This may be one of the most challenging and necessary questions for any person to consider who seeks to reach their full potential. I believe it is also important to understand that by nature we rarely approach life with this limitless mindset. In fact, it is quite the opposite.
As John Maxwell asserts, “We cannot perform outwardly in a way that is inconsistent with how we think inwardly. You cannot be what you believe you aren’t.”
Experts believe most people only reach 10% of their actual potential. That leaves 90% of potential completely untapped for the average person. Can you imagine feeling that you max out, or reach your ceiling at only 10% of your potential? Well, it happens everyday. How disappointing.
So where does the belief that ‘you aren’t’ come from?
As John Assaraf and Murray Smith assert in their book The Answer, “By the time you’re seventeen years old, you’ve heard “No, you can’t,” an average of 150,000 times. You’ve heard “Yes, you can,” about 5,000 times. That’s thirty nos for every yes. That makes for a powerful belief of “I can’t.”
I was sharing this statistic with some friends recently and we all just paused for several moments as we processed this somewhat uncomfortable truth. You can’t help but think about how you’ve been conditioned to believe that ‘You can’t.” How much have you left on the table simply because you don’t believe that you can? This belief works itself out in all facets of life, whether we recognize it consciously or not.
The 150,000 “No, you can’t,” episodes weren’t intended to create this crippling mindset, however that is exactly the result they produced in most people.
Why is it that we hear so much about ‘comfort zones’? Why do we pass on so many opportunities that are perceived as risky? In our core we are conditioned to believe that we can’t, or that we aren’t.
The first step in opening up your potential is to come to terms with how you are wired, and why.
We’ll continue to unpack this further as we progress through the week.