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5 Not So Obvious Things to Help You Reach Your Potential, #2 is the Best

February 12, 2014 Coaching 0 Comments

Reach your highest potential!   Your altitude is the highest potential that you want to reach – this is easier said than done.  Achieving your potential can be a daunting task but I am hoping this blog will help you.

Leave a comment and let me know which tip you think is the best or that may be most challenging!

I am going to assume (I know this can be risky) that my faithful blog followers (thanks to all of you!) know some of the basics for reaching your altitude and being successful – eat properly, get a good night’s sleep, remove distractions, have a plan and exercise regularly.   These are all important but it takes more than these common tips to truly reach your potential.

I met with a coaching client this week and we were discussing motivation and what motivated her in her career and it was through this discussion that we got to the topic of her potential – how did she define her altitude and what did she need to do to reach it.

5 Not so Obvious Things To Help You Reach your Potential

1. Envision your Future Self

Picturing yourself in the future can be challenging – look in the mirror and really ask yourself what is my altitude, what is my highest potential and do I want to achieve that.  Some people are able to do this quite comfortably and others find asking trusted friend or engaging a coach to be helpful. Vision

If your altitude or highest potential relates to your career and it is to become a Vice President – envision yourself in this position.   What will your office look like, how will you treat your team and peers, what will you wear to work, what will create a great day, what will create a bad day?   Really spend some time envisioning yourself in your new role.

2.  Become Comfortable with Failure

This was a tough one for me.  The concept of failing was very hard to accept and even harder to become comfortable with.   Many of us are raised to succeed, to ‘win’, many of us are competitive and there are high expectations to meet, failing is often not an option.  One of the best lessons I have learned in recent years is that you cannot truly succeed and enjoy success until you have taken a risk, tried and failed.

The feeling of defeat can be overwhelming and filled with regret – we tend to ask ourselves “why did I do that, why did I say that, I should have done, I wish I did…, etc.”

It is these questions that encourage us to reflect on our decision making process and to learn.

Failure is a very powerful change agent – failing allows us to move forward and improve.  We need to be grateful for failure.  Similar to last week’s blog of being grateful for the snow”…it seems a bit crazy but it really allows us to look at things differently.

We do not want to fail because we do not want to disappoint our loved ones, colleagues, or managers.  We do not want to fail because we do not want be vulnerable.Failure and success

There is actually event called Fail-Fest which celebrates the sharing and learning from failures – a great place to be vulnerable!

The amazing thing is that when you fail and you are comfortable with it, others are rarely disappointed – they admire your vulnerability, how well you bounced back and how resilient you are.  Not only will you appear stronger, you will be stronger.   Being vulnerable is a great strength that will make you stronger and push you closer to your altitude

3.  Have Self-Awareness

To reach your altitude you need to have a great sense of self-awareness – ask yourself these questions (and answer them)

  • What impact do I have on others?
  • How do others perceive me? Is this the same as I perceive myself?
  • What are my strengths?   What would others say my strengths are?
  • What are my weaknesses?  What would others say my weaknesses are?

There is often a disconnect between how we see ourselves and how others see us – these are often called blind spots.  Stay tuned for a future blog on coaching and blind spots.

Speak with a friend or engage a coach to work with you to improve your self-awareness.   Once you have a great sense of self-awareness including your strengths and weaknesses you will be well on your way to reaching your altitude

4. Ask for Help

Once you answer the questions about self-awareness it is time to ask for help.  Being comfortable with asking for help is another strength – it is not a sign of weakness to ask for help.  It is a sign of being very smart, being able to understand yourself and knowing who you have in your network who may be able to help you.

No one has ever reached their true potential and become successful all on their own, with no help.

Each of us has a wide network of people – some we know well and others maybe not so well.  Become comfortable asking for help from others, take a chance and call them or e-mail them.  Most people are willing to help and if they are not that is OK, thank them and move on.  I am amazed when someone tells me that they were afraid to contact me for help – when I ask them why they often say that they did not want to bother me or that I may be too busy.   It is important to trust that if someone is too busy or not interested in helping you they will let you know and that is OK.Coaching

You can also reach out to professional advisors (mortgage specialists, financial advisors, business coaches, etc.) although there is sometimes a fee for these services they are experts in their field and it is their job to help you overcome a challenge in their area of expertise.

I encourage you to reach out to me or anyone else if you need help going around, over or through any of your challenges – having help to improve is a critical to reaching your altitude.

 5. Be Humble and Show gratitude

I think I have saved the best for last.  Humility and showing gratitude are two of the most important character traits that are an absolute must for reaching your potential.  Very few great leaders or successful people have reached their potential without being humble or thanking people along the way.

You can be confident and still be humble.  Finding the right balance of these is challenging but important – it can be part of your self-awareness building.

Your humility will show through as you become more comfortable with failure, being vulnerable and asking for help.  And of course when you ask for help or anyone supports you directly or indirectly on your path to your potential say Thank You!   Be gracious and let them know you appreciate their support and how they have contributed to you reaching your potential!

Leave a comment and let me know which tip you think is the best or that may be most challenging!

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About the Author

Nicki Morris

Nicki is committed to supporting helping business owners, leaders and entrepreneurs to achieve business excellence and success through leadership coaching and business consulting.