How Do You Reach Your True Potential?
By Tina Olivero
Now that's a big question! Here's the not-so-big answer: you go where you wouldn't go before.
Reaching your true potential is the action of facing your fears and moving to a new threshold. You move in empowering ways rather than moving in disempowering directions. Empowering ways create an empowered self. Creating an empowered self, is a very loving thing to do and it takes courage! Self love is an act of self worth. Self worth is the basis of your Self Esteem, or who you consider yourself to be in the world.
So how do you create self esteem? Well here's a surprise - self esteem is like a verb... you take action! You go beyond where you wouldn't go before... in the face of your fears. The reason we haven't gone there before is because of our fear! How debilitating can fear be? It can be as debilitating as we let it...
For example when someone expresses fears, it's tempting to follow them down the rabbit hole and get lost in the useless world of "what ifs." If we do get someone to "partner with" our fears, we are actually gathering evidence to keep us stuck... then... a little stuck-ness may blossom into a full-blown drama-fest with the help of your fear-partner. Did you ever do that? Get so caught up in a conversation about the "what ifs" that you actually supported each other in something with no basis in reality. People who comfort each other in fear do not serve each other! Most of what we fear never comes true!
It's important to remember that fear is:
- A normal response to personal growth and a necessary learning tool.
- Not reality based in most circumstances.
- A gateway into meaningful change.
- Your best teacher.
- What if I'm not good at it?
- What if it doesn't go the way I want it to and I can't do it?
- What if they don't like me?
- What if they don't buy it?
- I'm afraid to market my services.
- Perhaps I'm not good enough!
- What if something goes wrong?
- They won't give me their time.
While these fears are normal, they do not serve us. If they are given credence and we allow them to disempower us, they can put an end to our goals and dreams. So, how do we deal with fear? We can create a method or structure that will provide us with the "path to our empowered selves." The path that provides us with a way to move through fear! Try this:
- Acknowledge that the fear is real for you with a brief compassionate comment like, "I know it can be scary to go after my dreams... ok, so it's scary at times. So what!" Whatever that fear is. Acknowledging fear will take the charge out of it.
- Denial of fear is simply the same fear, stuffed down into a less noticeable place. (It's not really less noticeable... we just try to trick ourselves into thinking that it is.) Fear may also be denied by creating disempowering and limiting thoughts (thought addictions), or by using something to cover it up (substance addictions). If this happens, recognize the addictive thoughts and substances as your teacher in, "How I keep fear alive with my denial."
- Simply recognize your fears as limiting beliefs. Then make a distinct choice in the other direction by choosing empowering thoughts. For example, "When I create this, what will it make available for my life, others, the world?" Or, "Why would I want to do this in the first place? Is it my dream/purpose/self expression. If so... What else matters?"
- Always keep your eye on the outcome you want to create. When you look into the past that's what you create. You create what you focus on. If the past comes up, and you find it sitting out there as anxiety about "what ifs" for the future, then recognise it as illusion, laugh at it and move on. Become the watcher of your fears/thoughts. Let them glide by like a cloud in the sky. You are not your thoughts.
- Create measurable specific steps that will incrementally move yourself toward your goals and your desired outcomes. Get creative. Have fun! Make it your personal game!
- Get a box full of tools to manage your fears. Consider keeping a journal of your fears. Next to each fear write down the action you've taken, despite the fear. Or look in the mirror and tell yourself each day... "This is what I created today. This is who I am, in spite of my fears!"
- Recognise comfort as your enemy. Comfort kills possibility. When you are feeling uncomfortable as you move to the next phase of your dream/goal... Rejoice... you are headed in the right direction. Be willing to get uncomfortable!
- Get a coach, partner, buddy, or all three, who will always keep you above your fear and support you on the high road, to your highest good, your dreams fulfilled and your greatest self.