Believe In Your Own Greatness
If I were to ask you what your highest potential is, would you have a ready answer? Would you need to think about it for awhile? What about the first career that you thought you wanted when you were little? A policeman, Fireman, Doctor, Teacher, or maybe even the President? What was it about that career that appealed to you? Why did you change your mind? Why did you give up the dream?
You have everything you need to build something far greater than yourself.
– Seth Godin
Usually we give up a dream because we think we don’t have what it takes to make it happen. This can come from the outside, from parents, friends, peers etc…, or from the inner critic fear, who convinces us that we aren’t good enough to be that person who can make their dreams come true. To catch our potential and live our dreams we have to fight our greatest fears. I believe absolutely that if we are given the dream, then we do have the potential. I believe that all of us are better than we think we can be.
As human beings greatness is not so much in being able to remake the world as in being able to remake ourselves.
When faced with those fears of living out our dreams, we tend to run away. We blame others for what we are afraid that we can’t accomplish. We get involved in time sucking activities. We live down to the lowest level of our potential, figuring that falling off the first stair step of the staircase won’t hurt as much as falling down one or two dozen steps. Then looking up from the ground level, that idea of reaching for the moon seems even further away and less obtainable. We run around with others who are running away from their own potential, so that we feel part of a crowd, safe and secure – “just like everyone else”.
You can see and feel this mindset when you try to make a change. The crowd around you doesn’t want you to make any changes in reaching out to grow into your potential. They see that mirror of you reflecting back at them, and they will oppose it, because they don’t want to wake up to their own true potential. It would mean that they have to grow and change too, and that is just too scary. It is far easier to remain unconscious and in a rut.
Have you even seen pictures of the Oregon Trail with the ruts that were worn into the prairie by the wagon trains? Some of them dug so far into the earth that it was like a wall on both sides of the wagon as they went through. It might make you feel safer, but ruts are filled up with limiting beliefs, uninspired sameness, mental, physical, and career burnout. It is a sure path to being asleep in your life.
I want people in my life who are more interested in my growth than my comfort.
– Eric Johnson
Why does that matter? Because study after study reflects that as a group, we develop a “sameness” in our actions. Eating habits, exercise habits, even monthly menstruations, it all tends to become regulated to the group. So if you want to reach your potential you need to associate with other people who are trying to reach theirs. People who take action. Who are awake and conscious not only to their own potential, but in the potential of others around them. People who will cheer you on, who will stop when they see you take a fall and help you get back up. There isn’t any competition with this group of people, but rather collaboration in helping each other get up the next level of growth, and celebrating all of the milestones along the way.
To reach your full potential, you have to set goals that will stretch you. You must not be afraid of taking risks. You must learn to recognize opportunities and have the courage to pursue them. You have to make better choices that will provide better results. Finally, you need to avoid the negative influences of other people and surround yourself with successful people who will encourage you to pursue your dreams.
– Zig Ziglar
And you should expect to fall down more times than you succeed. It is part of the process of learning something new. You learn a new language, you will say the wrong words, in the wrong sequence, or just pronounce it so poorly that no one can understand you. But if you immerse yourself in the language and culture (go live in the country that speaks that language with an actually family that refuses to speak your native tongue) you will be amazed at how fast you become proficient.
The problem is when we fall down and get up, at some point when we fall down again, we say we can’t get up again. You fill in the blank of what your favorite excuse is, because anything we say after the word “BUT” is just that an excuse. I wanted to finish college, but . . . “this is too hard”; I wanted to interview for the new promotion, but . . . “I am afraid I it’s too big a leap”; I thought we would be married forever, but . . . “I’m just not cut out for this”. If you can build a visual picture of your life when you have accomplished the dream, it makes it easier to get clarity, to stay focused, to in a few words, “Have a Vision” and accomplish it.
Vision is the ability to see potential in what others overlook.
– Rick Warren
So what do you do if it has been forever since you listened to your dreams? If you have forgotten what wakes you up and fills you with joy of life? First of all you need to believe in your potential being way greater that where ever you are right now. Then think back to what makes you happy. If money, time, and family was all in your favor, what would you do with your life right now? If you knew that you only had one week left in your life, what unfinished dream would you want to dedicate all of your remaining time to? What is it that haunts you, keeps you awake when you give your mind the freedom to think about it? What is the “only if” in your life? These are all places to look for that dream if you have misplaced it. It also shows up in the areas in our life that come naturally to us. Look for the pattern and sew that dream back together piece by piece.
So we have this dream. We map out the path to bring it into reality. We create a Destiny Map. We start building bridges to grow ourselves into the kind of person that dream requires us to be. Then at some point, we see that we have to cross a different kind of bridge. The gap between where we are and where we want to go next, requires us to step out onto a bridge that we can’t see. Like Indiana Jones we have to literally walk across what we see as air, and trust that the bridge is really there. We have to risk everything we have, all of our beliefs in what we are capable of, to cross that bridge. If you are lucky enough to reach this bridge, this is where most dreamers quit. They fail to seize the moment to do something they have never done.
When you are not willing to be challenged, disturbed or offended, you are not willing to explore your weaknesses or ever reach your highest potential.
– Bryant McGill
So expect failure. Expect to be wrong. Expect change. Expect challenging times. Realize that your greatness is hidden in your true potential and keep digging it up until you find it and expose it to the world. Unlock the treasure chest and release your potential. It is a priceless treasure, which doesn’t do us any good unless we are out there distributing it. Dream big. Work hard. Believe in yourself. Be who you really are. Dream, plan, execute!
When everything seems to be going against you remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.
– Henry Ford