First, it’s important that we take a look at what we mean by “potential.” Google Dictionary explains Potential as “having or showing the capacity to become or develop into something in the future.” Even some of the most professionally successful people do not feel like they’ve reached their full potential. What we choose to define our success by is different than what we have for potential. Imagine for a moment a girl with great musical potential. What if she grows up, gives up music, and decides to focus on having a successful career as a lawyer. Does that mean she did not live up to her full potential or that she is not successful in life?
For the purposes of this article, we are going to define potential as being a personal goal you deeply desire to achieve and that you know you are capable of achieving or at the very least capable of pursuing. If you have a personal life goal, such as becoming a writer, musician, or a certain career path, but you have chosen not to pursue that dream then you are not living up to your potential. Here’s the question of the hour: what are you going to do about it? The first key to fixing any problem is by identifying what the problem is.
Here are five possible explanations of why you are not reaching your potential:
Fear is holding you back:
This is a big one. If you visit Love Wide Open on a regular basis it is likely you have noticed we write a lot about fear and how fear is a large issue for many people. Ask yourself this one question: what is it that you are afraid of? Are you afraid of failure? Are you afraid of what other people think of you? How is fear holding you back from pursuing your dream? Fear is a necessary emotion, but it should not dictate your life.
You’re held down by negative thinking and lack of confidence:
More often than not talented people believe themselves to be failures or like they’re not good enough to succeed. Someone who understands their craft always understands there are many areas that growth is needed. If you have the voice in the back of your head that whispers you are not good enough, there are people who are better than you, you shouldn’t bother, etc., and you are not pursuing your dream as a result then you are allowing negative thinking to hold you back. If you are suffering from negative thinking, it’s time to retrain your brain to think more positively about your personal aspirations.
You never started in the first place:
This is one that may sound familiar. You have a dream and a life goal, something that you always said “someday I’ll do this,” but then you realized that that someday never came. You waited too long for an opportunity to be given to you only to find out it was too late. Good news is it’s never too late. The bad news is, if you wait for an opportunity to handed over to you on a silver platter, you will likely be waiting a long time. If you want to discover opportunity in your life, you have to go out and find it for yourself. You have to work hard and prove yourself to others in the field. Don’t allow yourself to be stuck in the cycle of never starting, there is no time like the present to get started.
You’re not sure how to get started:
No one knows how to get started in pursuing their dream. The best advice we can give you is to step outside of your comfort zone. Make a Facebook post asking for direction from any one of your friends. Reach out to someone else in the field. Do Google research on how other people got started. Most importantly, get inspired. As a general rule, if it’s painful to get started, it’s probably the right move. Nothing comes free in this world.
You don’t allow yourself a chance to fail… or get better!
When you don’t put yourself out there, you don’t allow yourself the opportunity to fail. We know what you’re thinking. Wait, what!? “You mean you want us to fail!?” Yes, failure is the first step to success. Failure is an opportunity to grow and do better and get better and eventually succeed. Don’t be afraid to fail and don’t be afraid to allow yourself the opportunity to do so.
What to do about it: Do you fall into one of these categories? Have you identified what is holding you back from pursuing your dreams? Don’t delay another moment, make the decision to move forward anyway. Make a list of what you want to accomplish and how you’re going to get there. Check them off as you go along. Life seems like it will last forever when you’re young, but trust us when we tell you that’s not true. Time flies by and is gone before you know it. So get to work, friends!
Related Articles: How to Turn Failure into Success
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