“The potential of the average person is like a huge ocean unsailed, a new continent unexplored, a world of possibilities waiting to be
released and channeled toward some great good.” ― Brian Tracy
Larry Bird was a top prospect when he was still in college playing for the Indiana State University. He was so good that the legendary Boston Celtics general manager Red Auerbach, drafted him in 1978 although he didn’t get to play until 1979 because he decided to play out his final year. Red knew of Bird’s plan but he took the big risk of signing him on his junior year because he saw great potential in him. The rest is history, so to speak. Bird went on to become the Celtics’ franchise player and soon after, a hall of famer.
Each and every one of us have the same opportunity to become the best at what we do because everyone has potential. The only question is, when will this potential be realized. The ugly truth is that most of the time, we are the ones responsible for keeping ourselves from reaching that potential through self-limiting beliefs and habits.
1. “I’m not good enough” – I think we’ve all gone through this stage at one point in our lives especially in times of failure. Instead of moving forward and picking up the pieces, our discouragement gets the best of us and drives us to give up instead. What we fail to realize is we are “more than enough” and not the other way around.
2. “I’m not talented” – That’s a load of crap. I simply don’t believe that there’s a person who was born without talent. Everyone is good at something whether it’s dancing, singing, cooking, or even walking the tightrope. Skills are learned and developed over time. Michael Jordan wasn’t as good as he was when he first learned how to play basketball but he put time and effort in honing his skills and that’s what made him good at what he does.
3. “I don’t have the time” – This is perhaps the most commonly used excuse everyone comes up with and we all know deep inside that it’s simply not true. Everyone has time to make himself better, everyone has time to be good at something because just like everybody else, we are all given 24 hours to spend. If you have time to watch television every night, then you have time. You’re just not using it wisely.
4. “It’s too hard” – One of the things highly successful people have in common is that they all conquered their fear of doing something they are not familiar with. They all mustered the courage to do something difficult, something they are totally unfamiliar with. There’s no growth in doing something easy and familiar to you. Learning comes from doing something hard and unknown because it forces you to think and enhance your creativity.
5. “I don’t wanna be judged” – If you will always give weight to what other people will say about you, you’ll never be able to get to the next level. Don’t let other people’s opinions keep you from realizing your potential. This is your life and not theirs so take action and ignore any criticisms you are bound to hear.
6. “I’m busy” – Busy with what? Just like having equal amount of time, we are all busy with our lives and careers but that is not an excuse for not giving enough time for self-improvement. Read a book during your breaks, listen to audio books while on commute. You can find ways if you want to and come up with excuses if you don’t.
7. “”One of these days/Someday” – Why postpone doing something if you can do it now? According to Margaret Atwood, potential has a shelf life. We are all on borrowed time and if you don’t live up to you potential while you are in your prime or while you’re still alive, then you’re throwing that potential to waste.
8. “…just like the others” – You are what you think you are and if you are contented to be one of the many and settle in mediocrity, then that’s all you’ll ever be. Dare to be different and stand out from the crowd. Don’t be afraid to experiment and reinvent yourself and have a positive self-image. While it’s true that we are our biggest critics, we should also be our biggest fans.
There is an unlimited number of excuses anyone can come up with apart from what was mentioned above. It’s funny how people want to be successful, to be famous, and to be rich someday but they are not willing to put on the work and give their greatest effort. Everyone has the potential to become somebody someday or to be the best at what they do. You just have to acknowledge your potential and do everything you can to live up to it.
Over to You
What’s keeping you/What kept you from reaching your potential?
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