Potential is what’s possible if we are operating at our absolute best. However, there is often a huge gap between someone’s potential and what they actually achieve. So why do people so often fail to meet their potential? What does it take to achieve that level of greatness? The #1 draft pick that goes to the NFL has enormous potential, but then ends up being a complete bust. Whose fault is that? Is it all of the scouts and coaches faults for overestimating his potential, or is it his fault for not putting in the work to succeed at the next level? Then there is the backup player that exceeds all expectations when given the chance to start. He has achieved his potential, but what if there is even more to be achieved? Successfully evaluating our potential may be one of the most difficult things to do, but can also give us in direction in life if we know what we are capable of.
Part of our potential can be evaluated from our own personal view. We know what skills and capabilities we have to a certain extent. But part of what our potential is has to be discovered from a different perspective. Often times others can see certain things in us that we might not be aware of on our own. The teacher that sees greatness in a student because they have enough experience to recognize such potential and the coach who takes a risk with the 7th round draft pick because he sees something nobody else does are both examples of this. Often times other people believe in you more than you believe in yourself, and they are right because they have the outside perspective to observe qualities that you might not be aware of. In the end however, pure speculation is not enough to know our true potential. Often times, we simply won’t know what we are capable of until we are forced to do it. We need to take risks and put ourselves in tough situations to find out what we are truly capable of. Sometimes people rise to the occasion and sometimes people fade in the moment. I didn’t think I was capable of living on my own at college, but when forced to do so I figured it out. Many times people will not realize their full potential because they are afraid of failure.
What is your potential? Challenge yourself. Maximize your abilities. You won’t know what you are capable of until you try, and even when you fail you still have the potential to succeed.
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