Are You Achieving Your Full Potential
Are You Achieving Your Full Potential?
By Mark Wager
“Those who are unaware they are walking in darkness will never see the light” – Bruce Lee
Do you feel like you could be doing more? Maybe you are looking at people who are in more senior positions than you at work and you feel that it could be you. Maybe your business is doing well but it’s not doing great. It’s okay to have that feeling of wanting more, more money, more success or a more rewarding career. What you really want is to fulfil your full potential. The question is how?
There’s a clear upside and downside of working as a Leadership Coach. When I train Leaders, the best part of my job is when I see people fulfil their potential and achieve the level of success that their efforts deserve yet there’s a downside. With each success I’m reminded of the many people who are living a life that is less than it could be. The majority of people are unaware of what is possible because they have spent so long in mediocrity that they have forgotten the dreams and ambitions of their youth and have surrounded themselves with excuses. “I’m not good enough?” “I’m unlucky” “it’s not my destiny” each excuse is like a layer of darkness hiding the light of their true potential, but it doesn’t have to be this way. There is a way out and here’s how.
Discover you passion.
Sit down and draw up two lists. The first is a list of all your interests and the second is a list of your skills. Once both lists are completed, find out where your interests and your skills overlap because it’s in this area that your passion can be discovered.
The journey to reach your dreams is a long and hard one and there will be many times that you will want to give up because it gets too hard. The only way to push yourself further than the person next to you is if your dream is your passion, something that you are willing to make sacrifices for. There's never been a dream come true that didn't require sacrifice. The first step is to find that passion, imagine if money was no object what would you want to do? Now the second stage is to determine what success looks like. Don't fall into the trap of having an aspirational goal with no idea of what it actually looks like. Ask yourself a second question "I know I'm successful when......"
Map the path
There are many inspirational stories of people who have achieved remarkable success yet those stories are minuscule when compared to the many unwritten stories of people who pursued their dreams but in the end only found failure. By way of example, every week people enter the world of entrepreneurship with a common dream. Yet they are unaware that 90% of them won't have a business within 5 years and 95% will fail within 10 years. What kind of person go down a path that has an extremely small chance of leading to success? The kind of person who fulfils their potential is one that realises a small chance of success is enough if you have a plan. You need passion but passion is misguided without a plan which maps out your pathway to success.
A common mistake that people make is that they have a poor perception of how high the mountain of success is and where about on the mountain they are starting from. This poor perception creates two traps for anyone pursuing success. Firstly if you don't know how far you need to go then you will underestimate how hard you need to work and secondly you will never know how close you actually are to your dreams. Many people have quit just before they were about to succeed.
Never forget if you decide to quit then be prepared to work for someone who didn't.
Map your path by researching your chosen field and being clear about who is currently achieving what you aspire to become. Identify these individuals, consider reaching out to contact them. Learn from them look for mentors and coaches who will help you speed up your journey. Conduct a skills analysis, what skills do you need to develop in order to fulfil your potential, how far away are you from where you need to be? The reality is that there will be skills missing that you have yet to identify. Talk to people, not just friends but anyone who interacts with you and ask about their perception of you. It doesn't matter if you agree with their views or not because you need to ask yourself what are you doing in order for people to have that perception.
Belief precedes evidence
Every invention we have in this world started out in someone’s imagination, for something to exist we first have to believe that it’s possible. It’s this level of belief that can separate an ordinary life and a life that is fulfilling its potential.
You need to believe that your dream can come true with such a passion that it burns away any self doubt. While a level of confidence is natural it is something that needs to be nurtured and developed. It is rare to see someone operating at a high level who doesn't have a system in place to reinforce their self belief. There are many practical methods to do this but the key to becoming confident is to change your inner narrative, that voice that tells you if you are good enough, that is your inner critic. A lot of my work with people involves helping them understand how their mind works and change how they think. If you want to be a winner you need to think like a winner.
When I talk to people who want me to become their coach I always look for the same thing. Are they willing to take 100% responsibility for fulfilling their potential? Imagine this scenario.You have a project to complete at work but because your boss did not supply you with the resources that you requested the project failed. Who's fault was it that the project failed? If you answered your boss then you answered the same as 90% of people and you are wrong. If your boss is not responding then it's your responsibility to adapt your communication in order to influence him. You need to sell your case better. It may sound harsh and maybe not even your natural response but that is why the majority of people do not fulfil their potential. If you want to fulfil your potential then you need to take ownership of all aspects of your life. If you rely on anyone else to make your dreams come true then you have to question yourself if you really want your dream bad enough. If you want success then there will never ever be any excuses for failure.
The keys for unlocking your inner potential are not a secret. If you look at anyone who is at the top of their game whether it's in sports, in the arts or in business you will see they have taken the same steps. These steps are not exclusive to these people they can be learnt and developed by anyone that wants to be successful. You just have to decide to be the person you always dreamed of becoming. If you fear that you will never be able to realise your dream because it seems to be too far away then don't worry because that is the perfect place to start. If you don't fear your dream then it's not a dream worth having. If you decide to have a better life then aim for that life to be a great one.
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us" - Marianne Williamson
Posted: Wednesday 8 June 2022