Live Up to Your True Potential


Do you ever find yourself in the same emotional landscape over and over again? Okay, sure, the scenery and faces around you might be different, but the way you feel – a tangible sense of dissatisfaction – seems all too familiar. Could it be Deja vu?  Karma? A result of your childhood?

How can we live up to our true potential, a life filled with relationships and experiences that truly meet our needs, when we keep putting our focus on the outside rather than looking inward?  Isn’t it true, that the only common denominator in your experiences is you?

Check in with yourself over the course of a day. Do you find yourself blaming others for what’s missing in your life? Following the five steps below will help guide you toward creating a different life experience and living up to your true potential.

Step 1: Own it!

The first step toward realizing your true potential — in relationships, in your job, and in every aspect of your life — is to own your life experiences rather than blame them on others. You can do this by translating that blame into your own feelings and needs in the moment.

Instead of saying, “my boss is so controlling. He doesn’t let me take the lead on anything,” try this: “When I go to work I feel bored. I really need more stimulation and an opportunity for growth.” See the difference? Through this simple first step, you can shift your method of discerning your world.

Step 2:  Instead of Judging, Experience

As you go through your day, be conscious of how you relate to others. Do you find yourself turning to judgments to determine where you fit? If so, try to take a step back and simply experience your feelings and needs for what they are.

Step 3: Focus on What You Want

At one point in my life, I began to notice I spent more time than I enjoyed focusing on the negative — what was missing in my life — rather than on what I really wanted more of.

For example, if I was talking with a friend who interrupted me, my first thought might be, “she is self-centered.” However, if I focus on what I want, rather than on what is missing, I might instead think, “I love it when I’m heard.”

When you translate your judgments in this manner as often as you notice them, it creates a subtle and powerful shift.

Step 4: Ask For It!

Creating the life experiences that meet your needs also means being able to ask for what you want. By simply focusing on what you want (rather than what you don’t want), you are in better position to suggest strategies to better meet your needs.

Step 5: Remember, Your Potential Is a Living Concept

As I became more skilled at discerning what I want, and asking for it, all my relationships improved and I became more able to live to my true potential.

What does that mean exactly and what is true potential? I used to think of it as an outcome — a static concept, something written in stone the day I was born that I was supposed to ”become.”

Now I consider it a living concept that changes with the ebb and flow of my life. When ill, my true potential might look very different than when I’m healthy. It is, in fact, less about the results of my effort and more about the consciousness I bring to my life, such as authenticity, humility, and integrity.