What is Holding You Back From Your Potential?

When you look at your current professional role, does it allow you to maximize your full potential?

For some of us, there are certain realities and responsibilities that contribute to the answer. The need to provide stability and comfort (financial, family, and otherwise) can force you to organize your priorities in a way that personal fulfillment feels secondary. As a father and husband, I understand if that’s where you’re coming from. There is a deeper level of fulfillment that comes from knowing your family is taken care of.

For those who are not in that situation, the factors that are limiting you from achieving your potential may vary. Some of you may be in an organization that doesn’t have any openings in the role you desire. Some of you may be in a role that doesn’t align your passion or skills altogether. Or you may be biding time in a role you know is temporary, while you calculate your next move.

The challenges take on many different faces. However, I believe each of these challenges derives from a single root question you have to answer for yourself…Are you what’s holding you back?

How did you get here?

If you are truly looking to maximize your ability and take your career to the next level, this question is foundational. It’s an opportunity to challenge yourself and continue finding ways to pursue the optimal version of yourself.

It’s human nature to grow content with the comfort of a position– especially if you like what you do and you’re good at it. There is comfort in being able to manage the expectations of a role, especially when you know you can deliver at a high level.

But even when you’re producing extraordinary outcomes, the role you’re in and the tasks you’re completing can become mundane. The effort and energy it takes to produce those results can fade over time, and you may eventually find yourself feeling stuck, unfulfilled, and unchallenged in your current role.

It can be detrimental if you are in this mental rut for too long, especially when you have the self-awareness to know you can offer more. But you can break free and find ways to maximize your potential– it takes intentional action.

Shift Your Focus to Break Free

One of the greatest things qualities of human potential is how dynamic it is. Your optimal potential intersects with your current boundaries and limitations. Mental, physical, sports, career, it’s a universal truth. Potential is a function of your current skills and experiences, which can be in constant evolution. As you get exposed to new experiences and continue to learn new skills your boundaries expand, as does your potential. 

However, this type of thinking doesn’t fit neatly into the workplace. More than likely your professional role is tied to producing outcomes. It’s like how you’re evaluated and how your production is measured. As a result, you probably focus your time, effort, and energy on producing outcomes. But, in order to adopt this meaning of potential, you must shift your focus from outcomes to output.

In focusing on your output, you challenge yourself differently. It’s no longer about a static outcome. It’s a more holistic approach to developing your capacity. Your focus becomes the constant pursuit of the optimal version of YOU. And you’ll be able to optimize your outcomes by default.

This type of mental shift doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a consistent commitment to invest in yourself and push the boundaries of your capability and capacity. Book a coaching call to learn more about my tailored executive performance coaching program if you’re looking for guidance.

The return on your investment in yourself will be the ability to unlock new creativity and possibility in your career options:

  • Find new avenues and possibilities to enjoy the role you’re currently in
  • Differentiate yourself within your current organization and create new lateral or upward momentum
  • Upskill and build the confidence and capacity to move on to another opportunity

No matter how things shake out in your current role when you focus on increasing your output and pursuing the optimal version of yourself, good things will come as a result.

Marques Colston
Marques Colston

Executive Coach. Strategist. Entrepreneur.

I help growth-minded athletes, executives, and entrepreneurs achieve sustainable professional success.

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