfaction. The Big Leap is about having the courage to commit to living in your Zone of Genius, now and forever.

Biggest Takeaway

This book presents a unique perspective to look at limiting beliefs and self-sabotage. To achieve holistic ultimate success, you must be willing to feel good and have your life go well all the time. In order to do that, breathe through any fear. Fear is merely excitement without breathing. Discover your zone of genius and leap into it. Live the ultimate success mantra, ‘I expand in abundance, success, and love every day, as I inspire those around me to do the same.’

To achieve holistic ultimate success, you must be willing to feel good and have your life go well all the time. The Big Leap. Click To Tweet

Favorite Quotes

“Life is at its best when love, money, and creativity are growing in harmony.”

“I’ve discovered that if I cling to the notion that something’s not possible, I’m arguing in favor of limitation. And if I argue for my limitations, I get to keep them.”

“Fear is excitement without the breath.” Fritz Perls, MD

“The goal in life is not to attain some imaginary ideal; it is to find and fully use our own gifts.”

“Am I willing to feel good and have my life go well all the time?”

Your Genius Commitment: “I commit to living in my Zone of Genius, now and forever.”

The Ultimate Success Mantra, “I expand in abundance, success, and love every day, as I inspire those around me to do the same.”

The goal in life is not to attain some imaginary ideal; it is to find and fully use our own gifts. Gay Hendricks in The Big Leap Click To Tweet

Bottom Line

The Big Leap is on my all-time favorites list. If you haven’t yet read it, pick up a copy and read it. Really dig into it and study this different way of looking at the ups and downs of life and success. Commit to living in your Zone of Genius and reap all the good you richly deserve.

Your Turn

Have you read The Big Leap? Let me know what you thought of it in the comments below. If you haven’t yet read it, what in this review piqued your interest to possibly take the leap to read it? Please do let me know below.

Pin this image to remind yourself to pick up your own copy of the book, The Big Leap.

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About the author

Dr. Melissa Brown's career journey has always had an element of teaching. After retirement from clinical pediatric practice, Dr. Brown has taught and mentored as a healthy lifestyle coach, author, and speaker. She currently teaches solopreneurs and coaches how to stop being the world's best-kept secret. Her mission is to help you: Create great content. Impact people. Change the world.

  • Well we’re all taught in many different ways to take the good with the bad, what goes up must come down, yin yang, karma, it all evens out in the end, etc. That’s a hard one to set aside even without a more individual limiting belief (or worse, a laundry list of them, but I’m guessing that’s a whole nother can of psychological worms).

    • Right you are, Katie! There are a whole lot of limiting beliefs tied up into those sayings. Check out the book–it’s a quick enough read. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

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