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Exceed Your Potential

Hello and welcome to this early fall Friday, September 25, 2020. Today is a rare and precious day that will never come again. Maybe today is the day when you exceed your potential.

We have the unfortunate capacity to limit ourselves. Without ever deeply investigating our negative self-talk, we tend to believe that we can’t do something having only barely tried, or, before we even try. “I can’t speak publicly,” was one of my favorites. Here is another one: “I can’t play the guitar. My fingers won’t bend like that and I can’t keep time.”

It is true that when I got up in front of people to talk, I felt flushed, my hands sweated, my pounding heart raced, and I felt extremely anxious – to the knee-wobbling point where I would almost pass out. There were times I gave speeches as an undergraduate when I had to literally hang on the chalkboard rail to reassure myself that I wouldn’t fall over. Nowadays, I rather enjoy speaking to groups. I still get nervous meow and then, but the feeling passes not long after I start. I still haven’t learned to play the guitar very well, maybe I never will. But I keep trying and I continue to get better. I know a few chords and I’m picking up on how to strum. Keeping time? Forget it. Not yet.

I may never be a world-renowned public speaker or play the guitar like Eric Clapton. I am, nevertheless, doing more than I previously believed I could. In this sense, I am exceeding my [perceived] potential. The fact is, we have no idea what our full potential is. If we look back at our lives, I’m confident that each of us can conjure up specific examples of where we accomplished things we barely dared to dream about.

Twenty years ago, I never thought I’d have a career beyond nursing. Ten years ago, I never knew I’d earn a graduate degree in philosophy. Five years ago, I would never have believed that I’d be writing these weekly mindfulness support letters. “I can’t write,” was another story I told myself. Assuming I’m alive, what will I be doing next year? In five years? Ten? Twenty? I don’t know. But I do know that I can either passively see what happens, continue to fall victim to my fear-driven, self-limiting stories, or, I can work though my fears and create a life that is intentional and meaningful.

While there are so many causes and conditions that do limit us, we’ll never know what we can accomplish until we put intentional energy into it. I often get inspiration from a man who was born of bi-racial parents, raised by his single mother and who, despite systemic racism, became the 44th President of the United States. Not so very long ago, a black president was unimaginable.

While I admire people who do amazing things, have meaningful careers, and are what our society considers successful, I’m more interested in who we are as a person. Being vs. doing. Someone who is highly successful in their career can still be dishonest, cruel, selfish, and miserable. Though it can be rewarding to develop oneself professionally, the time and energy spent may or may not improve their personal or family life. It’s quite common that their professional improvement may even come as a detriment to other aspects of their life. Sometimes we sacrifice our health and family to “make it.” However, if we invest in personal growth, every aspect of our life benefits, including our family and professional life.

Though most want to embody qualities that are important to them (living with less stress and anxiety, developing attentiveness and resilience, being of service, kind, compassionate, honest, and having integrity are important to me), I’m discovering that very few are actually doing what it takes to embody what is most dear to them. As my teacher says, “we are too busy creating stress worry, and concern in our lives to practice the skills that will reduce our stress, worries, and concerns.

As much as we may want to change, we tend to get stuck in our habitual grooves, are overcome by fear, and are so limited by the stories we tell ourselves that seldom do we actually put energy into personal development. Most energy is typically spent on professional development and arranging the world in search of happiness, peace and contentment. These qualities are developed from within.

As a qualified Mindfulness-Based Life-Coach, I am committed to support personal development resulting in a rewarding life imbued with resilience, meaning, and a deep, nourishing sense of well-being. Whether you’re looking to reduce stress and tension in your life or to work diligently to exceed your preconceived potential, I can confidently assist you to create the very best version of yourself possible. Let’s grow together and make the world a better place.

I love you and there isn’t anything that you can do about it.

Exceeding my potential,

Dan

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