We are all born into this world with a clean slate. The same unlimited potential. Yet, when we get to the end, it may seem that some have been gifted with more potential than others.
The only reason this happens is that as we go through our journey of life, we create boundaries and limitations on ourselves. Most of these began way back as a young child when we were sponges, eager and hungry to absorb information of the world around us, and also that of the world beyond us.
We relied initially on our parents, our siblings and our close family, and then expanded to our friends and teachers, and later through relationships at work .During these crucial developmental stages, we were ultimately imprinted with the beliefs and values of these people, and predominantly based most of our beliefs and values on these foundations. Unfortunately, as young children we were sometimes told “You’re not smart!”, “You’ll never be good at anything!”, “You’re a loser!”, and so on…..and this stuff sticks. When these words come from people we respect and trust, we then believe it. And when these types of beliefs are carried through life, our confidence, self-esteem, and potential diminish.
So if you are at a point on your journey that you feel you can do more, or be more, what can you do about it? A few simple things you can do to alter your thinking, and ultimately unlock your real potential, are these.
1/ Accept Where You Are
By knowing where your life is at, and accepting you are exactly where you are meant to be, you are able to create a vision of moving forward. If you feel life owes you for your past, you are going to wait for it to be given to you. And that could take a very long time. Sure, some events might not have been fair, some may have hurt, and some may have been wrong, but if you hold on to them, and more specifically the emotions attached to them, then they will keep you exactly where you are now. You must accept where you are right now, and make a decision to change.
“If you argue for your limitations, you get to keep them” – Richard Bach
2/ Grow Your Mindset
Those that live with a Fixed Mindset believe that their personality, their potential, and their intelligence are all framed and determined at birth, whilst those that live with a Growth Mindset believe that their personality, potential, and intelligence can be improved. They believe that we are all born with a ‘clean slate’, and every person on this planet can be whatever they choose to be. They decide to improve their life situation by learning, applying themselves, and by failing. You need to recognize these two mindsets and ensure you have a Growth Mindset. If you find your mindset is Fixed, it is essential you make a decision to change it.
3/ Create A Picture
If you want to make changes, you need to know what it is you want. What is your real potential? What does it look like? What are you doing in the picture? Hear the sounds, feel the feelings. If you don’t visualise your outcome, you will have no idea what you are aiming at, and you will keep hitting nothing. Be very precise what it is. It doesn’t matter what that picture is right now, as it can (and will) change over time. The important things is that you have something to begin with.
4/ Believe You Can
As I mentioned at the beginning, many of our beliefs were imprinted when we were children. We learnt them. And we can equally ‘unlearn’ them if we choose. And from there, new beliefs can be formed. When we do this, our unconscious mind will work with them (that’s what it does with our beliefs) to help create outcomes that will be consistent to them. Now, you will come across people who are going to judge you and criticise you, and will do what they can to ‘cut you down’, and that is ok. They don’t have the same beliefs as you, and nor do they see the same picture as you. So stay focused on your path without stepping on to theirs.
“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right” – Henry Ford
5/ No Excuses
If you make a decision to change, then stick with it. Change can be hard, especially when doing things you have never done before. It means creating new habits that will, at times, be uncomfortable. Every night, plan your next day. What do you need to get done, and how are you going to do it? The least amount of surprises you have each day is going to help stop you from getting side-tracked. Go into each day with a 100% attitude. 99% is making room for an excuse.
The Bottom Line
Making change can often be hard, but as long as you make a decision to change you will be on your way. Choose to learn. Change to a positive internal language. Embrace the challenges along the way. Be motivated by the setbacks. And if you need some support, then get it. Get a coach, a mentor, and/or a good friend that you can lean on and bounce things off, and also to keep you accountable.
Some believe we are here for a reason, a specific purpose, whilst others believe we are here just because we are, and with no set agenda. Wherever you fit on that scale is fine, and regardless of where that is, strive to be the best version of you that you can possibly be…..that is living to your real potential.