What if you go through your whole life with this idea that you’ll never become as great as you could possibly be? What if you never reach your large goals? These are very valid questions and typically in the back of many entrepreneur’s minds, even if they seem very confident in themselves and their ideas. Successful or not, entrepreneurs and people wanting to become entrepreneurs are still human beings and share many of the same traits as every other normal person out there, including the fear of failure.
While we have discussed being afraid of failing, and the impact that has on being able to move forward, we never actually discussed the impact of not believing you will ever reach your potential. While you may have heard many say potential means nothing without execution, there is still some power to potential by itself, even if it has yet to find its execution pattern. Potential is ultimately fueled by belief, and many entrepreneurs who have become great will tell you that they believed they would be great before even making their first dollar. They believed in themselves even at times when no business opportunity was present or money had yet to be attained. They knew they were going to be great and yet didn’t know how until the right opportunity presented itself and enabled them to become very great at whatever it was they found a niche for.
Before they could become great, they had to believe they would be. This concept is often discussed in the Third Circle Theory as part of transitioning from the 1st to the 2nd circle.
The real issue with comparing yourself to your perceived potential is the fact that your only baseline is your perspective rather than hard evidence or past track record. Its often related to others you see around you who have shared a similar start. Many entrepreneurs compare themselves by age to their peers and then compare their accomplishments to others in similar or different fields but who share commonalities with them, as a result establish a baseline of their potential based on these observations.
So here is how worrying about reaching your potential can actually hurt you more than help you. You create your potential based on belief but you reach it based on confidence. Your confidence enables you to act on your belief and the more you succeed, the more it fuels it and pushes your belief to look further and further rather than taking baby steps. When you worry about reaching your potential, you are indirectly saying that you are not confident that you can reach where your belief tells you you should be, and therefore creates a sense of insecurity and puts your mind in a state of unknown.
The biggest reason entrepreneurs succeed vs fail is their ability to navigate the unknown rather than follow the known path others take. It is their ability to venture in a dark room and find a way to create light rather than know where to reach for the switch. By believing they can create a path, they envision what the world they seek can look like but also envision themselves within it and are able to make that projection a reality by confidently moving forward until they get there. When their confidence suffers because they question their inability to reach their optimum level, they are slowly taking away from their belief system and eventually find themselves lowering their reach.
Which then brings the question… are we all born with the same potential?
While I believe we are all born with the same capacity to unlock our inner potential, I do believe that circumstance plays a significant opportunity in our ability to unlock it. While we can all become the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, some of us are given an opportunity to reach for such goals much earlier than others. In this case, I am not referring to those born into money but rather those who are born surrounded by individuals who help them expand their awareness much earlier on. As a result of such, opportunities are easier to identify and act upon and the filters and façade of life start to disappear enabling to your belief system to develop very early on and push you ahead with velocity.
This can be applied to the immigrant mentality who work much harder than those already there. People (including entrepreneurs) become complacent and therefore become blind to the reality of their environment when in it long enough. Becoming blind keeps you from identifying opportunity and lowers your level of awareness regardless of which context it’s in.
Try not to worry too much about reaching your potential and instead focus on driving your goals, eventually you will look backwards and see that you potential was nothing more than your collective goals wrapped around your belief.