3 Reasons You May Not Be Reaching Your Full Potential (And How to Overcome Them)

Do you feel like you were destined to do something bigger and better with your life than what you’re doing right now?

The tough thing about potential is that it is nothing concrete; it is merely a vision of what could be. It is having the knowledge and ability to do and achieve great things. But, even if you have potential (which you do, I assure you), you have to know how to channel it to get the results you desire.

You can live to your fullest potential. However, the first thing you need to understand is why you’re not. Here are the three most likely reasons as to why your potential has eluded you up to this point in your life. They are:

Reason #1: You underestimate your true potential

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Your inner voice may tell you that you’re not good enough or smart enough to make it to the top. You might find yourself creating excuse after excuse as to why you’ll never be anything more than you are right now.

You may even justify your way of thinking and believe that being pessimistic about your abilities is being “realistic.” However, if that were the case, you wouldn’t have this burning desire to be at a higher level.

Reason #2: You know what your potential is but you have no idea how to reach it

Maybe you’re aware of your potential and know you can do fabulous things, but you still haven’t reached it because you don’t know how. Perhaps what you envision as your potential seems larger than life.

It’s like looking at a swimming pool full of water that you’re expected to empty, but all you have is a teaspoon. It can be overwhelming to say the least.

Reason #3: You’re expending your energy in the wrong areas

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You can’t reach your potential when you don’t have enough energy to do so. And, you can’t have enough energy to do so if you’re expending it in all the wrong areas of your life.

For instance, if you know that your ultimate goal involves helping other people but you don’t have the energy to do it once you’re done with home and work obligations, then you’re definitely not going to see your potential come to pass.

If you can see yourself stuck in one or all of these three reasons, then all is not lost. You aren’t destined to live a life that feels subpar and doesn’t satisfy you; you just have to do a little work and you’ll soon be on your journey to new, higher levels. Here are eight things you can start doing today that will help you make your potential a reality:

  • Discover your passion. What is it that excites and motivates you? What is the one thing that can take your lifeless, lethargic body and turn it into a ball of energy at the mere thought of it? This is the area where your true potential lies so it’s important that you realize what it is.
  • Start to be your own cheerleader versus your own worst critic. If you want to succeed in anything in life, you need to find a way to keep yourself positive and motivated instead of beating yourself to a pulp for everything you’ve done wrong. Sure, you’re not always going to make the right choices but as long as you’re doing the best you can, that’s all you can ask for.
  • Know your strengths. One of the fundamental keys to reaching your potential is to understand what your abilities are. It’s being able to take your strong areas and make them rock solid. Make a list of all of your qualities that will help you in your journey to the top. Don’t be modest. You have to know which tools are in your toolbox so you know what you’re working with.
  • Understand where your strengths are not. Just as it is imperative for you to realize where you are strong, it’s just as important to know where it is that you need improvement. Don’t cut yourself down for not excelling in certain areas because you can always improve on them. But, you need to be honest about where you could use a little help.
  • Come up with a general plan. No plan is followed 100% of the time because things often change along the way of implementation. So, while you want to come up with a general idea of how to get from Point A to Point B, you don’t want to set it in stone. Flexibility is your greatest friend when it comes to creating a plan that will lead you to your destination.
  • Decide what you’re willing to do to reach the top. If reaching your potential requires long days and a lot of time away from home, are you willing to commit to that? Are you at a point in your life where it’s a possibility? If not, that’s okay. It is better that you realize it now before trying to move forward. Maybe you’re better off waiting for a different time or finding an alternate way to make your potential a reality. However, if you are willing to do what it takes, then it’s time to get started!
  • Decide what you’re not willing to do to reach the top. Decide where you’ll draw the line up front so that you don’t get so involved in achieving great things that you wind up over your head before you realize it. It’s easy to let your emotions and passions run wild, so you’re going to need some kind of check point to keep things from getting out of control too quickly. Maybe you’ll agree to only put a certain number of hours per week or dollars per month toward your purpose.
  • Say “no” when you need to. If you always say yes to everything, then you run the risk of not having the energy to do what it is you feel you need to do. It’s not rude to say no; it’s called having self-worth by saying yes to yourself and what it is you were destined to do.

It’s time to discover and conquer your inner potential. There’s a world out there just waiting for the greatness you possess. Isn’t it time to let them have it?

About the author

Christina DeBusk

Changing careers mid-life from law enforcement to writing, Christina spends her days helping others enrich their businesses and personal lives one word at a time.

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