‘Potentialism’ as a word popped up in my head during an interview with Nic Askew (soul- biographies). I had no clue if the word already existed or not. After some research, I found out that others have used the word potentialism before, but mostly in a more spiritual way. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, but I prefer a more pragmatic and down-to-earth definition.
‘Potentialism’ is the process of exploring your capacity to grow as a person or professional.
It's about making and carrying out conscious decisions and actions to see how you can grow those latent talents you have. If you decide to strive to fulfil your potential, then I would call you a potentialist.
Take Full Responsibility for your Potential
Most people don't dare to take full responsibility for their own potential. It’s a lot easier to hide behind rules, procedures, agreements, systems and blame others instead of exploring different paths to fulfil their dreams. We think that it’s easier and safer to ignore our big dreams than to take full responsibility for them. It feels safer to stay in the current situation with a job that may not allow you to use all your skills, but at least you get paid. Safer to surround yourself with like-minded people who support your safe mode and confirm that the world is a dangerous place. It is equally safe to stay with your partner who doesn’t love you unconditionally, because at least it shields you from being single. You choose to live your life at 70% of your full potential, but you cannot help hoping that things will change somewhere in the future.
We are thoroughly misled. It is true that things will turn out differently when you take responsibility and reach out. It won’t necessarily be a success story from the moment you announce that you are going to start your own business. People will get upset if you are not following their well-intended advice to stay low anymore. It is a very uncertain path when you decide to take full responsibility. Then again, so is life. You might have built up all kinds of so-called certainties in your life, but every one of them can vanish tomorrow, without prior warning. One thing remains. You are guaranteed to be stuck in the uncertain status quo, living a mediocre life, if you don’t take full accountability for your own mindset.
Brilliant shortfilm on 'unleashing your potential'
This is my favorite short movie on unleashing potential. At the height of the Great Depression, the showman of a renowned circus discovers a man without limbs being exploited at a carnival sideshow. After an intriguing encounter with the showman, the limbless man is driven to hope for dreams and aspirations he had previously thought impossible.
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