Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote-Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip. – John 1:45-46 (NIV)
We’ve all said it before, just like Nathaneal did. We’ve all dismissed someone because of where they are from, how they were raised, what they do or did for a living and so many other aspects. We dismiss people and opportunities all day long sometimes without even thinking about it.
But how often we dismiss ourselves is even more embarrassing. Why are we so afraid of our hidden potential?
Our hidden potential for some reason is directly tied to our self-esteem, to our self-image, to our confidence. If these things are low, or shaky then we will constantly miss our hidden potential. Sure it will poke its head out every once in a while but just like a Whac-A-Mole machine, we’ll pound that sucker back into the ground, thereby creating our very own Whac-R-Potential game.
It’s a game we play daily and some of us actually hold high scores and world records in it. It’s a rather easy game to play as you simple wait for something which looks like potential to rise up and then WHACK you smack the crap out of it and force it back into its little hole. We do it at home, in the office, with our family, our friends and even with ourselves. We make up excuses like “I can’t do it” … WHACK, “no one will use that”… WHACK, “it’ll be so much work to get started”… WHACK, “i don’t have the time, money, resources etc”… WHACK.
… WHACK … WHACK … WHACK … WHACK … WHACK
Before we know it we’ve got one half of our minds and bodies doing our daily activities and the other half is on autopilot whacking away at our potential. So how do we stop the madness and start to discover our hidden potential?
First we have to give ourselves permission to fail.
Funny huh? Giving yourself permission to fail? What the new age craziness am I dishing out now? Seriously our mind is more of an influence over us then anything else in our lives. If we begin by accepting the fact that we will probably fail and we tell ourselves it’s ok, then this free’s us to do whatever it takes to succeed. Think about Thomas Edison. What would have happened if after the first light bulb failure he just gave up and didn’t try again? He didn’t though, he pressed on and kept on trying, probably because he knew early on that it would take many, many failure to get it just right. Not convincing enough?
What if Mark Zuckerberg only created one website in his lifetime and it wasn’t FaceBook.
What if Bill Gates just stuck with DOS and never created Windows?
What if Steve Jobs gave up on Pixar and never created Toy Story?
What if Larry Page and Sergey Brin didn’t think search could be better and never created Google?
What if your parents never thought they had a chance with each other and skipped that first date?
Each of these scenarios played out in a positive nature, but what if they had gone left instead of going right? What if each of these individuals had at any point feared failure enough to let it control them instead of controlling failure.
Every day we all have a choice to face fear and go in one direction or let fear rule us and Whac-R-Potential and go the other direction. It’s time to put our mallets down and see what we are capable of.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”- Philippians 3:14 (NIV)