6 Simple Steps to Reaching Your Potential

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously, give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -Marianne Williamson

Children are a great example of living and loving fearlessly. Growing up, they see the world through lens of possibility and adventure. Their purity and innocence gives them little to no sense of fear as they charge head first into dangerous situations like swinging 15 feet into a lake or climbing unharnessed up an oak tree to explore.

I am not suggesting that we ignore our natural instincts to avoid dangerous situations. I’m suggesting that we awaken our sense of imagination and bring it back to life.

As a kid, I remember I was constantly daydreaming. There were countless times I was so caught up daydreaming about what I wanted to be when I grew up or pretending like I was exploring the great deep sea that I would completely forget to get off the school bus to go home. The bus driver was not thrilled that she had to make an extra round to take me back. Nevertheless, I can’t help but to think that sense of uninhibited potential and dreams is still hidden inside all of us.

Becoming an adult doesn’t mean we need to forget who we are; but for most of us that can oftentimes happens. Do we often times compare ourselves to others and view ourselves as inadequate as if being less successful, rich, beautiful, or smart makes us less of a Child of God? Do we look towards others for affirmation of our value as opposed to God or looking within ourselves?

The great news is that we can start with simple steps everyday to build a habit of reaffirming our potential, building up our confidence, and reigniting our spark.

Step 1: Assess your current situation. To know where you need to go you must first start by understanding where you are. Are you doing something that you love and enjoy or are you bored most of the time? Do you wake up most days excited to start the day or do you dread it and count down until the weekend?

Grab a pen and paper and write down on two separate columns things you currently love about your daily routine and things you wish you could change and why. Repeat this habit routinely as it is important to self-reflect often as our passions and interests can change.

Step 2: Imagine your perfect life. If you could design your dream job, what would it look like? What activities bring you the most joy and meaning? You may be saying to yourself “I know! Being able to not have to go into work or school and instead go on vacation or binge watch Netflix endlessly.” Though these are fun and relaxing, they are very passive and leisurely and do not contribute to your growth and potential. The activities I’m referring to are those that enhance and define your God given talents and allow you to share it with the world!

It is okay if you don’t know the answer yet. This step is oftentimes the hardest step. Most people don’t actually know what their passion in life is.

This is the time to start picking up hobbies and getting involved. As you find something that you love, keep reading about it, keep immersing yourself in it, keep exploring it. If it continues to fascinate you, you will come closer to understanding what you were meant to do.

Step 3: Develop a plan for action. What is keeping you from reaching that goal? Common reasons that most people give include not enough time, money or talent.

The wonderful thing is that God created a world of great abundance just for us. He wants us to view our resources without limits knowing that we can meet our needs if we put in the extra work to do so – find additional work, cut out some unnecessary expenses, create a budget, or look for investors. Keep in mind that many of the self-made millionaires in this world started out with little to no money.

He has also blessed us with the ability to choose for ourselves what we want to do with our time. It is important to make time for things that matter to you. Wake up earlier, watch less television, or block out 30 minutes or an hour in the afternoon.

Figure out what it is that you’re passionate about and develop short and long term goals on how to reach it. Break it up into weekly and monthly goals that are realistic and attainable and keep yourself accountable to it by sharing it with others. Commit to doing something every day that helps bring you one step closer to achieving your goals.

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out” -Robert J Collier

Step 4: Envision yourself reaching your goals. It’s easy when thinking about your dream or goal to envision all the obstacles and barriers that could prevent you from getting there. Instead, envision yourself succeeding and living your dream! Imagine all the small details. What are you doing? Who are you talking to? How do you feel?

This is a common exercise that many athletes and artists do before their performances.

Muhammad Ali would practice envisioning himself winning before each of his boxing matches.

At the start of his struggling career as an actor, Jim Carrey constantly dreamed of his success. He believed he could do it with such certainty that he wrote himself a $10 million dollar check post-dated 10 years in the future for “acting services rendered”. Ten years after writing that check, he made $10 million for Dumb & Dumber.

This positive visualization will drive you forward and help you bring dreams into reality and only takes a few minutes minutes a day but can lead to tremendous results.

Step 5: Be your greatest cheerleader. We often give value to the opinions of the world and neglect what our heart tells us to do. We allow our human nature to take precedence and consume us with fears of failure. Don’t let yourself be your worst critic instead be your greatest cheerleader! Write down your personal affirmation of yourself and post it somewhere visible like the fridge or mirror to remind yourself of your innate worth and value.

My personal affirmation for you this week:

You were placed on this earth by divine design to face challenges that will grow you and help you reach your full potential. Through God, you are capable of doing all things you set your mind to. As His son or daughter, you have acquired some of his attributes including wisdom, courage, kindness, determination, discipline, and grace.

You are amazing.

You see the best in others. You pick yourself back up quickly knowing that when you fail you are able to become better. You see opportunity and endless possibilities where others see challenges and dead ends.

Step 6: Don’t give up! Nothing worth having comes easy. It will require hard work, persistence, and maybe some tears.

Working towards your dream life will not always be fun or exciting but it will definitely be worth it. Don’t get discouraged if you fumble and fail along the way. Make the decision today that regardless of whatever setbacks or barriers you face, you will be determined to press forward. Always remember that God created us in his own image, therefore we are capable of achieving marvelous works.

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” – Genesis 1: 27

Reflection:

I know that God can help me achieve anything I set my mind to this week, what is it that I would like to accomplish?

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