5 Proven Ways to Maximize Your Potential
December 7, 2022 9:00 AM EST | 10 min read
The average person’s potential is probably the personal resource that is most often wasted but imagine learning how to maximize your potential instead.
What could you achieve if you could tap into it?
We’ve compiled a few helpful signs that can help you determine whether you are meeting your maximum potential and, if not, how far you are falling short.
- You sleep well at night and are not feeling a high level of stress or depression.
- You feel energized and excited about your daily routine and the tasks for the day.
- You are happy in your job and life and do not constantly wish you were doing something else.
- You look forward to your future but are truly happy in the present.
- You are passionate about what you do.
- You feel a sense of purpose beyond your own existence.
Review each of the statements that we have listed above.
If any of these statements do not apply to you, you’re probably not realizing your full potential.
Try following the steps below and see where it takes you.
The possibilities are endless!
5 Proven ways to maximize your potential
1. Identify your strengths.
The first thing to do is to identify what you are best at, as these are things where you have the most potential to excel.
We are better at doing things we like to do.
Plus, you will feel happier!
Spend some time contemplating the following questions:
What did you love to do as a child?
- Do you remember the childlike wonder you had when you first learned to read (or started a hobby)?
- What are some things you do with no one telling you to do them?
Those interests, which came about at such a young age, are often the best and purest insight into what you truly love to do.
Explore whether you can translate any of these areas into abilities you should use in your adult life.
What would you do if money were not an issue?
So many of us have jobs we dislike (or even hate).
But we continue to grind day after day just for the paycheck.
Of course, you need money to live, but think about what else you can do to make money and still be happy.
Try not to let money alone dictate your career choice.
Chances are, you will be much better at your job.
Try to take in the big picture.
A lesser-paying job now may have the potential to become more lucrative in the future.
Keep in mind that your happiness is priceless.
Ask your family, friends, or other loved ones what they think you would be good at.
Their perception of you may differ greatly from your own.
At the very least, this will give you some food for thought.
You can also phrase the question differently.
Try asking them when they have seen you at your happiest, most productive, and best self.
Their answers may be a surprise!
Browse through the offerings at your local college.
It’s hard to maximize your potential if you don’t know the choices that are out there.
Reviewing a course catalog is one simple way to see a wide range of options.
Take this a step further by asking yourself:
- What would you major in and minor in if you attended college today?
- Based on your life and career experience, what classes do you think you could teach?
- What classes would you like to teach?
- Are there subjects you are curious about?
- Which subjects do you find boring?
All these will help you hone in on subjects and industries that you find interesting and can lead to further exploration.
Pick a role model.
Who do you admire most, and why?
Research that person; learn everything you can about them.
This can be someone you know personally or a public figure that you hold in high regard.
Emulate them where you can.
Use their example as a positive influence on your behavior and decision-making.
Know your strengths and weaknesses.
Measure them against what you like to do.
Your strengths plus something you love will be a powerful combination.
After you finish the steps above and have determined what you’re truly passionate about, try taking some more concrete, practical steps, such as:
- Talking to a career counselor about possible career paths.
- Reaching out to all of your contacts and networking yourself into a better situation.
- Pick a subject that you find fascinating and sign up for a class.
Start saving as much money as possible.
Unfortunately, money will probably be your greatest obstacle.
A financial cushion translates into more options.
2. Commit to the journey, not the result.
You must sacrifice to maximize your potential.
This may come as practice and training or a willingness to prioritize, even if it would disrupt other parts of your life and be an inconvenience.
To be committed, you must find a purpose in what you’re doing.
If it’s something that you are truly passionate about, it’s easier to maintain a high level of commitment.
Determination and fortitude are also key components in being committed.
You will face challenges along the way, so take them head-on with a determined attitude.
3. Take measured and small steps.
Many of us have unrealized dreams.
These are thoughts and desires that live in your subconscious (or even conscious mind) but that you never act upon.
The primary reason we do not take action is that we feel overwhelmed by the enormity of these thoughts and goals.
We tell ourselves that it is OK to just get by.
