Our potential is never lost nor is it ever forgotten. Our potential is often consciously pushed aside by our very own hands.
I was recommended by my English teacher to become an English major. I didn’t major in English. In my mind, English wasn’t practical. I was always taught to find a job so I can have the “perfect” life. But my pursuit of the “perfect” life quickly resulted in me pushing my potential to the back of the closet.
As the years fly by, I often think about how different my life would be if I had actually majored in English and gave my potential a shot. As I get back into writing and if you should decide to pursue your potential, there are 3 limiting actions that we need to give up in order to fully see what we’re capable of:
Stop trying to make money from your passion
This might seem counterintuitive because reaching your potential is often associated with making money from it. The dream is to make a living doing something we love. But what if we just stopped focusing on the profit and practiced for the passion? How much better could we be at our craft if we pursued something just for the joy of doing it?
We associate potential with profit because if we’re really talented at something, people will pay for it. And that may be true in many cases but if we end up doing something with the intention of making profit from it, then the money becomes the main focus, not your passion for the process and the passion for the process is where your potential really comes to light. When you really enjoy the process and believe in why you’re doing something, you can only get better.
“Continuous effort — not strength or intelligence — is the key to unlocking our potential” — Winston Churchill
When we show real passion for what we’re doing, the people and money will eventually follow when they resonate with your reason why; when we put something out just to make a buck on it, people can tell when the love and effort aren’t there. So enjoy the process and love what you’re making.
Stop thinking of yourself as a wannabe
Do you dream of calling yourself a writer someday?
Are you afraid to call yourself that because you’ll feel like a fraud?
We get stuck in wannabe mode because we don’t think we’re good enough or because we’re not making any money from it. Instead of referring to yourself as aspiring or a wannabe, start calling yourself a writer and write everyday, become that artist by painting/drawing every day. The problem with calling ourselves aspiring or a wannabe is that we never get into the mindset of being a professional. Once we train our brains to think like the pros, we start acting like a pro and the pros practice and hone their craft every single day.
NBA players practice drills everyday.
Writers write everyday.
Stop thinking of yourself as a wannabe and start acting like a professional. Only then can we know where our potential really lies.
Stop believing that it’ll be too hard
Finding what our potential and passions are is not hard. We already know what they are.
Our potential lies in the areas where our strengths are, the stuff that comes naturally to us. Maybe it’s writing, managing your finances, knowing how to find work life balance. The hardest part of finding out what our strengths are is to recognize them as strengths.
Our passions are just what we’re interested in at any given time. Do not fall into the trap of believing that we can only have one passion in our lifetime. We can and are justified to have many passions in our lifetime.
Our potential is born when our strengths and passions meet.
“To uncover your true potential you must first find your own limits and then have the courage to blow past them.” — Picabo Street
It’s easy to let life get in way. It’s easy to doubt our strengths and often times, we feel like we don’t even know what we’re interested in anymore or what we’re capable of. We get caught up in believing that once that potential is lost, it’s gone forever, when in fact, it was merely just hiding until you were ready to bring it out into the light.
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Originally published at www.thriveglobal.com.