Deb Sofield


Living to Your Full Potential

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I am sure you’ve heard 100 times that you should live up to your full potential, and, although I believe that is true, I have to ask what does that mean for you?

Have you ever thought about your “full potential,” meaning is there something that you’d give your all to, holding nothing back and being empty when you’re finished, only to refresh yourself and start over?

If you were to look online, most of the sites that deal with living to your full potential are about leading and living your life fully in the 7 Major Areas: Physically, Mentally, Spiritually, Socially, Emotionally, Financially and In Your Environment. When you think about that, that’s a lot of amazing living, assuming you are aware that you have these areas to grow more fully in.

According to Merriam Webster’s dictionary, the definition of POTENTIAL is: existing in possibility: capable of development into actuality.

Now that is good news for some, because many of you are existing in the possibility—you are being your best self and consistently pushing the bounds of exceptional behavior to push to the top and beyond—and for the rest of you, there is hope that, with time and effort, you are capable of developing your potential into actuality.

I like the idea of developing your potential into actuality, because many people I know are on what I would say is the cusp of doing great things. You just need a little push to put you over the top.

So let’s talk about what it would take to help those who have the possibility of living to their full potential, and then let’s talk about those who, with a little reinforcement or encouragement, would be capable of developing themselves into the actuality of living the life they desire.

 Before I begin, there is one issue that both sides need to address and that is the use of fear. Fear is everywhere. While it can be a driver for some, it makes others come to a complete stop in their lives.

I don’t know what fears you have, but I do know that, if you will find the courage to face them, you will most likely find yourself living to your full potential.

I love the acronym for the word fear: you can choose to Forget Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise.

It’s been said that everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear, so, with that in mind, let’s find a way to put fear behind you so you can do what you were born to do and you can live to your full potential.

I believe you have the possibility of living to your full potential if you do two things: (1) You stop listening to those who do not build you up, and (2) Start doing one thing daily to build yourself for success.

Probably the number one thing I encourage people to do to move into the direction of their full potential is to stop talking to friends and family who put you down, who don’t believe in your goals or who are always negative when you talk about doing better or being better.

You can still be friends, but don’t share your life goals with them. As the old saying goes, they will not understand, since it is not their journey.

When you hang around people who do not support you, it causes undue fear, because you’re always on pins and needles around them, knowing that they will, by their words or actions, crush any positive movement you’ve been making towards the achievement of your goals.

Sometimes the negative talk or comments are on purpose, because they don’t want to see you succeed (because it shows where they are stuck in life) and sometimes friends and family do it because it is who they are—negative, whiny, shallow, selfish people who are happy to live a life of mediocrity instead of greatness.

Living a life of greatness takes work—it doesn’t come easy. Living to your full potential is a daily exercise of positive self-talk and action. And please don’t be put off by the idea of positive self-talk. For some reading this, you are going to have to be your own best friend if you can’t find others to give you words of encouragement.

Let me take a quick rabbit trail for those who don’t have kids in the home. Your kids (and your spouse for that matter) do not hear a lot of positive comments about their looks, their weight, their height, their intelligence, their musical abilities or their athletic strength from others. You may be the only person (besides a coach) who compliments them, so consider it your job to be their cheerleader. Goodness knows kids nowadays need someone to believe in them and not always beat them down to “keep them humble” or some other ridiculous comment people say.

Quick story. I had an acquaintance whose family thought it was funny to call whatever kid on their birthday and tease them about their nose, their hair, their ears and other personal qualities. It was a tease session that to them was harmless, but to hear about it made me cringe. I felt so bad for the kid who had to hear from those who should have been their protector the silly and ridiculous comments about their insecurities. I would have been crushed as a kid if that happened to me.

There is no way that kid is going to reach their potential with that type of teasing, good natured or not. That cuts to the bone for kids. It’s going to take extra encouragement to help that young person to find the strength just to be capable of developing themselves into the actuality of living the life they desire, so if you allow that type of teasing and harassment to your child, you might as well start saving your money for therapy sessions, because your kid’s going to need it. Or you can just be the adult in the family and knock it off.

Okay, back to my message. So, as I urge you to not allow anyone to tear down your kids (or your spouse), you, too, need to stop listening to the nay-sayers. If they can’t say anything nice, don’t listen.

 Now, the second thing you need to do to help develop your potential into actually is to do one thing daily that will push against your comfort zone.

Ah, friend, if you sit around dreaming and wishing for success and never take bold daily actions to improving yourself, you are not going to move in the direction of your dreams; in fact, you’re not going to do anything, go anywhere and most likely you’ll come to the conclusion that you are stuck, and then you are going to watch people succeed who have less talent, but who have the will and desire to make their life better. Please hear me loud and clear today. You have to do one small thing daily to live the life of your full potential. Dr. Henry Link said, “We generate fears while we sit. We overcome them by action. Fear is nature’s way of warning us to get busy.”

I love that quote! Fear is nature’s way of warning us to get busy. Have you ever noticed that when you’re working things seem to fall into place, and when you’re not working you spend an inordinate amount of time trying to get things going? Remember, sometimes what you’re most afraid of doing is the very thing that will set you free, so get busy on your dreams.

To develop your full potential, you’ve got to be bold with a vision of where you want to go with your future. I know this sounds like a cheerleading session, but many of you need a cheerleader—someone to give voice to the words that you need to hear in order to fulfill or develop your full potential.

Ah, friend, you have so much to offer. You have so much that you could give, and it would be appreciated and welcomed by the people who love you and want the best for you. Please don’t hide your gifts because a few people don’t care. Give to those who do, and give generously.

I asked when I started today if you had ever thought about your “full potential,” meaning, is there something you would be willing to give your all to, holding nothing back? What do you need to do today to push against your comfort zone—to make you stretch to your full potential? Do you need to go back to school to get or finish your degree? Do you need to change jobs? Do you want to travel? Or do you want lose weight for good? Do you want to speak or sing or write? What would be the answer to the question of you meeting your full potential?

Whatever it is, know this POTENTIAL exists in possibility. Anything you dream you can do, and you are capable of developing your dream into reality.

The key, my friend, is to let your faith be bigger than your fear.

Deb Sofield

Deb Sofield is a Keynote Speaker, Author of the book, Speak without Fear – Rock Star Presentation Skills to get People to Hear What You Say and Encouragement For Your Life ~ Tough Love Memos to Help You Fight Your Battles and Change the World, Radio Talk Show Host in the Salem Network, Podcaster and President of her own Executive Speech Coaching Co., which trains women and men for success in speaking, crisis communications, presentation skills, media and message development in the U.S. and abroad.

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