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Reaching Your Potential: What Is Stopping You?

When trying new things, there is this little voice in my head that is full of doubt. If you’re reading this article, you may have this self-doubt too. This tiny voice that says things like “you can’t learn that” or “you messed that up again” could be the biggest obstacle between you and meeting your potential.

If you want to be successful and live up to your potential, you need to know where that potential lays. You can’t do this without a little homework.

Start by making lists. These lists need to be a thorough and honest inventory of your ideas about yourself. You will probably have more than one list. Depending on how your mind works, you can bubble map, flow chart, or bullet point this list.

Your lists should include

  • Things that you do well

  • Things that you like to do, even if you don’t do them well

  • Things you would like to do if you could

When you’re done with your lists, you need to look at them objectively. There may be things that you feel you aren’t any good at that your best friend would say you’re amazing at. If there are items like this on the “don’t do it well” list, move them.

Creating this inventory allows you to see your potential and the roadblocks that you have set up for yourself before reaching your potential. When you look at the reasons you say you cannot do something you want to do, you are blocking yourself from living up to your full potential. If you aren’t willing to try because you fear making mistakes, you lose out on the ability to lead a fulfilling life.

Creating this inventory allows you to see your potential and the roadblocks that you have set up for yourself before reaching your potential.

Tiny Buddha describes living up to your full potential as wholeheartedly giving your work, activities, or hobbies your all. When you stop living in the fear of making mistakes you free yourself to pursue passions, you never knew you had.

Once you stop believing the voice that tells you that “you’ll never be good enough,” and you start to take risks and making mistakes, you will develop confidence. Confidence is the key to doing everything better.

Have you ever had experience with an unconfident craftsman? Did your plumber come to your home and say, “well, I’m not really any good at this, but I guess I’ll try.” Chances are that if they did, you would send them packing the way they came in.

People rarely expect quality work from people who don’t believe in themselves. If you find that you’re not developing confidence the more you try new things on your potentials list, you may want to try positive self-talk. Elite Daily recommends that you tell yourself, on a daily basis, about all of your positive attributes. If you believe in yourself, everyone else will.

As you are going through your potentials list, you may find you struggle to learn a new skill or understanding a concept, get help. Lifehack notes that there is no shame in admitting when you need help. If you want to reach your ultimate potential, you will need to admit to yourself that you don’t know everything.

The thing is, no one knows everything. Get a tutor, a mentor, take a class, find a support group; whatever it is you need help with, go out and find it. The faster you are willing to acknowledge that you need help, the quicker you will overcome the obstacle that stands in the way of you reaching your maximum potential.

While not every obstacle will be easy to navigate, everything you encounter will have a solution. Remember to ignore that voice that is telling you to give up. The list you made about your potential is a true reflection of your capacity to grow and learn as a human being. The only thing standing in your way is you.

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