Have you ever had someone come up to you and say, "You have so much untapped potential!"
Have you ever answered, "Yes, but..."
It's happened to me, and I've given that answer....many times.
So what's stopping me from being the best I can be? What's stopping you?
I bet it's the same thing- fear.
We don't do our best because we fear. We doubt that we're good enough. We are afraid of living up to a higher standard. We are afraid that the higher we reach, someone will find out we're not really so great and expose us to the world as a fraud. We are afraid that they're right, and we're just trying to fool everyone- including ourselves.
Fear is that knotted mass of sticky goo we put in the keg hole to keep us from getting hurt. It isn't easy being the best we can be, whether it's a talent (or several talents), an attitude, or whatever else people can see that's great in you. They see diamonds, but you can only see the coal. A little pressure and you can be something fantastic, but pressure can hurt, and many of us aren't willing to take that risk.
Risk is scary.
Friends get frustrated with me sometimes because I never seem to tap into what they see as potential. But the problem is I can't see it, or if I do, I'm not willing to step out of my comfort zone and endanger my fragile inner being to the harshness of the world. But there are times I think I can do what others say I can. I begin to believe that maybe, just maybe, my friends are on to something. And I start believing that I can pull it off, whatever it is.
There comes a time in this life that we need to tap that potential, and see where it goes. It's scary, but it's also exciting. When I look back on my life I don't want to see a lot of "what ifs"- even if I fail, I will be a better person for having tried. Doing nothing does nothing. You can't grow a garden if you don't plant the seeds- even if you have no idea how to till soil, you learn by opening the seed packet, and play in the dirt.
It's not like I have to tap my potential with a sledgehammer. I can tap it with a hammer and a small nail if I want to. I can always widen the hole afterwards. In fact, I probably will. I might just keep that sledgehammer handy just in case I get really brave- but for now a small hole will do.
Someone once said, "Courage is not the lack of fear- it's doing what you need to do in spite of it." Tap your potential. See what happens. Either way, the results will allow you to grow in unexpected and wonderful ways.
Now where did I put that hammer?