“If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” — Bruce Lee
Humans are always full of potential—our growth doesn’t stop after a certain age, contrary to what we make ourselves believe. We are never too young, too old, too late, too poor, too tired, too much to achieve something. We just have to realize our full potential and grow beyond this. How do we do that?
According to Abraham Maslow, human motivation has a certain hierarchy–some needs have to be fulfilled first before we can pursue loftier goals that culminate in self-actualization. While a lot of psychologists after him believe that humans don’t necessarily tend to follow the sequence Maslow has proposed, it is true that we need to have a strong foundation (of the pyramid) to be able to reach our potential.
We need physical security, emotional security, a good and healthy environment, and the right mindset to unlock our best selves. So, here are some reflection questions you can ask yourself:
Have you taken time to rest well and take care of your needs? Do you go for walks or have some form of physical activity? Do you eat healthy and on time? When was the last time you had enough sleep?
When was the last time you spent quality time with your loved ones? Do you make time for your social circle? Do you surround yourself with people who support and push you towards your goals and help you be accountable?
Is your environment conducive to growth and productivity? Do you have access to ample resources and information to support your learning and your purpose?
Do you have the right mindset? Do you see challenges as opportunities rather than something you want to avoid? What are your limiting beliefs and how are you challenging them?
As entrepreneurs, we tend to focus on one and neglect the others. But if we want to be the best possible version of ourselves, we need all four.
The same is true for the people we lead. They say a mark of a great leader is their ability to bring out the best in the people who follow them.
Are you giving your people the right tools, opportunities, and resources to help them have a healthy work-life? Do they have enough time in the day to take care of themselves and the people they care about?
It all sounds good and profound, but what are some actionable steps you can take to truly unlock your (and your people’s) potential?
Have a little more self-compassion. Celebrate small and big wins and reflect on what you have learned throughout your journey to get to your milestones. Don’t forget how far you’ve come so that you can remain inspired and energized for the road ahead. And when you are faced with failure, learn how to embrace and accept it. Take what you’ve learned and don’t get stuck on blaming yourself.
To get from where you are now to where and who you want to be, you need to surround yourself with people who will teach you the things you need to get there. Accountability partners, coaches, and mentors are valuable in your journey, as are your role models and your team.
Partner your actions with reflection. By being fully present while doing, and having time to introspect on what was done, you get to see patterns and lessons you would otherwise have missed in the busyness of getting things done.
It also pays to reflect on the big picture every now and then, to remind yourself of the purpose and values that prompted you towards these goals in the first place. It also helps to examine the kinds of questions that are driving your way of thinking and doing things.
Never underestimate the power of good habits and discipline, both in being productive and intentional with rest.
Expose yourself to greatness with the mindset of a student, always willing and excited to learn.
Sharpen your skills in collaboration, leadership, and productivity, and treat your progress scientifically—always measure and record. Log your successes, your failures, your learning, and your progress. Remember that what you measure, you can grow and improve.
Practice mindfulness–not just the type that empties your mind but also being fully present and focused on the now, and as Kelly Labrecque said, observe your thoughts “with patience, openness, and non judgment.”
Lastly, don’t forget to have fun. We need to feed our spirit and our emotions as much as we feed our minds and our bodies. Life is all about finding small joys.
Make a big splash daily, and thank you for reading A Brilliant Tribe.