Almost seven years ago now I was waiting for news. I was at a wedding and just before the happy couple came on for their first dance, my phone buzzed in my handbag. I rushed out of the room to answer it and heard my brother crying down the phone. Through the tears I could barely make out the words…but I heard him say ‘she’s here and she’s incredible.’ My niece had arrived. I waited until they gave us the go-ahead and I raced down to Oxfordshire; beside myself with excitement. I crept into the ward and saw her; she was perfect and as I held her tiny body in my arms I felt so much love and I saw in her so much potential. She had (and has) the potential to change lives, to choose and achieve her dreams and to tell her story.
What is potential anyway?
As I embraced my niece in my arms I realised I had the potential for more. At that point, I didn’t know what or why or how. I felt different and I knew life was going to change for me. What I know now is that we all have the potential to make a difference – to ourselves, to others, to the world. Your personal potential describes:
- The things/skills/activities (whatever you want to call them) you excel at
- The person you can become
- The goals it is possible for you to achieve
Everyone has potential
I believe that within all of us are the seeds for greatness, we all have potential, but, everyone’s potential is different and unique. Some people are amazing storytellers, others excel at sports, solving problems, gardening, or creating things. The great news (even greater I mean) is that you have potential in EVERY area of your life. Each area might spill over into another and come together with other like-minded folks.
“You are braver than you believe and stronger than you seem and smarter than you think” – Winnie the Pooh
OK, so I have potential, how do I find it?
To find your potential you need to reflect. I know, I know. Did you really expect me to say anything else? Here are five ways to find your potential:
- Reflect on what you are good at. What can you do that others can’t? This might be things that you find easy that others don’t seem to.
- Make a list of all of your successes. Sometimes we all need reminders that we are good enough, that we are capable to achieve what we set out to. It’s not about only logging big achievements – noting the times you have finished your to-do list or gone for a 10 min walk when you didn’t want to…all the way through to getting that promotion, becoming a parent and/or selling your first product/service.
- What did you love doing as a child? What were your hopes and dreams? Maybe you can’t remember…what makes your heart beat faster? All of these things will give you clues as to what your potential is.
- Listen (and acknowledge) what others say about you. If you don’t know, ask someone. In fact, ask 5 people. Choose those who you consider to be honest so that you can’t dismiss their feedback later as ‘being kind’.
- Consider what (or who) inspires you. If you can, surround yourself with images, quotes/mantras and people who encourage you and inspire you to be the best you can be.
Now, these exercises might make you feel uncomfortable like you are blowing your own horn or being arrogant. You aren’t. You are acknowledging your strengths and giving yourself permission to shine your light. Your potential is your gift to the world. I know it sounds dramatic but it is. Especially important if you go on to use your gift to make a difference to others.
Join me for the rest of the month where I will be discussing awakening and growing your potential. It only takes a spark….(sorry, I had to, it’s almost bonfire night!)