Are you leveraging your true potential in life? Are you making the standard of contribution you are truly capable of making? Your potential is encapsulated in both your talents and the strength of your spirit. In other words, your knowledge, skills and experience as well as the energy you have in reserve.
How well do you apply your talents and invest your energy to achieve the results you want to?
Below are four essential ways to make the contribution you are truly capable of.
1. Behave successfully
The bridge between potential and performance are the behavioural choices people make. How we choose to behave, ultimately determines the extent to which we apply our talents and the standard of outcomes we create. Reflect for a moment on how your own behaviours impact upon your ability to succeed.
The simple reality is, when we choose to behave in ways that enable success our potential can be realised. No matter how capable we are, unless we behave successfully our potential will be wasted. Prime example can be found in the incompetent genius, who knows all there is to know, but fails to add value because they struggle to relate to or interact well with their colleagues.
2. Choose wisely
How you choose to think, the emotions you choose to feel and ultimately the actions you choose to take in every moment of every day drive the outcomes you create. While a single choice or action may alone seem inconsequential, the accumulative effects of your decisions matter.
Reaching standards of achievement reflective of your potential first takes wanting to get there. The desire to be the best possible version of you is a prerequisite to thriving in any area of life. Commit to making considered choices that support achievement of your dreams. Understand when the choices you make undermine your success and take deliberate steps to change them.
3. Nurture your spirit
How you choose to behave is profoundly influenced by the strength of your spirit. When energised we are all more likely to be behave in ways that enable our success. Reflect on how much more likely you are to be focused, resilient, driven or courageous when energised. In contrast, when drained of energy most people struggle to behave successfully. Pessimism, fearfulness, lethargy and resignation are all common signs of a drained spirit.
Are there people in your life that suck the life force from you? Do some of the ways you are expected to work drain you of energy and hold you back from being at your best? Understand the things that energise you and spend time doing them. If time with family and friends fuels your spirit, make doing that a priority. Understand also the things that drain you and take reasonable steps to avoid them.
4. Create opportunities
Don’t sit back and wait for other people to recognise or leverage your potential. Look for ways you can make a more significant contribution and put your hand up when they come along. Ask to participate in events or projects for example, which will allow you to showcase your talents or learn from the experience. Demonstrate a willingness to go beyond the call of duty and people are more likely to invite you to join in.
Trust yourself and be willing to give things a go knowing you are capable of tackling challenges that come along. Take very opportunity to learn and grow both personally and professionally. People who are eager to broaden their capabilities and develop their character are those most likely to realise their potential.
Karen Gately is a leadership and people-management specialist and a founder of Ryan Gately. She is the author of The People Manager’s Toolkit: A practical guide to getting the best from people and The Corporate Dojo: Driving extraordinary results through spirited people.
This article was first published by Women’s Agenda.