‘you have so much potential’ those infamous words people tell you that give you that little glimmer of hope. That make you think, actually i could be really good at this! I can’t even remember how many times I’ve heard those words said either to me or about me. It makes me wonder, do people really mean it when they tell you this or is this just false hope they say to make you do something they want? Throughout the whole of my school time from as young as I can remember teachers have said this about me. Sports coaches say this to you in front of your parents with such enthusiasm. Employers tell you this with real hope in their voice and eyes. Parents tell you this when they see you doing well at something, and yet when I hear these words now I feel slightly defeated and guilty. Those words that after that initial excitement make you remember all those other times people have said this to you and you’ve come out nothing short of average at best.
You have so much potential, those words that even typing this out right now are making my eyes glisten over. But why? These words should empower us and give us that little boost to do the best we possibly can at anything! Maybe we feel this way because these words are often only said to us at the start of something new and then never again. After that those words change to ‘you HAD so much potential’ or ‘ you’re not living up to our expectations of you’. Does anyone else feel like these expectations are set way too high in the start or we are rarely actually given the opportunity for these words to actually mean something for once?
I don’t know about y’all but this is often said by the ones we love the most, making it that much more hurtful when it doesn’t happen, we feel like we have let down everyone else instead of ourselves. I know from experience this is often said about something we have so much passion for. I’ll give you some examples. Sport. This is the one thing I have always been pretty good at and something that I have such a strong love and passion for, with so many dreams relating to it. From a very young age I always wanted to be a professional sports person, whether that be a professional athlete, dancer, gymnast even a professional wrestler at one point *yea let’s all laugh at me for that one together*. In every one of these sports, and ones I continue to do, coaches have always expressed their belief in me to reach high levels, they’ve told me ‘you have so much potential’ several times. I really did believe it. I believed in my coaches, I believed in myself and in my dreams to do well in this. But when it starts to get hard for you, and you start to lose your enjoyment and your motivation their belief and desire in you to do well also seems to fade, leaving you wondering if you were ever actually good enough in the start.
Are these feelings about this statement avoidable though? Why are we losing this enjoyment and motivation to do our best in something we love so much? When this happens to us why are we not reminded of why we started these things in the first place and why we love it so much? Instead attitudes towards us change, there is no longer excitement towards our abilities and how good we could be. Have I ever reached my potential in anything? Hell no! Do I have the potential to actually do something really great and be successful in my life? Of course I do, but just being told ‘you have so much potential’ isant going to get me anywhere. Honestly, the thought of actually reaching my potential scares me, maybe having to motivate myself and tell myself I can do it is the hardest part of all.
‘You have so much potential’, you do! This statement is about pushing past your comfort zone and really believing in yourself. Yes it’s so much easier to rely on others to praise you and keep you motivated but no one else knows your hopes and dreams better than you do. If you tell someone this, make sure you really do mean it and believe in this person, make sure you celebrate every little success with them, not just the big ones. But when they hit a little bump in their path, that’s when you should be telling them this, or even better help them see their potential and reach it!
Until next time,
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