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  • Writer's pictureAndreea Popa

Awaken Your True Potential: Your Roadmap to Greatness (Thunder Talks #5)

Have you ever had the feeling that you are not living life to the fullest or that you are stuck in a cycle of pursuing the success that other people define?  Do you have a sense that something is lacking or insufficient? Do you find it difficult to put your health and wellbeing first or are you unsure of where to begin? Me too. Every time I start doing something new or trying to explore my potential I go through a lot of feelings, emotions, uncertainties, and struggles.


Awaken your true potential

But wherever you are today, you are one decision away from a different life. There are lots of opportunities and most probably they are created by you even though you don’t realize that. So, make sure that you make the most out of those lucky chances.


You can choose to invest in something you love. You can take a direction that gives you meaning, peace and feels worthy of your attention. Don't settle for mediocrity and choose not to accept it. If you want to be fulfilled in everything you do, it is essential to avoid it as much as possible. Maybe it gives you comfort. But, staying in your comfort zone will not make you able to reach your potential.


I have a lot to say on this topic, so grab a drink. Bring a fruit. Settle in. Off we go.


What Is Potential?


Potential can have several meanings depending on the context. But generally, it can be defined as the ability to achieve or develop something in your future. In various fields, potential can be associated with performance, growth, or the ability to achieve goals.


The potential of each of us has no finite line. Even when you think you've reached your potential, you'll realize you still want more. Plus, there is also the part about the challenges and problems that life gives us in a constant way in order to manage to solve them and come out even stronger.


Your potential is infinite. The possibilities are many. Every decision you make brings with it new puzzles that are worth the effort to figure out. We always want more and that’s perfectly fine.


The Foundation that Supports Your Potential Development


It’s so easy to drown yourself when trying to figure out what’s your purpose in life and how to achieve your potential. You might think that you’re not good enough or you’re not making any progress. But don’t let yourself be caught in this trap.


A person nurturing their knowledge, a symbol for self-growth and self development

And even though you don’t receive support from your closest people, you can fight your battles by yourself. You need confidence and a few things we’ll discuss in more detail.


Accept Yourself and Your Demons


Be empathetic with yourself. Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither will you be able to make major progress in a day, a week, a month, or even a year. It takes time and effort. So, be understanding with yourself and forgive yourself if on certain days you didn't have the strength to invest in your potential.


Accept these situations. Accept the fact that we are all human, we work hard every day, both in our professional careers and in our personal lives. It's normal to have days when you may not feel like it or have the energy to invest in certain goals.


And every time you forgive and accept yourself, make sure you also give yourself some love through appreciation, thanks, and pride. Appreciate every step you take to develop your potential, be grateful that you are able to move forward with small or large steps, and be proud that today you have reached the place where before you would not have even dreamed.


All We Know Is the Subject of Change


As apprentices in school, we’ve heard that many things can’t be changed. But, this couldn't be more wrong. Everything you know or do can be subject to change. Change is normal. Anything or any person can change over time. People are always learning new things and developing. Everything we know or have today may be different tomorrow.


But there are two different approaches to change: fixed mindset and open mindset.


The fixed mindset involves the belief that our abilities and qualities are static and cannot be changed. This is how we were raised when we were young. Thus, we tend to believe that we are good at certain things and cannot improve in other areas. There is a reluctance to try new things because we fear failure and feel that it would reflect a permanent personal weakness.


On the other hand, open-mindedness involves the belief that our skills and qualities can be developed and improved through continuous effort and learning. With an open mind, we are willing to take risks, learn from failures, and adapt to change. We see change as an opportunity for growth and not as something threatening.


Change can be good or difficult, but it is inevitable. It is important to be open to change and understand that it is a natural part of the course of life. Change often brings with it new opportunities, exciting challenges, and valuable experiences. So, as a little advice, try to enjoy your journey with an open, not static, mind.


Put Passion into Everything You Do


Putting passion into everything you do is the key to developing your potential. That passion gives you motivation, resistance to failure, attention to detail, and deep satisfaction.


Passion drives creativity and innovation. It allows you to think freely and explore new ideas. When you're doing what you love, you're more open to experimenting and trying unconventional approaches. And when you encounter difficulties or blockages in the creative process, passion motivates you to overcome these obstacles. You have a burning desire to find solutions and keep progressing.


Find Suitable Mentors


You will always find so-called mentors who are not interested in your life. Most of them don’t inspire you and don’t help you get where you want to be. Avoid mentors who seem distant or unwilling to invest the time and effort needed to properly guide you.


A suitable mentor not only guides you, but also contributes to your development as a human, helping you achieve your goals and grow significantly. The relationship with a suitable mentor is based on mutual trust and respect. It is essential for you to feel like you can be honest and open with your mentor, and that they support you without judgment.


