This article was written by Trevor, a recovering addict & alcoholic who’s been clean and sober for over 5 years. He currently works as a content writer for Coastal Detox. Since his recovery began he has enjoyed using his talent for words to help spread treatment resources and addiction awareness. In his free time, you can find him working with recovering addicts or outside enjoying about any type of fitness activity imaginable.
Like everyone else, I have my fair share of aspirations and goals that I believe would catapult me into happiness and fulfillment. But on the flip side as well, I get sucked into episodes of fear and insecurity that prevent me from trying to succeed in the first place.
It’s a common human condition to doubt and question if you even have the ability to reach a goal or go through the process of accomplishing one.
But frankly, you can only be in that mindset for so long because you might never start to reach your full potential or move forward at all.
Whether you believe it or not, you are always more capable of accomplishing goals than you believe or give yourself credit for. And that’s not some pseudo-inspirational advice that magically makes it easier for you to make things happen.
Rather, it should make you and stop and think if you’re holding yourself back from what needs to be done or if you need to take the first step in pioneering your life into the best it can be – into what you want it to be.
These are five things that hold you back from reaching your full potential.
1. An attitude of self-entitlement.
We all can have an amazing life full of happiness, the most genuine relationships, and seize opportunities in order to do what we love most.
However, just because we all can have those things doesn’t mean it’s handed to us on a silver platter at a certain point. The dreams you want to accomplish, or the limits you aspire to surpass, can only be achieved through dedication and hard work that takes steps towards them.
If you allow yourself to develop the attitude of thinking everything you want will “eventually” happen, you will spend your whole life expecting profound events and perfect opportunities to shake your world. That is a waste of time and a disservice to the actions you could have taken.
Encourage yourself to never stop working or doing the things that need to be done instead. You will thank yourself in the long run and look back knowing you always did your best.
2. Allowing yourself to be dictated by the opinions of others.
Do you always make choices for the sake of other people? If you do, you need to stop right now.
A people-pleaser mindset or constantly investing your energy into the approval of another person is a toxic way of living because you are living your life for someone else.
However, that is not to say that doing something in order to gain the approval of another is always bad. For example, you decide to take initiative to prove to a superior that you belong in a higher position more fitting for your qualifications and efforts. Therefore, you decide to take a different approach to your current job’s expectations and responsibilities and go above and beyond what is expected of you.
This action is taken for your sake and happiness – not that of a superior.
The main idea to take away from this tip is this: if you solely dedicate your time on this earth for others, you never live for yourself.
You make the happiness of others a priority, and that prevents you from making choices that contribute to your well-being and satisfaction.
At the end of the day, it’s not the happiness and approval of another person that truly matters, it’s about what you think about yourself and what you do for yourself alone that is most important.
3. Destructive self-talk and behavior.
What you tell yourself is just as important as the choices you make and actions you do.
Someone named Ghandi once said, “your words become your actions”. So you should take care to make your self-talk kind and encouraging, especially in times of failure and embarrassment.
Beating yourself up and blaming yourself for unforeseeable or uncontrollable actions is just going to make you feel awful and discourage you from moving forward. Accept that mistakes happen or you may have not done your best sometimes – and that’s okay.
Furthermore, how you treat yourself is also vital to your well-being and aids you in reaching your full potential.
You can drive yourself into depression and engage in dangerous coping methods such as taking drugs and drinking alcohol when things don’t go according to plan, for example.
Direct negative energy into healthier outlets, such as exercise and meditation.
Lastly, consistently take care of yourself mentally and physically in healthy ways. Great self-care sets the stage for allowing yourself to truly reach your dreams with a sound mind and body.
4. Believing money will ultimately make you happy.
While money has the ability to make life easier, it should never be your ultimate goal. That advice has been given a thousand times because it’s true.
When you dedicate life to simply making money, you choose an external factor that contributes nothing to your self-growth.
Instead of focusing on having more money, switch your attention to finding and earning more opportunities, because those are where you will take away life lessons and knowledge that money or any outside force can never give you.
5. Making harmful boundaries on your potential.
How many times have we told ourselves we couldn’t succeed because we were not “enough of something”? Confidence, strength, ability – everyone can name something.
When you set boundaries on what you think you can do versus what you actually can do, that is already setting yourself for failure.
Let go of the notion that you aren’t “enough of something”, and simply do what needs to be done by your own, unique way.
We all have limits we set on ourselves or endure chronic circumstances. While some are emotional or physical – they can always be surpassed in some way and handled accordingly to enable us to still reach our goals.
Remember, you got this. We have one life and we might as well make the best of it. You will make the best of it.