Three Keys to Realising Your Potential in 2016

One of the many wonders of humanity is that we all have potential.

Pope John XXIII (1881 – 1963) said these wise words, ‘Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.’

Christian mentor and Professor, Howard Hendricks on the other hand said “Nothing is more common than unfulfilled potential.” Many people live and die not having realised the fullness of their potential. Our potential is the difference between what we are and what we can become.

‘Potential’ means, ‘something possible but not yet actual’...‘latent qualities or abilities’.  Each one of us has possibilities waiting to happen and latent abilities yearning to be expressed.

What is the potential within you that could be unlocked and expressed in 2016?

What Does the Bible Say about Potential?

Interestingly the word ‘potential’ does not occur in most conventional versions of the Bible. However, I believe the principle of potential does. The Kingdom truths which Jesus taught, about ‘seeds’, ‘growth’ and ‘fruitfulness’, can all be applied to the concept of potential.

‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.’
Matthew 13:31-32

The potential we carry are like seeds which God has planted within us. These seeds may be gifts and talents, desires and dreams, calling and purpose. They might be tiny, like the mustard seed, but they have the potential to germinate and grow, and to become exceedingly fruitful and successful.

Three Keys to Reaching Your Potential

i.        Identify and Focus

Our potential can be sitting just beneath the surface or it can be deeply buried. The first key to personal growth is always self awareness. It’s important to identify what possibility, capability or quality is waiting to be dug out and developed. Once the specific area of potential is identified, focus then comes from setting goals and taking action.  For example, if you have creative potential in the arts then a practical step is to book yourself into a course such as painting or photography.

ii.             Deny the Lies and Fear

Often our potential has been hindered because of fear and negative self beliefs. The best thing to do is write out every one of these beliefs, lies and fears. Look at them and make a choice to deny them and push through.

iii.           Perseverance

The words of Winston Churchill, prime minister of England during World War II, resound with wisdom; ‘Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential.’ Anything worth achieving will always demand commitment and perseverance, and a willingness to push on despite challenges and obstacles. Mr Churchill is also famous for his declaration, “Never Give Up, Never Give Up.”

Potential and Stewardship

A healthy Christian perspective of realising your own potential is to see it as stewardship. That God has entrusted each of us with gifts, dreams and purpose, and it is our responsibility to utilise and increase these things for His purpose and His glory. As we focus on growing the different areas of our personal or professional lives, our potential will be progressively realised and the level of our influence increased. Reaching our potential is all about becoming everything God has designed us to do and to be.

Amanda Antcliff

Amanda is a personal coach, mentor, pastor, trainer and speaker. She is also the author of the book ‘Women Rising’.