An Uncomfortable Question

None of us really comes close to the edge of our true potential. We don’t even know what our real potential is. In fact, we all have unexpressed potential we don’t have a clue about.

True, a few of us seem to have expressed our full potential in certain areas of our life. That’s why we marvel at people like Steve Jobs, Michael Phelps, Whitney Houston, Oprah Winfrey and Warren Buffet for achievements in certain areas.

Then there are people we never hear about that are exceptional in certain areas. These are the parents, sons or daughters to their aging parents, friends or community members that stand out for who they are and how they impact others.

They are role models and indicators of what’s possible for the rest of us–in the areas in which they shine.

But how many of us reach exceptional levels even in one area of our lives?

That’s the hard question we don’t want to hear or think about. And yes, you might be the exception to that statement.

For most people, that question is too uncomfortable.

At the same time, almost everyone admits to having hidden and unrealized potential.

But what happens when someone addresses that topic with us?

What happens in the workplace when a manager or leader is challenged that their leadership or that their team can be and do far more than what has been demonstrated?

That’s usually when we put up our defenses and go into protection mode. We begin to defend where we’re at and speak to how well we’re doing  or to  how much we’ve changed in one area of our life.

We want to be affirmed, congratulated, accepted, respected and admired.

And there’s nothing wrong with that. We all have inherent needs to be accepted, respected and loved.

Here’s the challenge: We have to keep nurturing our sense of self-worth, self-love, self-confidence and self-esteem so we feel accepted, loved, respected and powerful.

The more we nurture these inner qualities the more we are naturally motivated to see how much more we can learn, grow and transform without feeling defensive, rejected or “less than.”

We can’t grow and thrive without being challenged—either by self or others.

However, we can only challenge ourselves to the extent we feel safe enough and strong enough to consider the challenge not as “criticism” but as something that can enable us to keep learning, growing and thriving.

What do you think? Leave a comment or a question for us all to consider. (If you’re reading this in your email, click on the title of this post to go to my website where you can leave a comment.)

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