Always Aim For Your Full Potential

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Avatar for Trifecta
2 years ago

My friends, have you ever been in a situation where you felt like you needed to fold yourself in to fit into a space? By that I mean, have you ever been subjected, for example, to peer pressure where, to fit in with friends or relatives or colleagues, you needed to pretend to be different or even less than you were? And if you have found yourself in a situation like that, what did you do?

Personally, when I was younger, I became a skilled contortionist. I twisted and turned and folded and bent myself to fit into spaces. I wore characters like changing clothes, switching from one persona to the next so rapidly that after a time, I almost forgot who I was. But as I've grown older, (hit my 40s and began to view the world through middle aged spectacles) I think my appetite has changed. I no longer crave acceptance. In fact, quite the opposite, I hardly care if I stand out.

Image Source: Pixabay

And it's not even that I don't care, because I do care. I want to stand out. I actually quite like the idea of standing out and being unique, one of a kind, me. I am. A sentence by itself.

Image Source: Pixabay

Today, I am of the view that when you give up on your individuality or when you smother your abilities and reduce yourself to gain acceptance, you lower your value, you underprice yourself, and you say to others, I do not know what I am worth and so you get to tell me. Let's chat about it.

Facing a Crisis of Identity

Many people faced a crisis of identity during their teenaged years. I certainly did and I'm quite okay with saying that today because I am extremely proud of my growth and I think that sometimes when we set ourselves up as being impervious to all of life's challenges those who follow in our wake, when confronted with these challenges, might think themselves somehow weaker or abnormal if they struggle with them when that is hardly the case.

And so, sometimes, for me, I enjoy watching those shows where people answer the question, if you were to speak to your teenaged self today, what would you say?

Me? I'd say:

  • Be Expensive.

  • Be Exclusive.

  • Be YOU.

But since I can't wind back the hands of time, this is what I'd say to any young person I meet: Be expensive, be exclusive, be you. Be the best you that you can be.

Image Source: Pixabay

The Best That You Can Be

Don't put yourself on a bargain rack where you are just one of many others. Stand out, in a positive way of course. Shine.

To be the best that you can be, you will need to focus.

And so, step away from your peers, take a few minutes to yourself, clear your mind of the group think for a bit and think of yourself as a painter and your life as your easel. You can't paint a masterpiece by looking at someone else's canvas. Focus on your paints, focus on your canvas, concentrate on the best artwork that you can create.

Though we collectively form groups as society, it is important that we bear in mind that we are not mass productions. We are unique individuals. Our lives are unique. Our talents are unique. And it is important that we identify and embrace that special spark which is in each of us, that sets us apart, rather than wait for the world to identify it for us. Because if we choose to depend on external sources to tell us who we are and who we can be, then we may spend the rest of our lives waiting.

Aim as High as You Can

You give away your power when you allow someone else to determine what you can and cannot try to achieve.

Image Source: Pixabay

I actually had a conversation with my sons on the school run this morning about aiming for their full potential.

My last son, who's eight years old, was anxious this morning because he had a recital in school which was really cute and he didn't want to say it because he feared that his friends would laugh at him.

"I'd say it to the teachers in the office," he said. "But my friends shouldn't know. They'd think it was funny."

I understood my son's fear. School could be a bit of a jungle, and once he is in the classroom, there is little I could do to protect him from his peers should he need that protection, and so, I understood that his recalcitrance was perhaps fueled by a desire for self preservation. But even though I understood his reservation, I urged him to push past it. Because I knew that while his friends may laugh and tease, it wouldn't be because they felt that his talent was a joke.

"Don't let anyone's insecurities limit what you can achieve," I told him, pointing out that it was very likely that the cruel humor of others could be driven by insecurity and jealousy.

Guys, listen, sometimes people will try to make you think that you are less than you are because you intimidate them. And so, when you accept that narrative, you are selling yourself short.

I remember, when I was young, there was this guy in my country, Machel Montano, who was and is a huge entertainer. As a child, Machel Montano was extremely successful, but he was subject to public opinion about what he could and couldn't do, and, as he grew, he also had to weather some very ugly rumors.

This did not stop him from entertaining, however, daunting though it may have been at times. He continued to perform, to enter competitions and to win every single time, smear campaigns or not. His talent took him all over the world, and today he is arguably one of the richest entertainers in our country, definitely the most successful of his generation.

Had he allowed the opinions and insecurities of others to stand as stumbling blocks in his way, Machel Montano may not have been the success that he has become.

And so, this morning, I urged my son to continue to hone in himself an independent spirit that is guided by values about right and wrong and not swayed by the emotions of a crowd of peers.

Don't fold yourself in to fit in, stand out.

Sometimes, even as adults, we may find ourselves in spaces where we are fearful about reaching for our potential because we are worried that we might shine too brightly. Does the sun dim to accommodate other stars?

Image source Pixabay

I think it's important to work well with others and not seek to upstage anyone, particularly when you are part of a team, a class, a group or a community. But at the same time, I don't think that you are lending true value to the community you belong to if you give less than your best. In a case like that, if you fear that you'd shine too brightly, rather than dim your light, I think the thing to do would be to help others to shine as well.

And so, my friends, as you go about your respective lives, don't give away your power. To quote the Bible, don't hide your light under a bushel. Shine as brightly as you can and encourage the world around you to shine as well.

Image Source: Pixabay

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Comments

Hi Trifecta, thanks for this write up. I will live by this quote henceforth "don't hide your light under a bushel". You are a Great writer. And I think you have given me the idea for my next article. Thanks 😊

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2 years ago

Thank you, @Your_love, I appreciate the compliment! I look forward to reading your article. :)

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2 years ago

Beautiful! Yet again. I hope your son listens and takes your advice.

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2 years ago

Thank you so much, @Aimure. I do hope so too. Have a great day. :)

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2 years ago

This is wonderful to read and I like the part that we help other people shine but we shouldn't dim our light. I grew up brainwashed that I am not good, it affected my decisions in life. I don't want these to happen to my kids so as early as now, I am giving them moral support as much as I can on whatever it is that they love doing.

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2 years ago

Yes, my dear, it is so very important for us to nurture and cultivate a sense of confidence in children when they are young and to do it in a way that they are mindful and eager to help others to grow and shine as well.

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2 years ago

Never say nay, never give up. Thank you so much for this words of Admonition Dear Trifecta. Keep telling your son those good and encouraging, he will definitely grow up to be the man, he always dreamt of becoming.

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2 years ago

Thank you so much, @Chief_Mekus. We try really hard every day, and we pray that he does grow up to become a bright light to his family and community. We pray that they all do, and so I thank you for this blessing.

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2 years ago