I have never met a parent who didn’t think their child was extraordinary, filled with untapped potential, waiting for just the right moment, the right set of circumstances, the right coach or teacher to draw it forth from them. We all have it, you know? Untapped potential, that is.
We all have the ability to do something that goes far beyond what we believe we have the capacity to accomplish. Our Creator placed it there. Potential is having or showing the capacity to develop into something in the future; latent qualities or abilities that may be developed for future successes or usefulness.
What I think is funny is that most of us believe in the concept of potential. We can even recognize it in others. But we have a difficult time seeing or believing in our own potential. And it doesn’t matter how much we love something (our passion) or how much we know what we are called to do with our life (our purpose), we can still convince ourselves we have reached our limit. We’ve run out of potential. Of course, that’s a silly notion.
So how do we unlock our own latent qualities or abilities and develop them for future success or usefulness? The ways to identify your potential are unique for everyone. But I do believe there are three steps we can take to unlock untapped potential in our lives.
I. Recognize Opportunities That Are in Front of You
Look around in your life. That friend who offers to teach you something new, the co-worker who felt called to mentor you, the opportunities you think you aren’t qualified to accomplish—these are all ways God uses to nudge us to take steps toward our potential.
II. Release False Beliefs
How many times have you felt that if you were really meant to do something, it would come easy? I believe this one misunderstanding about our potential is to blame for so many people not achieving what they are meant to do in this world. Releasing that false belief is key to unlocking your potential. Realizing that growth takes work and is not effortless is a life-changing mindset shift for so many of us. Sure you might have tried something and failed. That doesn’t mean you will fail at everything. In fact, I like to say, “Fail faster,” because we learn more about our potential and ourselves when we fail at something. Look for ways to develop your gifts, increase your knowledge, capacity, and abilities. For some, this may look like sharpening a skill set through classes, for others it might look like seeking out a mentor to provide guidance in new ways.
III. Realize Your Future Is in the Hands of God
Embrace the fact that your future is in the hands of an enormous God who is able to call forth from you every drop of potential He has placed within you, if you are willing to be used by Him. It is God who planted the gifts inside of you, and it is God who will help them come to life. Only through a relationship with Christ can we fully understand, unlock, and unleash our gifts and talents. Hear me say this to you. You have incredible, God-given potential. It’s there, just waiting to be discovered by you and those around you. Seize the opportunities that come your way; roll up your sleeves and work hard, don’t be afraid to fail, and trust that God has some pretty amazing plans for the potential He placed within you.
Alli helps people be more successful in business and life. She serves as the Chief Operating Officer of Propel Women.
Gifted with a knack for identifying trends early on, a voracious reader and self-taught businesswoman, Alli’s influence extends from Fortune 500 companies to international humanitarian organizations to small business owners and entrepreneurs. Her dynamic style and expertise in productivity, marketing, branding and digital strategy make her sought after counsel. And her insights on balancing motherhood, career and marriage have led to appearances on Good Morning America and The Today Show multiple times.
Alli lives outside Nashville, TN with her husband, Mark, their five sons, and their rescued dog. Most flat surfaces in their home have one or more of the following on them: books, sports equipment, legos and, quite possibly, a little dog hair.