7 Brutal Truths You Must Accept to Unlock Your Potential
By Tim Denning / P.S.ILoveYou
I’ve spent many years leaving a lot of my potential on the table. There have been stories I wanted to share, advice I wanted to offer and ideas I wanted to discuss. Sometimes it was just too hard to do.
The criticism of the internet and the courage I hadn’t quite found held me back. Yes, I still used some of my potential, but not all of it.
How do I know? Because now there is no holding back. Each time I hit publish, even if it hurts me, terrifies me, or makes me emotional, I do it.
The same goes for life. Rather than walk away when changing my career gets hard, or haters come out with their pitchforks, or someone I care about hurts me, I accept the brutal truth and take small steps.
Unfortunately, I am no gladiator, but on the tough days, somehow, the art of taking small steps has been useful.
Your potential is unlocked when you accept these brutal truths:
1. We all feel like giving up
The moment you quit feeling as though you are the only one who has ever wanted to give up and accept that it’s normal, something starts to change.
Your mind finds it easier to keep going when it is shown factual evidence that supports this reality. That is why I watch videos and read books of people from all walks of life who have wanted to give up.
Consistently doing this has trained my brain to understand that wanting to give up is normal, and not giving in is where the growth, accolades and success lies.
2. Most people are caught up in their own struggles to notice yours
This one holds immense power.
It is so easy to delude yourself and think that everyone is actively taking a seat in the audience of your life, and watching your every move and listening to your every word.
That is not the case. It is difficult to be a human being because when you’re born, you sign an unofficial, invisible agreement with life that guarantees you will experience struggle. It’s what you signed up for.
That everyday struggle that we all experience takes most of our attention — meaning, we have little time, energy, or focus left to take a look at what color pants you’re wearing or notice if you made a mistake.
3. Everyone has an opinion
That doesn’t make it right.
People will tell you what you can’t do but they’ll rarely tell you what you can do.
An opinion is based on someone else’s experience of the world and that may not be yours. In fact, that experience doesn’t have to be yours. What you experience is based on the opinion you form in your mind, from the evidence the world presents to you, gained from your experience in life.
It’s nice to hear opinions and feedback. Just don’t be held back by them.
4. Comfort numbs pain — discomfort allows you to grow beyond pain
Whether it’s food, a warm house, a cigarette, a glass of wine or watching a movie at the cinema — these experiences that make you comfortable help to numb the pain of your everyday life.
It’s okay to experience comfort at some level as long as you remember that only seeking comfort and avoiding discomfort is guarding you against unlocking your potential.
Uncomfortable situations force you to grow and that is how you grow beyond your current level of pain or at the very least learn to exist with the pain for now.
5. Standing ovations are rare
Most of the work you do in life will be a flop, go unnoticed, or miss the mark.
That is completely fine. Focus on getting enjoyment and meaning from your work and the standing ovations will become an added bonus as opposed to a search for the holy grail that you’ll rarely find.
6. Selflessness compounds your potential
There is only so far you can go when you live from a place of selfishness.
Making your life about more than you unlocks a different type of potential. Selflessness creates teachers, coaches, mentors, advisors, parents — all of which you can become and find your potential in.
The feeling you get when you are in service of others gives you extra fuel in your tank to keep going with the inevitable rejections, failures and shortcomings find their way into your life.
7. Time goes quicker than you would like to admit
Unlocking your potential takes time.
Throwing away time is so easy to do and we are all guilty of it. How much of your time have you wasted not living up to your potential? The answer is brutal and may overwhelm you.
You have probably wasted some of your time but at least you haven’t wasted your whole life, yet.
You still have time and that’s the best reason to stop wasting it and unlock more of your potential. It hurts to know you have been lazy or procrastinated, but it hurts even more to ignore that fact and pretend everything is great.
The truth is useful. I was lying to myself for years before I began to dissect some of the points in this article and validate it with experience.
It’s time to live to your potential that has been sitting idle. If not now, when?
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