Find and Unlock Your Potential
Do You Know What is Holding You Back?
We all have these ridiculous inner battles, and we things that must be done, and things that we can put off. We select the easy accomplishments because they feel like a win. There is no such thing as a win-win between two people because in a negotiation at least one person is giving up something. I have never known a divorced couple that felt they truly got everything they deserved in their divorce settlement. It just doesn’t happen that way.
Everything that we have is what we have – right now. No more and no less. It isn’t that I fear failure. I think I fear success. I enjoy writing and can do a pretty good job with a broad range of subjects. However, I write in fits and spurts and never stay committed to the process for long periods of time. I can come up with a hundred reasons not to write, and become completely distracted. But what if I stopped using distractions as an excuse to avoid the very thing that I should be doing? Why don’t I focus on something I enjoy?
I started free-lance writing in 2012, and since then I have written and sold articles to clients, including one for a popular TV show. I’ve done other things too, including blogs, I have built websites for myself and other people, I have developed marketing content for Fortune 100 companies, I have helped build non-profit companies, and I have developed a couple of my own brands. I know that I have potential. My problem is spending the time to focus on areas where I excel and giving up time for things that are just a time suck. The only way to find out if you have potential is to begin exploring a specific area and see if you can branch out from there.
One Step In Faith Can Lead to a Land of Promise
Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step in faith.”
We learn at an early age that failing in front of others is embarrassing. I think most of us are afraid that other people will see us fail. Dr. King was exactly right, we must take the first step in faith. Typically that first step isn’t seen by others, they won’t see your success or failure until much later on. In faith, take that first step. You’ll never know where it will take you, if you don’t begin the journey.
You Cannot Stand Out if Your Work and Your Habits are Mediocre
What is your greatest fear, and why? Ask yourself, “How do I overcome fear”? My best answer is to meet it head-on. Dissect it, analyze it and learn how to manage fear the next time you feel this emotion. Fear is a feeling, an emotion. It may be based on experience or failure, but it can also provide valuable insight. Fear and anxiety can hold us back, and we become mediocre. We stop chasing our passions.
John C. Maxwell wrote in Today Matters that he and his team were brainstorming a topic on growth. He writes, “We were looking for a story about someone who had fantastic potential but who clearly missed it and live an unfulfilled life because he never dedicated himself to growth. There’s a reason we couldn’t find a really good story about someone like that: You rarely hear about them. People who settle for mediocrity don’t stand out. Their stories don’t get told.”
Leadership Does Not Happen by Consensus
Donald Trump has always fascinated me. It seems like people either love him or hate, but they really can’t explain the reason for the emotion. I have several of his books because I respect him as a businessman and entrepreneur. Donald Trump is a self-made man, and his success is not accidental. He writes in Trump – Think Like a Billionaire, “Billionaires don’t care what the odds are. We don’t listen to common sense or do what’s conventional or expected. We follow our vision, no matter how crazy or idiotic other people think it is.”
By the way, Donald Trump was the first to buy ‘air space.’ That is invisible real estate above a building; it is essentially air. The value in the air space gave Trump exclusivity when building high-end buildings for the very wealthy. His ownership of surrounding ‘air space’ meant that no other builder could build next to his building. Therefore, the tenant view would never be blocked by any future building projects. Trump is unconventional, unapologetic and doesn’t waste time on distractions.
There is no Better Time Than Right Now to Create Your Own Path to Happiness
Many people have probably never heard the name of Chris Gardner or realize that he is the story behind the movie, “The Pursuit of Happyness“. The movie was brilliantly portrayed by Will Smith and is one of those feel-good-happy-ending movies.
Gardner writes in his book Start Where You Are, “If there is a pursuit you have been postponing because you’re not ready or because you’re waiting for just the right timing, you may want to consider that there is never a better time than this very moment. If you have been hesitating, or needing permission, or a push, on the verge of whatever has been simmering up inside you for a while, you might want to ask yourself whether or not you’ve been digging your potatoes a little too long.” His point is that you shouldn’t wait for the right moment. Stop digging and start doing. Don’t get forced into the game, jump in and plant your feet.
Set Realistic Short-Term and Long-Term Goals
I love working, and I am always happier when I am employed. However, I have time to reflect and I know that it is time to make serious changes in my life. Setting goals should include both long term and short-term goals. A short-term goal is something you can accomplish quickly, and it can be part of a long-term goal. Goal setting should be realistic. Start with what you know how to do, and set a timeline to acquire the resources to develop areas that you want to learn.
Let Go of the Struggle
Avoid Negative People if Possible
If fear is a stumbling block, then attitude may play a part as well. A person’s attitude can be expressed both emotionally and physically. I worked with a girl that was always miserable. In one-on-one conversations she was always unhappy and had some type of drama in her life. It was always her husband or step-children or in-laws, or outlaws, or siblings or our boss, but she was always complaining. Being around her was exhausting.
I think a good attitude can lead to contentment. When we are content, we are at peace. I think it is impossible to be content if we are stuck with miserable people. The saying, “Misery loves company” is true. Miserable people surround themselves with other miserable people. That does not suit me, and I’m not a fan of drama.
Walk away from the negative voices
Can You Have Peace, Without a Paycheck?
According to Dennis and Barbara Rainey, “Contentment is a valuable and scarce commodity….it arises from a spirit of gratefulness and thankfulness. It is a courageous choice to thank God for what you have and for what you don’t have.” The topic they wrote about is marriage and the American Dream, and our desire to acquire material things. Those things, (cars, houses, jewelry) might make you look good to your neighbors and coworkers, but it really cannot buy peace or happiness.
It is difficult to have peace when I no longer have a paycheck, but I want to be content. I don’t see any room to negotiate that contentment However, the one thing that shuts me down is a wall of fear. It is the thing I can’t see through, and I can’t get around. I do have faith though, and faith conquers fear. Scripture tells us what fear is, and what it isn’t.
2 Timothy 1:7 “For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of self-control.”
I wake up each morning a little bit anxious about the day. That is fear. I also seek God and tell what I need, and I apologize for being anxious. As a Christian, I believe that God is my provider and that he understands my needs and will guide me through the chaos. We have power through a holy God that can tear down that wall. We also have self-control. That control, that inner knowledge is an awareness that fear is not of this world. It is a spiritual tool that has been formed against us.
Give Yourself Permission to Move Forward
Fear can hold us powerless, but we are not without power. Fear of failure can keep us from moving forward. Fear would like for us to do nothing. I have learned that I can ignore fear, because it can only hold me back. Instead of dwelling on the unknown, I face it and learn how to deal with it. The very things that I have learned (building websites, learning to code, building brands) all come from accepting the challenge and figuring out what I needed to do in order to make something work.
There is no looking glass into our future and we have no way to know what is around the next bend or who we might meet along the way. What we do have is a strong mind, self control and God-given talents. Each of those is something we can use to face each new challenge.