One of my greatest fears in life (aside from heights and running out of coffee) is not reaching my full potential.
I’ve often looked inwards at what not reaching my full potential means and why that fear exists.
For one reason or another, I am acutely aware that life is short. A seize the day mantra is something I often try to practice. I see what opportunities exist in the world, a multitude of things to get involved in. I believe I have a lot to give.
That’s when I begin to struggle.
A lot to give of what? What things would I like to get involved in? What path am I on? Is it the right one? Should I be on a path, or do things just happen as they are meant to?
These questions bubble around in my mind like a sweet and sticky caramel sauce, tainted at times with intrigue and optimism, with self-doubt and dismay.
I am scared of missing out on opportunities or selling myself short. I know me, but they don’t know me.
I don’t want to disappear into the ether of average, standard, or settling. That’s not who I am.
Let’s be honest, I don’t differ from Joe Bloggs when I say all I want is to be happy. I can’t help but think identifying that is the easy part. It’s getting there and homing in on what makes you happy that’s challenging. But it’s what we as individuals owe to ourselves. It’s what we need to explore.
Recently, I started working with a life coach. I feel I have taken a step towards owning and being accountable for how I feel presently and how I want to shape the parts of my future that I can control. The sessions challenge me to look within myself and detail exactly what I want, how I feel, and why.
A thirty-year-old British woman carries a lot of pressure on her shoulders, and that’s before you consider each individual’s story and scenario.
Sometimes I feel like a fish in a sea of millions of other fish, jostling toward those occasional splurges of the sun that breaks through the ocean. All those fish vying for a bit of warmth. But are those fish competing, or are they cheering each other on? There’s enough sun for everyone, right? Not forgetting those who prefer the shade.
I am learning that my biggest blocker is the pressure I put on myself and understanding the limits to what I can control. You can’t plan life. In the words of Karl from Love Actually, “life is full of interruptions and complications.”
Where do I go from here?
I think putting one foot in front of another is enough.
I will keep opening myself to new opportunities and allow thoughts to flow in and out of my mind. I will look for inspiration and quiet times to reflect and ponder. I will advocate for myself and be my biggest cheerleader.
I am learning to be more present. To accept that not all of life’s great experiences will be ones of grandeur. When I look back, some of my best memories are small and simple.
I will try not to get frustrated when things don’t happen straight away. I will not look for answers on pages that have not yet been written.
I am enough right now, I am happy with who I am, and I look forward to what I can achieve today, tomorrow, and in 10 years.
I will take age out of the equation. I discovered that a lady called Priscilla Sitienei learned to read when she was 90 years old after being unable to attend primary school in her early years. I am confident that’s just one example of many who continue to defy age stereotypes.
I say to whoever is reading this: Don’t hide. Dream big, but remember we do not have to do everything right now. We do not need to have all the answers. Keep on keeping on, darling. We’re proud of you.
Life is like a turbulent babbling river, the water influenced by the weather, the many tributaries formed over the years, and the streams that feed into it. Take the time to get to know yourself, figure out what makes you tick, what gives you an excited tummy, and what makes you want to hide under the covers.
Investing time in yourself will give you the conviction you need when making those more challenging decisions. It will give you the motivation to persevere when the going gets tough, and it will help you realize your full potential.
You owe it to yourself to harness it and find it. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to be everything you want to be.