Definition of potential: latent qualities or abilities that may be developed and lead to future success
On average people consider they have achieved about 40% of their full potential
So what are the game changers that enable people to align with and grow into their potential and ultimately achieve their goals?
- Increased awareness
- Perspective and attitude
- Taking responsibility for ourselves
- Taking responsibility for our choices and decisions
Emotional resilience enables us to manage our emotions more effectively, to ensure we are not overly influenced by the emotions and behaviours of others.
So, how can you build emotional intelligence and resilience?
- Pick the company you keep wisely – both in real time and online
Apparently mixing with or sitting near a high performer can help you achieve better results. This sounds like a good thing, however it has also been proven that stress and anxiety can also be contagious, as we have witnessed first hand over the passed 7/8 weeks!
The reason for both these outcomes is the human ability to mirror emotions and behaviour and our basic instinctive desire to be part of a tribe.
According to Moran Cerf, a neuroscientist at Northwestern University, who has been studying decision-making for over a decade, when two people are in each other's company, their brain waves will begin to look nearly identical
One study of moviegoers, for instance, found the most engaging trailers all produced similar patterns in people's brains.
Again this can be seen very clearly during the pandemic, as we respond to news broadcasts with reactive threads of dialogue and shared posts on social media.
This means the people we hang out with, not just in person but also on social media, actually have an impact on our engagement with reality way beyond what can be explained, and one of the key effects is we become alike.
2. Become more aware of other peoples perspectives
- By being open minded and open to changing your mind – seeing it from another’s view point
Remember even salt looks like sugar
Recent research (Antinori, 2017) found that people who are open to new experiences have an ability to absorb more information than others and process it in different ways.
This flexibility helps boost their creativity and innovation and thus ability to solve complex problems and be more successful.
So, how can you become more open-minded?
- Read books
- Ask questions – never assume.
- Be aware of your internal and external programming and belief systems
Why do we think pink is for girls and blue is for boys?
This is a very modern stereotype – prior to the 1940’s Pink was more often a boys colour.
Did you know the Nazi’s used pink in concentration camps to identify gay men and transgender women.
- Listen and have empathy
Listening is different to conversation. In conversation we listen for only a very short time and then start thinking about our own experiences and how to respond (we listen for approximately 20 seconds).
Empathy is different to sympathy. Empathy is about standing in someone else’s shoes, feeling with his or her heart, seeing with his or her eyes. Sympathy is being in harmony or agreement. Sharing the feelings of another.
3. Take responsibility for yourself
- By recognising your values and pursuing your passions
“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life!” Pablo Picasso
“Making and consuming art lifts our spirits and keeps us sane. Art, like science and religion, helps us make meaning from our lives, and to make meaning is to make us feel better.” Grayson Perry
A recent report by the all-party parliamentary group on arts, health and well being which included hundreds of interviews and dozens of case studies demonstrated how powerfully the arts can promote health and wellbeing.
Co-chaired by former arts ministers Alan Howarth and Ed Vaizey, the all-party inquiry contends that their findings evidence the arts can keep people well, aid recovery from illness, help people live longer, better lives and save money in health and social services
- Making healthy lifestyle choices – fresh air, exercise, healthy eating
Fresh air boosts brain function and exercise reminds us that practice, repetition and patience are critical to learning.
Nutritional imbalance is now being linked by scientists to all manner of conditions such as hearing loss, previously linked to age.
- Give your self a break! Turn off phones & social media and consider meditating.
New research (Kumaria et al, 2017) found that regular meditation can make our sight more responsive, due to the brain attention system benefits it is believed to trigger. In the study, Buddhist meditators were compared to non-meditators in various tasks. The meditators eye movements were consistently more accurate and responsive, demonstrating how the practice could help to boost focus.
- Meditation Apps – Mindfulness; buddhify; Calm; Stop, breath and think..
- Deepak Chopra 21 day abundance meditation
4. Take responsibility for your own choices, decisions and actions
- Give yourself time to think and permission to be content & happy
Why is time important?
Stress over lack of time causes lower well-being and contributes to anxiety and insomnia. Psychologist Dr.Elizabeth Dunn argues it is time, not material goods, that raise happiness levels.
So, how can you give yourself more time and be happier and more content?
- Prioritise the important things: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_N_uvq41Pg
- Planning, preparation and time management
- Time management: https://youtu.be/n3kNlFMXslo (12 mins)
Prioritising and saying No is an essential learned skill in a world where the demands on our time are infinite. Write do it or ditch it lists. Be strict with yourself when setting screen use times and social media contact times. Especially now when it’s easy to get sucked down the rabbit hole!
- Research to avoid assumption and fact check
Thoughts are not facts!
- Mind maps are a useful tool to understand what is important
- Goal setting – a well formed outcome that you can visualise through your own eyes is a powerful tool
Set goals or outcomes which stretch you.
Have the courage to be brave. In the words of Dr. Brene Brown – Do it scared
Become the hero of your own story, because it is often in the failing that we learn the most and reap the greatest rewards.
Ask yourself the question – “What can I do today to be brave?”
Lesley Samms MSc ANLP
Lesley delivers group and on line training and 1 2 1 professional development, mentoring and coaching