For decades I have loved helping people to achieve their goals and it still seems remarkable how much my estimation of a client’s potential differs from theirs.
I’m not saying that I’m always right, but with experience and a more objective stance, I think I can see the capacities in a person that they often miss.
It’s a shame that such human potential goes to waste. To be more of who we truly are means we are freer to embrace and celebrate life and all its challenges. It means more happiness, sadness and even fear.
It also means transcending those gusts of emotion more often to connect with the peace at our core, even as the whirlwind twists around us and causes us to sometimes be thrown off balance. Temporarily.
It means more exhilaration, success and satisfaction. And it advances our communities and societies at a time when more than ever, we desperately need everyone who is willing to awaken to their potential and live their own vital, values-centred life.
It is no small challenge, but a little openness and courage can go a long way.
So what does it take? There are three main steps:
Firstly, we need to look at the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves and the world around us. Many of our stories are as old and factual as the fairytales we heard as kids. But those stories are there, still lurking underneath our consciousness, running our show in subtle yet powerful ways like an outdated computer operating system. You don’t see the system, you just have to work with its limitations.
Or do you?
Can you remember the last time you set aside a belief that you had assumed to be ‘truth’? It takes guts to be open to new and more helpful stories, yet this very openness frees us to grow.
It is powerful to hold your stories lightly and to know that you are more than what your parents, teachers and bosses said you are. Maybe, just maybe, you can introduce some doubt into your old story of your assumed potential. Maybe you really do have what it takes.
Secondly, our beliefs will largely determine what we notice and feel. Fear and doubt can become red lights, high walls, and shark-filled waters. But only when we pay a lot of attention to those uncomfortable feelings, believe them to be complete ‘truth’, and allow ourselves to be enslaved by them.
Who said you couldn’t and mustn’t tolerate discomfort? By all means check out the veracity of the feelings and do that risk analysis. But is discomfort really a valid reason for paralysis?
Our thoughts and feelings are like our precious children. Sometimes good and wise, sometimes wild and disturbing. Always changing. The kids inside us need to know that while they are loved and accepted for what they are, you are the one who is in charge. You are wiser and more capable. Someone who fears and fails, but also flies.
With wisdom you flexibly decide what to do with each new experience. Sometimes your progeny need your attention, and sometimes they are best left alone.
You can learn to manage those unruly ‘internal kids’ but it takes commitment, good strategy, practice, and a ton o’ love. The result could be your greatest achievement.
Thirdly, you need to get into the action. Now, if you possibly can. Leap if you dare, but it is those small, faltering footsteps, humbly placed one after the other, that will get you there just as surely.
Do it your way – the way of your highest values, opening that unique path to your destination. But do it.
Create momentum through habits and help. Ask your world to get involved, because very little worthwhile has been done alone. The good life is a team event. Rearrange your time and living spaces so that achievement and learning become like running down a hill. And look after yourself on the way. You’ll need the energy and stamina for the uphill runs.
You just never know where it will take you. That’s the adventure. If you take the brave steps, you’ll be going somewhere interesting. And if you find yourself at a different destination to the one you had planned, that can’t be called ‘failure’. You will have done so much that is good, and gained so much for yourself on the way.
Isn’t it time?
Before you go, here a few bits and pieces you might like
- On our Facebook live today Michelle and I spoke about human potential, you can watch and listen here
- Our Pay it forward coaching offer is still available, if you are intrigued by the sound of our offer check this out
- We still have a few spaces available in our HR Masterclass event on Wednesday morning, our conversation for the morning is all about creating a commercial culture without losing the heart of the business. If you and your colleagues are interested you can purchase a ticket here