“You have so much potential.”
At some point in your life, someone probably made that statement to you.
As a coach, clients share stories of their hopes and dreams all coming true when they step toward their potential. What motivates them is the cost of lost potential.
The big question is how to realize it all that potential in the making. What good is potential if you’re unable to capitalize on it?
Potential is one of those shapeless qualities. It can’t be easily quantified, but with effort, it can be cultivated into something amazing.
As coaches of high, performing professionals, these are our best tips to help you reach your highest potential:
1. Keep your eyes open. We all miss countless opportunities to maximize our potential and better our lives. We get stuck in the same mental routines and fail to see all the opportunities around us.
An open mind that envisions growth opportunities is crucial to reaching your full potential.
2. Work on your strengths. Your greatest achievements will likely be a product of your strengths, not your weaknesses. Dedicate some time to fully developing your abilities and applying them to all aspects of your life. For example, if your strength is creativity, exercise this strength in every area of your life. Seek outlets to use your creativity in new ways. Push the limits on where, when, and how you express your strengths.
3. Call in the reinforcements for your weaknesses. You know your weaknesses probably won’t take you far and they can certainly limit you. Most people avoid their weaknesses and refuse to deal with them. Ask for help, bridging the gap of your weaknesses so they don’t hold you back and prevent you from all the benefits of your strength. For example, if your weakness is not being a confident public speaker, invite another person to be your co-host!
Don’t be anchored to the impossible by not acknowledging what’s not your superpower. Then find someone who has what you need and add them to your tribe of collaborators!
4. Find a mentor. A good mentor can save years of struggle and effort. The ideal mentor started where you’re starting and has achieved the success, you’re after. The best mentors are great teachers. You don’t even necessarily need to know your mentor to be inspired by their success. Books, history, documentaries, and some celebrities can provide mentorship from afar. Or, if you are one of the lucky ones, you already know a mentor candidate, you just need a little push to ask them to mentor you. Consider this your push!
5. Set goals. Setting goals is cliché, but how can anyone expect to achieve something great if they haven’t defined it beforehand? It’s important to know specifically where you’re going.
It’s really hard to hit a target you’re not aiming for. Goals are the targets you need to have the life you envision in your dreams.
6. Be assertive. Have you ever noticed that assertive people are the ones that tend to get what they want? Being passive is rarely an effective strategy. Be willing to ask for what you want. Countless people have failed to get what they want simply due to the fear of asking for it.
7. Be willing to disrupt the norm. Great achievers often upset people. That can be uncomfortable if you are the type of person who likes everyone to like you and agrees with you. Most people don’t like change. History is filled with examples of how disruptive thinking was met with hostility. Toughen up! Being an idea people please will hold you and the world back!
Be brave enough to express your brilliance.
8. More doing, less thinking about doing. Most people learn, think, and plan too much.
Action results in practice, change, and progress.
How well would it work if you spent 10 hours planning your exercise routine for every hour you actually exercised? You’d be an out-of-shape armchair expert.
Try to spend at least 10 hours taking action to 1 hour of pondering, instead of the other way around.
9. Work smarter, not harder. Working hard on things that don’t matter won’t help anyone reach their highest potential. Ensure you’re spending your time on important activities.
Although certain activities and tasks are less appealing than others, that’s what makes your achievements worth it in the end. Becoming great is challenging!
Most people don’t come close to reaching their full potential, but all of us can do much more than what we’re currently doing.
Decide to become the best possible version of yourself.
Find a mentor or a coach and make an intelligent action plan. Work that plan like crazy and never stop chasing the dream of who you can become!