Attention with Intention


It is essential to focus your attention on the important things. Becoming aware of what is truly important and giving it the attention it needs is part of the process of reaching your personal potential.


You must avoid paying attention to details or tasks that don’t bring significant benefits or that don’t support your overall direction. You feel more connected to what you do, more productive, and more fulfilled because you focus your efforts on the things that really add value to your personal or professional life.


Framework for Exploring and Developing Your Potential


If you’re not living up to your full potential you might not be at peace with yourself. So, you gotta take action. You need to define your aspirations and release your determination. You need to align with your highest self and believe. But how?


Framework for exploring and developing your potential

Awareness


Be aware of your aspirations and the fact that you’ll encounter problems in your journey. When we are aware of the problems around us and appreciate our abilities and strengths, we are in a better position to channel our efforts toward change and reach our potential effectively.


Awareness enables us to clearly identify problematic aspects of our lives. Whether it's unhealthy habits, relationships that drag us down, or anything else that prevents us from growing, acknowledging these aspects is necessary.


At the same time, awareness helps us identify and capitalize on the unfair advantages we have. These can be personal qualities, resources, or opportunities that can guide us to success. Knowing and appreciating these advantages gives us a solid foundation.


Planning


Planning is important to achieving goals, and a well-thought-out plan has several essential characteristics.


  • A simple plan is easy to understand and implement. Clarity about steps and goals makes the plan more accessible and makes it easier to track progress.

  • The plan doesn't have to be perfect. It's important to acknowledge that there are uncertainties and be open to adjustments along the way.

  • Flexibility is essential to cope with change. A good plan allows for adjustments based on circumstances or new information.

  • Clarity about the goals and steps required makes the plan easier to follow.

  • A realistic plan takes into account our available resources, time, and capabilities. Setting plausible goals and adapting the plan to our possibilities increase the chances of success.

  • The plan must be measurable to assess progress. By setting clear criteria, we can monitor how well the plan is working and make adjustments as needed.


Experimentation


Experimentation is an essential process in the pursuit of innovation and personal or professional progress. This stage requires a disciplined approach. We must force ourselves to apply plans and procedures, carefully pursue options, and document results. Discipline helps us extract meaningful lessons from every experiment we manage to do.


The better designed and larger the experiment, the more meaningful the results can be. Experiments that are well structured and address key aspects of the situation can provide deeper insights and more tangible results.


By integrating discipline into the experimentation process and understanding that detail and accuracy, we can achieve more robust and applicable results in various contexts. Experimentation thus becomes a powerful tool for learning and development. It gives us a way to test ideas, discover innovative solutions, and progress effectively.


Retrospection


Retrospective, whether individual or collective, is a valuable opportunity to reflect on the past and gain meaningful knowledge.


When we look back on our personal journey, hindsight becomes an introspective exercise. We analyze our choices, successes, and failures, and this hindsight gives us a deeper understanding of our own motivations, values, and directions.


On the other hand, the collective retrospective brings together various perspectives. This process allows you to share experiences and learn from each other. But collective hindsight can also be a problem. Along your progress, you will find many people who will pull you down and not believe in you. That's why it's good to focus more on the individual retrospective than the collective one.


Retrospection is not only a look back, but also a means of gaining a broader perspective and evolving. In the process of examination and discussion, new insights emerge that can change the way we look at both the past and the future. It is an opportunity for personal and collective growth that contributes to your evolution in a significant way.


How Do We Measure Potential?


There are no defined ways of measuring your potential. It can depend from person to person as well as the objectives planned. But there are some characteristics that can help you pursue your achievements. The simplest and most effective way to measure your potential is by following the objectives proposed and then achieved.


Measuring your potential

For instance, let’s suppose that you want to become a leader. So, you start sketching some objectives such as becoming a people person, helping others when needed, inspiring your colleagues, and other traits that make you a great leader. Then, you start measuring your progress. Are you more empathic with your colleagues? Do you help them when no one else is doing that?


As long as your goals are realistic and you don't set out to become a leader in a week, you will thrive and gain confidence.


Enjoy the Process of Reaching Your Potential


Don't forget that you have the potential to be anything you want. Enjoy the process. Let the problems be your guidelines and cheer yourself for every little step.


There will be ups and downs, bad days, bad weeks, and bad months in any fulfilling journey. Everyone will experience disappointments and bad luck. When one of these hiccups occurs, some people give up on their goals. They become lost and eventually jeopardize their own performance; the wound is made even more painful because they caused it themselves. 


The advice is here to help you avoid self-inflicted injuries. You have the power to reach your potential. Identify your dream, learn the skills, and show integrity. Be brave, adjust your path as needed, and follow what's truly yours.

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