Has anyone ever told you, you’re not living up to your potential? Did you kinda hate hearing that?
I don’t blame you. That stings. When I was younger people used to say, “that smarts.” Do people still say that? They should. It’s a really good description of how something hurts when you suddenly become aware of it. Like the old-movie-style smack upside the head or a slap in the face. You wise up fast when ouch, that smarts!
In my experience, when someone suggests you’re not living up to your potential, it smarts because you realize you knew all along that maybe you could do better. If you worked at it a little more. Stuck with it longer. Tried harder. Didn’t give up. Didn’t settle for less. Okay okay… have I hit you upside the head enough times yet?
No one likes being reminded that they are wonderfully capable and considered brilliant enough to do a fantastic job at using their gifts to really shine at being happy, healthy and thriving. Wait. What?
Yes, you read that right. When you kinda hate being told you’re not living up to your full potential, you probably think you’re hearing: you aren’t good enough, you failed, you suck. Yeah, NO WONDER THAT STINGS. And often, this isn’t only coming from others, it’s what you say to yourself. Basically, it’s a translation problem. You realize maybe you have more potential, then your awareness of that turns into the self-blame and self-shame, and all of a sudden it’s self-sabotage. But why? WHY?
Well, only you can answer that. However I can give you a hint: start with account and end with ability. See, if you have more potential, then you’re presented with the question of what are you going to do about it? (that smarts) How are you able to account for it? I mean, why bother, right? If this is all you get out of your efforts. If this is the best you can do. Orrrrr… you could get a new translator. Remember two paragraphs up–the bit about how no one likes being reminded? That was me, translating for every time anyone, including yourself, has ever told you you’re not living up to your potential. If it smarts, I’ve got news for you: it’s probably true. If it was wrong, then you’d be all, shut up, no way, I’m kicking butt and it’s paying off!
I think most of us have more potential than what we’re living up to at many different times in our lives. It’s the nature of potential–it’s stored energy. Truth is, we want more income, or a healthy relationship, or to get fit, or to write a novel. Quit smoking, lose weight, retire early, reduce our risk of adult-onset diabetes. We want that, but we don’t align ourselves with the habits and priorities to create a lifestyle that supports being that person–the one who fully realizes that potential. Okay. Maybe we didn’t do it yesterday. But today, we discussed something you can run with.
We discussed how no one will do any of that for you. Which, I know, also smarts. But just as no one goes to work for you, sets your life goals, feeds you your dinner, or sits down to rest your bones for you; there will also be no aligning you with the habits or priorities, no creating of your lifestyle, no being the person who would fully realize your potential, by anyone else but you. You take care of you. So if you’re not living up to your full potential in that area, I’m here to remind you that you’re starting now. Because you are wonderfully capable and brilliant enough to do a fantastic job at using your gifts to really shine at being happy, healthy and thriving. Translation too fluffy? Here: in quantum terms, potential is limitless.
As you assume accountability for your own awesome Einsteinesque self-caring potential, I am ever grateful it brought you to my site. I hope you’ll return for the PLAYday each Friday, and for Lesson Two: Don’t do anything that makes you feel bad about yourself.
- The importance of imagination according to Einstein (fabtastes.wordpress.com)
- The Awesome Doodle That Lets You Know This Book Belonged to Einstein (tor.com)