This is an excerpt from the upcoming “I am so not living my full potential” eGuide.  If you want to get your copy in your inbox too, just leave your name and email in the “Sign up!” box to the right.  You’ll get the free eGuide delivered to you as soon as it comes out of the Own Your Life oven!


So we look all around us.  Far and wide.  High and low.

We look at everybody and everything we consider successful and then we think, I want this too!

Or that!

Or wait, maybe this?

Or maybe rather that?

Or maybe…

We complete endless “10 Questions to Get To Know Yourself” and “30 Questions to Lead You to Your Right Life” quizzes, hoping to find the answer there.

We read books and books and books, till our shelves are full.

And we still haven’t found the answer yet.

As we keep looking outside ourselves, thinking about what we should be doing or could be doing, pondering our options, making pros and cons lists, we don’t really dive into something.

We just sit at the kitchen table and think things through.

And then maybe – just fleetingly – the dream of becoming a writer crosses our minds.  Or our dream to become a painter.  Or to start our own business.  Or to build a career in advertising.

But then we shake our heads, dismissing that silly, crazy dream.

Because this is really so out of character.  This is really so not what people would expect.  Everybody will say we’ve lost our minds.  Besides, we’ve invested so much in where we are right now.  It’s too late to change.  We don’t have enough time.  And way too much responsibilities in our life as it is already right now.  Nah, we are just deluding ourselves.  We’d better behave as responsible adults.

And as we keep hiding our truth for ourselves, we look for other things – after all, we want to address our empty feeling and create more joy in our life.  And we come up with things that are in range of what we are doing already now, though not really loving.

Things that are more do-able, things that are more acceptable and not so totally out there.  Like quit our job and go and do the same kind of job in a different company.  Or we go work for a different boss.  Or hunt down that promotion.  Or go back to the job we did 3 years ago, even though we didn’t really love it.

But the thing is, as we are busy figuring out our true life, looking at other people, taking quizzes and reading books, dismissing our crazy dreams and trying to be reasonable, we don’t have any time or space left to look at ourselves.

To check in with ourselves, figure out what we really want.

To really listen to ourselves.

To try stuff out, to play, to taste, to feel.

Does doing this thing energise me?  Fascinate me?  Or does it drain me?

I believe that what we really want is already within us, but somewhere along the road, we’ve gotten out of touch with it.

I believe that, when we are hiding our truth for ourselves, we invest time and energy in changing our life, only to end up in the exact same place of feeling stuck, drained, miserable.

Be honest with yourself.

Listen to yourself.

Explore.  Do.  Feel.

And then repeat.

If you want to become a painter, start painting now.  Just for yourself.  Get some paintbrushes and a canvas.  Paint.  Explore how it feels.  Explore what you like about it.  Explore what thoughts are stopping you from painting, even if you are just painting 15 minutes a day and just for yourself.

If you want to leave your career in Human Resources to become an accountant, get connected to someone who is an accountant right now.  Follow her for 1 day.  Experience a typical day in the life of.  Notice what attracts you.  What fascinates you.  And what repels you.  Or volunteer to help with the accounting of a non-profit in your neighbourhood.  Notice how that feels.  What energises you.  What drains you.  What holds you back.

Noticing that working with numbers is not your thing after all?  Amazing!

Noticing that figuring out the accounting rules and explaining them to people energises you? Awesome!

Follow the path of what fascinates you, of what energises you.

Explore.  Do.  Feel.

Then repeat.


Photo from here.

2 Responses to My full potential is something out there that I need to grab.

  1. This is an amazing post (just signed up for your newsletter !). I actually have been going through a similar struggle to what you’re describing here and hope to quit my job and start my own thing next year. It’s unconventional (my parents aren’t happy about it since I’m “wasting away my career” <– a career that isn't making me happy so I don't think wasting or throwing away anything). I'm scared and excited about what the future may bring. It's better than going through the motions being well paid, "responsible" and unhappy.

    • An says:

      Hi Elina! Thanks so much for your sweet words!
      Isn’t it amazing how much other people’s opinions can make us stop dead in our tracks and shelve our dreams – if we let them? Love how you say that throwing away a career you don’t like, is not really throwing away anything. Enjoy the journey, and do it your way at your pace!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *