Have You Realized Your Potential – or Are You Purposely Hiding from It?

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Potential: that word which describes some form of our future self, indicative of something greater than our current state of being. It gives us something to which we can aspire; when people speak of it, we feel an incentive to move toward it, faithfully and swiftly…

Or do we?

Having someone mention to us that they see/hear “great potential” can feel like a blessing and a curse. It’s great in that the observer notices something they like that sparks a vision of our future self, and of course that also means at a more immediate level, we’re not there yet.

Potential in itself is great; I think we all know there’s some greater level of achieving in one way or another to which we can strive. But as I mentioned in my article about impatience, sometimes a defeatist attitude can set in if we do not see immediate results. Potential doesn’t happen in a set time frame, however, and different goals can take different amounts of time.

So patience and diligence are in order! To ensure that you are moving toward that potential, here are some things to keep in mind:

1. Strive every day to become and express your very best version of yourself.
This takes daily action. It’s so easy to forget and fall into the trap of complaining and commiserating, jealous/wishful thinking, and daily grind without real productivity. In order to be your best self, you must be mindful of your thoughts and actions. Observe your habits and your words carefully and ask yourself if what you’re doing is moving you toward your higher potential.

2. Be authentic.
In order to create a behavioral pattern that is sustainable, you must be authentic. If you’ve ever adopted a behavior of your peers that didn’t feel like you, or you tried a fad simply because others were doing whatever it was, you know what happens: these things fade away rather than becoming part of who we are unless they truly speak to us, because they don’t feel authentic. Being fake is not sustainable. This is not to be confused with challenging; oftentimes adopting a new habit that is beneficial and authentic takes quite a bit of effort. Take small steps toward major shifts – it doesn’t have to happen all at once!

3. Understand that it takes commitment and dedication All. The. Time.
The Law of Attraction is great – envisioning what you want and bringing thoughts to clarity through visualization is very powerful. But it only works if you then do something about it. You can’t just think about things and then hope they happen. It doesn’t work that way. The next step is to develop an action plan to move toward that vision. Many people get frustrated that things aren’t “going their way” and yet when asked what they are doing to actually make it happen, there is either not much of a plan or no plan at all. Creating a vision is your job, and so is the action part. Sometimes that action is getting help. Sometimes it is stepping away to take care of yourself so you can be even better. And sometimes it’s just uncomfortable, hard work.

Figuring out what needs to be done in order to keep moving toward that potential is crucial. We are all constant works in progress! If someone mentions that you have great potential, ask them to be specific – what do they see/hear happening that makes them say that? And what do they think is missing between now and that future version of us that they imagine? So often, it’s just time. And if that’s the case, give yourself a hug – you’re headed in the right direction.

Whatever the reason, make the decision to do the work. Hiding from your potential only prolongs the journey, and I have yet to find a person who’s interested in that.

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