Developing Your True Potentials
“As living musicians in the orchestra of life, we have at our fingertips millions of keys, but because we have been conditioned to a sense of limitation, we play only a few of them.” (Jean Houston)
Potential comes from the root words "potency" and "potent" and refers to all of the things you can be successful at if you develop and use your gifts, talents and natural abilities. The dictionary defines Potential: Capable of being or becoming.
You can shift your focus to the Potential to accomplish what is within your ability and strengths, not by looking at past failures, but at the power of your Becoming.
Everyone has potentials; We all have within us seeds of greatness to be cultivated. But everyone's potential is different. You not only have career potential, but also the potential to be great in love and relationships, and to live a vibrant healthy life. Your potential- your ability to progress successfully through life, is based on your perception of yourself, your dreams and talents. It changes as you uncover new aspects of yourself. Potential lies in the art of always Becoming.
What restricts your growth and attempts to achieve your potentials is simply the fear of failure. This fear only works to hold you back and places your focus on your limitations versus your possibilities. Those who look at failure as a learning curve, have learned that any failure becomes their ultimate success!
Failure is the attempt at trying something new and different, and not succeeding, but knowing what and how to do it better next time. As the story goes, Thomas Edison failed 4,999 times before finally succeeding at developing the light bulb, saying "I have not failed 4,999 times. I have successfully discovered 4,999 ways to NOT make a light bulb." He never got discouraged and looked at each attempt as a failure, but as one step closer to achieving his goal! We are as good as what we can envision… Ellen Langer said “We are multifaceted individuals whose potential is limited only by our limited perspective.”
Fear of failure permeates our thought process in two directions, backwards and forwards. We look backwards, at our past, for what we missed, lacked, what we wanted to do but couldn’t do or wouldn’t do. We are held in the past by our thoughts, not focusing on our present abilities and potentials at hand. At the same time, we direct wasted time and energy on the future, worrying about what might be, what we should do, what we have to do but don’t want to. We are again held by our thoughts of the future, of what might be, for which we have no control over. We do not capitalize on our present potentials with the constant and consistentvisitation to the past of which we cannot change, or the burdens of the future for which we have no control over. Where our focus lies, is where our energy flows. The great Sufi mystic once asked, “When you see a big white cloth with a black dot, what do you see?” Focusing on the black dot, (the things you are lacking or worrying about), only makes you focus on the smaller picture, forgoing the larger picture and all of the opportunities and possibilities that are held within it.
Focusing on the lacking holds you stuck where you are and does not allow you to flourish in your true capabilities!
You may have heard… “you have a lot of potential; you are wasting yours potentials; or that you have none.” Few people really understand what potential actually means. It is the power within you to be the best of who you can be! Most people only use about 10% of their natural born potential; and the other 90% falls by the wayside, into the “might have been” category. So we live more in the backwards or forward thinking, and we miss the potential of the present moment. We fall into the vicious trap of labeling ourselves and others by our perceptions and preconceived notions of the past and future, thereby limiting our true potentials right now! “People may miss the richness of their existence and potential if they narrowly categorize themselves or others.” (Langer). There is great richness in all of us, but it is up to each one of us to find, cultivate, and express it!
If you are not yet aware of your potentials, here’s how to uncover the possibilities:
Write down on a piece of paper
• The things that you can do
• The things that you are good at
• The activities that you love and you are passionate about
• The things that you dream about and wish to accomplish
These will give you a good start to where your true potentials lie.
Focusing on your limitations only allows those limitations to make your decisions for you. Focusing on your strengths and interests gives YOU the power to make the decision!
“I always knew I wanted to become somebody when I grew up. Now I realize I should have been more specific.” (Lily Tomlin)
© 2011 by M. Dezelic