There’s so much we were designed to accomplish in our lifetimes— so much more than many of us ever accomplish. While we must learn to maximize our potential, we must also learn to identify and fight the enemies of potential.
These are the forces that will either stop or slow you down in maximizing your potential.
Myles Munroe has given guides that can help you understand, release and maximize your potential in his books. You can read my summary of those books.
Enemies of Potential by Dr. Myles Munroe
The maximization of our potential can only happen with our compliance with the ways of God. All the commandments of God are only guiding rules that ensure we function within the scope of our wiring. God does not ask us to do anything to benefit Him. Instead, He shows us what is expected of us if we want to maximize the potential He has put in us.
Disobedience to God’s commandments is malfunctioning that will cost us the fullness of His provision, not because He’ll withhold it but because we’ve left the place of His provision.
Apart from the fact that sin is a deviation from God’s pattern that brings the same effect as disobedience, sin is also a declaration of independence from God. Telling God you know better than He does, so you can follow His ways. God is our source and we must remain connected to the source if we want to continue to bring forth anything meaningful or maximize our potential.
Fear incapacitates action. The release and maximization of your potential require that you put in work. In fact, work is the master key to the release of potential. However, to fully maximize your potential (something you can’t see yet), you need to take a lot of risky steps.
You need to put a lot of work into something that has no guarantee of producing; you need faith! But fear is the opposite of faith. Fear won’t let you work or take risks, and without work/risks, you can’t maximize your potential.
On the journey of maximizing your potential, difficult and trying times will come which can easily get you discouraged. If you don’t keep yourself. And once you get discouraged you can’t put in enough work to get the desired result. It’s only those who run the race to the end that get crowned.
The more you put things away for a later time, the lesser things you get done. Procrastination is an enemy of potential because it can become a habit. Once the habit of procrastination is formed, years will just pass but in the life of the individual without anything to account for.
Not because they don’t have anything to do but because they can’t just get it done. Remember later never ends; if you keep putting work off to later, your potential will remain just a potential.
6. Past failures
Past failures can lead to discouragement which will stop you from chasing your dreams or maximizing your potential. To fully maximize your potential, you must be able to put away failures in the past and focus on the next task that needs to get accomplished.
The fact that you have failed once, doesn’t mean that you will fail again, but if you focus on what’s past, you won’t concentrate on the present and might now fail again. Understanding this will help you forget about the past and focus on what needs to be done now.
7. The opinion of others
People will always have something to say about us no matter what we do or don’t do. If you always want to listen to what people have to say about your actions, you might not get to do the work that will lead to the maximization of your potential.
Following the ways of God will require that you do things that are not the norms, but going against the norms means you have to close your ears to the opinion of others and stick to the opinion of God and what your destiny requires.
You might not be discouraged or addicted to procrastination, but while doing your work some things may come in the way that are urgent and need your attention but aren’t your work. If you are not able to discern what actually needs to be done and stick with it, you might get caught up in frivolous activities that do not maximize your potential or take you to your destiny.
Success is pleasant and good but it becomes bad when it gives you a sense of satisfaction or arrival that stops you from putting in more work to see more happen. To maximize your potential, you will have several successes.
Getting satisfied and stopping after the first success (although it’s a success already), however, will not let you maximize your potential because there are many more successes to come for your potential to be maximized. So you can’t stick with what you have already.
Change is difficult and it is easier to stick with what you are used to. However, what you are used to may not be what is required for you to maximize your potential. Learn to break free from tradition and what everyone does so you can rise to what you need to do for your destiny to be fulfilled.
11. A wrong environment
Nothing thrives in a wrong environment. To maximize your potential you must place that potential in an environment that is right for its functioning.
The first environment necessary for your potential to be fully maximized is the presence of God. After that, you need to set up environments that will support your growth and spur you to greater work. The friends you keep contribute greatly to your environment.
Comparison is a trap. You should not compare yourself with anyone at all (either those who have done more than you have done or those who haven’t done as much as you have done). Comparing yourself with those who have done more might put you into a state of discouragement or in competition with them which will not allow you to maximize your potential.
Also, comparing yourself with those who you have done more than, will give you a sense of accomplishment which can make you stop working although you haven’t maximized your potential.
People, forces, or things that directly go against the maximization of potential are oppositions. If you continually stay in places that are against the reality that maximizing your potential is trying to bring to pass, they will stifle your efforts and stop you from living that dream.
14. Society’s pressure
The expectation of society can box you into playing certain roles that do not maximize your potential. You must be able to identify moments in your life where what you are doing is being sponsored by pressure from Society and not your desire or what is required to maximize your potential. Then work towards freedom from those forces.
There is so much more you can do with your life than you know of. They will continue to unfold as you work on maximizing your potential. However, all your efforts to maximize your potential will be destroyed if you don’t take care of these enemies of potential.
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Olusegun Iyejare is a career coach and certified counselor. He helps individuals discover and maximize their potential to live satisfying lives regardless of obvious limitations holding them back.