My first trip to the Grammys

I was on a plane headed to New York City. My life was about to change and I knew it. Everything I had been working for was starting to come to fruition. I thought I would feel on top of the world. Instead, I felt numb.

As the winner of the Entertainment Law Initiative Award, I would be spending the next few days at exclusive parties and dinners during Grammy Week, giving a presentation to a room full of the most prominent entertainment attorneys at the Waldorf Astoria, sharing a dance floor with Howard Stern and Cyndi Lauper (you can’t make this stuff up) and walking the red carpet at the Grammy Awards.

I showed up. I smiled and danced. I networked my butt off. I gave a great presentation. I shined.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed many moments. But there was an underlying uneasiness that I just couldn’t shake.

By the day of the Grammy Awards, I was in my hotel bed so sick that I could hardly move. I somehow mustered up my strength to get dressed and go to the Awards. I went to the after-party. I continued to smile and pretend I was on top of the world. And then I went back to the hotel and crashed from physical and emotional exhaustion.

As soon as I returned to Nashville, I went to Vanderbilt’s clinic and said, “I need a referral for a therapist. There’s something wrong with me.”

I was treated for having depression. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until a decade later that I pinpointed the real cause. I wasn’t depressed. I was scared. I was uncomfortable.

Gay Hendricks has been coaching top executives and athletes for over 35 years. He helps them move from what he calls their “zone of excellence” to their “zone of genius” to achieve their highest potential.

In The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level, Gay explains that most successful people rise to their “zone of excellence” but then get stuck. Here, you are really good at what you do, you get awards and recognition and you make a very good living. It’s where your companies, families and friends want you to stay.

Moving into your “zone of genius” requires risk and makes yourself and others feel insecure and uncomfortable. But if you don’t make the leap, “a deep, sacred part of you will wither and die.”

Most of us would agree that we want to be happier. We want to experience a deeper love. We want more wealth. But when we get close to achieving it, we rub against a glass ceiling that we’ve installed to keep us safe and comfortable. To break through, we have to be willing to get out of our comfort zones and adjust to a new normal.

Looking back, I’m confident I was hitting up against my upper limit when I made that first trip to the Grammys. I was used to working hard and achieving. I wasn’t used to fancy parties, celebrities and opportunities that could propel me into the life I had only hoped for. And so while I was happy, I couldn’t help but think: I don’t deserve this, I’m a fraud and will be discovered, I’m not ready for this opportunity, I’m going to screw this up, something is about to go wrong.

This week, I encourage you to become more aware of when you’re self-sabotaging (whether it’s in your career, love life, finances or health). Do you start needlessly worrying about your kids when you’re otherwise having a good day? Do you start bickering with your spouse soon after you’ve had a nice dinner and conversation? Do you feel anxious or sad the day after a big celebration or promotion in your honor?

Next week, I’ll share with you my top 3 tips to face your upper limits and gracefully move towards your “zone of genius.”

Share with me in the comments your stories of self-sabotage when things are going really well in your life. Together we can shatter our glass ceilings and begin to experience even more love, joy and abundance.

With love,


1 Comment

  1. Facing Your Upper Limits – The Language of Joy on October 5, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    […] Last week I shared with you my experience of bumping up against my “upper limits” when I made my first trip to the Grammys. […]

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