Potential – having or showing the capacity to become or develop into something in the future. (via Google)
When people ask me what I do, I tell them, “I help people reach the potential they’re afraid to admit they have.” Which causes them to pause – every time. Inevitably followed by a big smile and, “Wow, I’ve never thought about it that way!”
Own your potential
You know the old adage; you teach what you need to learn? Well, that’s what I’m doing here – learning to own my potential. Here’s the thing. I believe that there are thousands of people out there who could benefit from hearing my message about potential and taking risks. But, every time I think about the number of people I could reach if I just got my message out there, I pause. I wonder if I could really do that. I think about all the things that could go wrong and what must go right to reach them, and then I stop.
For example, I’ve been considering offering a face-to-face, online group coaching program for over a year now, and I haven’t done it. Why? Maybe it’s because I’m afraid it won’t work. Or, even worse, maybe I’m afraid it will work and I won’t know how to maintain that type of progress moving forward. So, what happens? I agonize over it. I make plans to do it. I agonize over it again, never getting it started. And I stay stuck. I take reaching my potential out of the equation because it’s too scary.
How can I get out of my own way? I can just start. I can chunk that online program into little pieces and start small. I can do free Facebook Live coaching once a week and see if people like it. Then I can make my decision about what to do next based on those results. I don’t have to go all in yet. I can take smaller risks that can inform me about how to move forward. Then I can take another risk, then another, always moving forward. And it’s hard, really, really hard to convince myself to take that step. When I do, amazing things happen, like new clients appearing from nowhere. Just because I took one step.
I knew I could do it. I just had to convince myself. – Maya Dirado after winning her first gold medal at age 23 at the Rio Olympics.
You can do the same thing. What’s holding you back from reaching your potential? Is it the fear of trying something new? Is it feeling that you have no value? Or, have you forgotten how to talk about yourself and your goals to other people? Are you worried that you’ll never find the right job?
Do one tiny thing
Start by figuring out one tiny thing you can do to move toward your potential. Try something new that’s low risk, like taking a free online course in a work subject that interests you (social media, program management, coaching, writing). You’ll automatically increase your confidence because you’ll know more stuff. You will also feel current. Then try something else.
Convince yourself that you can
Listen, you don’t have to go apply for a new job or jump into a new networking situation first. You can take teeny tiny steps to move forward. And, in taking those tiny steps over and over again, you will see that you can do it. You will be convinced that you can do it. Then you will find yourself reaching your potential – whether it’s a gold medal or a new career. I know you can do it. Convince yourself that you can.
Watch. Read. Learn.
Read: The Undeniable Allure of Potential (make sure you read the last paragraph!)