Did you know that according to popular belief we are, on average, only using 10% of our potential? When you stop and think about it, that’s pretty sad. We could be so much more!
If we lived up to our full potential, we could be at least 10 times more productive, and 10 times more successful than we are right now. I don’t know about you, but I want that!
What would 10 times more successful look like to you? I could tell you exactly what it would look like to me, mostly because I’ve been working on my 2018 vision board this weekend.
So, why do we are sell ourselves so short, constantly creating reasons that will justify and rationalize a lack of success or poor performance? I think it is, in large part, because we buy into certain myths that we’ve been trained to accept as fact.
See how these resonate with you…
Beating yourself up is productive
How much time have you spent telling yourself what you can’t do because you’re just not good enough? It doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for anything else, does it?
I’ve been there too, and beating yourself up saps your energy until you don’t want to do anything else. Instead of focusing on what we want and what makes us happy, we focus on everyone and everything else.
Someone else has the answer, someone else is doing better, that quiz has all the answers I need to figure out what’s right for me. Sound familiar? We limit our potential by not listening to ourselves, and not trusting that we know what will make us happy and fulfilled.
Beating yourself up is NOT productive. It’s a waste of time and energy that could be better spent on doing what makes you happy.
If you are really living up to your potential you’ll never have to deal with failure, fear, or sorrow
Ha! If you really believe that, have I got a deal for you… How’d that song go… something about beachfront property in Arizona?
Life is all about embracing fear and failure, not avoiding them. Because let me tell you, there is no way to avoid them. Living up to your full potential is all in how you deal with fear and failure. Do you get back up when you fall down? Do you try again when something doesn’t work like you think it should? Or do you crawl into a corner and hide there and hope it will all go away?
There will almost always be some sort of adversity to deal with in your life. How you react and overcome it is how you live up to your potential.
Reasons not to share #1 –
You open yourself up to negative feedback
If you’re sharing your journal on social media, you definitely have to be aware of the “negative nellies” that abound in every group. The truth is, negative reactions are a fact of life.
Most of the time your journal entries will likely be about issues in your life. You may be upset about those issues and some negative people will feed on that and can make you even more upset.
If you’re not able to deal with any negative feedback on the issue, then it’s probably a good idea to not share it. It’s always your choice, and you can share or not share as you see fit.
You keep telling yourself you’re not good enough
This is a lot like beating yourself up, and we’ve already determined that’s unproductive. What you’re telling yourself when you say you’re not good enough is that you’re not achieving your full potential.
And that may be true. If you’re buying into these myths, you’re not living up to your potential. I’m not going to sugar coat it. But what I will tell you is that just like beating yourself up, you’re wasting your time and energy on this one too.
You’ve chosen to disempower yourself. To not believe in yourself. To take all that negative self-talk that’s looping in your brain to heart.
If you want to give yourself a good swift kick because you’ve been putting yourself down for too long, go ahead. And then make a choice to start empowering yourself. Because it is a choice, and you’re the only one who can make it.
Here are two questions to ask yourself:
- Is what I’m about to do going to empower me?
- Is what I’m about to do going to energize me?
If the answer to both those questions isn’t yes, you might want to rethink your plans.
So, now that we’ve figured out how to live below our expectations, how do we turn that around and start living up to our full potential?
Get clear on what you really want
It’s hard to live up to your full potential when you don’t know what you want. Take the time to get clear and create a long-term vision for your life.
Look ahead five (or ten) years, and what type of life do you see for yourself? What job will you have, what life will you lead? What type of success do you wish to have achieved? How do you imagine yourself feeling about yourself?
I did this a couple of years ago through a program called Camp Clarity, and it changed the way I look at myself and my life. I’m about to do it again to get even more clear on where I’m headed now that a major project I’ve worked on for several years appears to be wrapping up.
Set goals to help you meet that vision
There is nothing worse than not having a goal, and not having any idea what your next step is. So now that you have your vision, you need to come up with goals that are specific and actionable in order to make it reality.
Come up with at least 10 goals that you would like to achieve professionally and personally, and write them down. Review your list and choose the goal that will make the biggest difference in your live. Create a timeline and milestones on how you will achieve it.
Create winning habits.
Creating success for yourself, achieving your goals, and living up to your potential are all about creating winning habits for yourself.
You’ve heard the saying, the actions you take today create your tomorrow? Well, the habits you have now are creating the performance, skill set, and success you have had up to today.
So, if you’re not happy with where you’re at in your life, then it’s up to you to make the changes and create the habits that are going to get you to where you want to go. One of the first habits you’ll want to tackle is self-discipline. That’s the ability to buckle down and do what you need to be doing, even when you don’t feel like it.
Living up to your potential doesn’t mean avoiding failure or mistakes. It means embracing those things and forging ahead. It means choosing you, and doing things one step a time, doing it your way. Your life should be about doing what makes you happy, not putting your own happiness aside to cater to what everyone around you wants.
Whatever you do, don’t get caught up in the belief that others are better or more capable than you are. You can achieve the goals you set for yourself, as long as you believe that you can.
When you choose to live up to your full potential, you break free from the myths that hold you back, and essentially give yourself permission to be yourself. Self-empowerment is a choice… will you choose it?