That it’s fine to be happy with the status quo.
The first step to maximizing your potential is banishing these negative thoughts.
Instead, embrace the idea that you have unlimited potential and that anything is achievable with hard work and determination.
The best way to do this is to think big but start small.
Take careful baby steps towards your goal instead of jumping in with both feet without thinking first.
Taking small measured steps will eventually become a habit, and like any habit, will be hard to break.
Before you know it, you have given yourself momentum and set yourself on a path to your goal.
4. Learn from your mistakes to maximize your potential.
You can categorize your mistakes into one of the following three groups:
- Mistakes you hide from others and by denying them even to yourself.
- Mistakes that you do not learn from.
- Mistakes that you learn from.
Focus on the third category to maximize your potential.
This is where you want all of your mistakes to land.
Never making a mistake again is not an option.
Below are some strategies you can employ to learn the most from your mistakes.
Try to maintain a positive outlook and keep things in perspective.
Just this one change alone will make a world of difference in your motivation and ability to stay driven.
Forgive yourself for not getting started earlier.
Forgive yourself for endless self-judgment and being overly critical.
Go ahead and forgive yourself for not doing everything you said you would.
You Might Also Like: 7 Ways to Become Like the People You Admire
Adjust your perspective.
Don’t think of your mistakes as failures.
Think of it as an opportunity for learning.
Take valuable insights from every error you make and apply them to your future endeavors.
Remember that you always learn more from failure and rarely learn from success.
Keep a record of your mistakes and what you have learned from them.
This method helps reduce the chances that you will make the same errors again.
It will also help you assess what you have done successfully, what needs improvement, and the reasons behind each result.
What would someone else have done?
Put yourself in the shoes of others that could have faced a similar situation.
What could have happened differently if you made a different decision?
What if you had tried a different approach at the onset?
Try to imagine various scenarios and their outcomes.
Seek input from trusted advisors or friends.
They may offer insights from their third-party point of view.
You may be unaware of certain things because you’re too close to the situation.
Give yourself kudos where they are deserved.
5. Be confident and maximize your potential.
You are doomed to fail if you are not confident in maximizing your potential.
You need to believe that you can do more and achieve anything.
Expect to be successful.
If you assume the worst, this can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Try to face each situation without a defeatist attitude.
Go in expecting you will be successful.
Don’t allow negativity to undermine your efforts.
Have faith in yourself.
We all have different strengths and weaknesses.
Don’t be discouraged by what you perceive as weaknesses.
An area of so-called weakness should not be measured against your existing skill set but against what you will learn. be confident in your own potential.
Be able to roll with the punches.
Things always happen that throw us for a loop, which is fine and to be expected.
Don’t let that throw you off your game.
Take in change and absorb it, but avoid letting it overwhelm you.
Confident people do not let the unexpected shake them from their course.
Make mistakes and maximize your potential.
Each time you make a mistake and then bounce back from it, it builds up your confidence to try again.
Eventually, you will learn to always be confident in the face of adversity.
Soon, fear of the unknown or making a mistake will no longer hold you back.
Accept praise when it is due.
It’s human nature to blush when receiving a compliment or simply shrug it off.
You think the person does not really mean what they said.
Or that, somehow, they do not perceive your true worth.
Yet when we receive negative feedback, it is so easy to accept that criticism and even dwell on it.
If you have done something praiseworthy, learn to accept praise for a well-done job.
This will remind you that you are talented and skilled at what you do.
Practice makes perfect.
Try exuding confidence in all of your interactions with others.
Fake it ’til you make it.
Keep your head held high, always employ a firm handshake, and look people in the eye.
Avoid stuttering, hemming, or hawing over your words.
Speak in a direct, clear tone.
Repeat to yourself that every moment is an opportunity to showcase your skills.
You have valuable talents to share with others.
If others perceive you well, that enhances your own ability to be confident.
We all have a great well of untapped potential within ourselves.
Learn how to access it, and your possibilities are literally infinite.
Maximize your potential for a better career, more fruitful relationships, and a sense of personal fulfillment, satisfaction, and happiness.