People often assume that success or failure, winning or losing, comes down to the potential (some might call it talent) of an individual, sporting team, organisation or group. And while the amount of potential on tap matters, what matters more, and what tends to be more of a predictor of success or failure, is how effectively, that individual or group can exploit what they’ve been given.
The guy who has the genetic potential to run a hundred metres in 9.6 seconds but never trains, never gets uncomfortable, never follows through on decisions, is always looking for the shortcut and does most of his food shopping through the window of his car, will never measure up to the guy with the 10.2 second potential who constantly finds a way to maximise his genetics, opportunities, training, nutrition, resources, coaching and time.
Unless, of course, Mr. 9.6 decides to stop wasting what he’s been given.
Some of us have spent years not using what we’ve been given. Not maximising our potential. Scraping the surface but not exploring or exploiting it. Kind of like owning a Lamborghini that never leaves the 60kph confines of suburbia. So much power but such a waste. I could give you a hundred reasons as to why we do it but in most instances it comes down to fear. Fear of failure. Fear of pain. Fear of embarrassment. Judgment. Rejection. The unknown. Of losing control.
Like most things, this pattern of underwhelming behaviour is not something to be remedied in a day but if this message resonates with you then today, I’m offering a few getting-started suggestions:
1. Stop worrying about what others think. Let go of the need to please and conform. It’s exhausting and unnecessary. It’s your life, your potential and your dreams. Don’t allow your insecurity, fear, ego or people-pleasing ways to sabotage your potential and don’t give your power away.
2. Face your fear. You know the one. Or ones. Avoidance, submission, laziness and denial are the most effective ways to squander talent. For years, I have worked with people who transformed from the inside-out (mentally, emotionally, socially and professionally) by finding the courage to pursue their dreams, to take action, to explore their potential and to do what scares them.
3. Be the exception. Be the doer. Participate in life. Have a crack. Avoid the unproductive, wheel-spinning majority who spend too much time talking, planning, intending and waiting at Procrastination Central. Better to spend a life making mistakes, learning lessons, gaining experience, winning a few, losing a few and riding the inevitable bumps, than to find yourself sitting on the sidelines being a spectator in the game of life. Despite the fact that this post will resonate with many, we know that statistically most people who read it will change nothing over the long term (behaviour or results). I hope you’re in the minority. Posts on websites don’t change people’s lives. People change people’s lives.
Or they don’t.
4. Stop looking for ‘the Secret’. You are the secret. You are the solution. Have less faith in the promises and products of others and more faith in yourself. When your self-belief and your potential collide, look out!
5. Interrupt your patterns. Do new things. Or, do old things in new ways. Embrace the new and unfamiliar. The way you eat. Exercise. Process information. Socialise. Study. React. Communicate. Work. Ask questions. Learn.
Same produces same so today, try a little different.