Thinking of yourself as your potential, rather than the finished product can be a massive game changer. For one thing, if you think of yourself as the finished product you will fail to act as if anything can change. You will continue to do what you have always done and just accept your results as ‘your lot’ in life. By thinking of yourself as potential, you can become anything and change your outcomes. The world opens up and you are no longer trapped by the insidious beliefs which hold you where you are.
As a ‘grown up’ (if you believe you are there yet), we have a tendency to ‘get stuck’ in where we are. We consider the choices we made years ago have defined us and therefore we have no choice but to continue down the same path. To change direction is a huge effort and carries a lot of uncertainty. This can be especially true if those that surround us are not open to us changing our path in life. However, one thing is certain is that if we continue to do the same things in life we are likely to get the same results over and over. To change our circumstances we must change ourselves and also be open minded enough to know that we don’t know it all. If we did we wouldn’t want change and everything in our lives would be perfect and just as we want them to be.
As children we are open to new things and possibilities and change. The older we get the more we ‘settle’ for what has become and the less we see ourselves as potential. As children we are constantly nudged towards making a decision about our futures but as adults this tends to dissipate, as people settle into their various careers. By opening yourself up to the possibility of change and being humble enough to know you don’t know it all, you create an opening for something new. By sticking always to the point of view that ‘we know it all’ and that ‘this is my lot in life’, we cut ourselves off from our potential to change.
Beliefs and depression
The attitude that you are ‘stuck’ in life can be a powerful belief which can lead to depression. I for one have suffered from depression and know how debilitating it can be. It can start with an idea which is utterly self defeating and no amount of reasoning can offer an escape. It is a mental maze which leads back to the same self defeating thoughts. I have taken comfort in the knowing that things change and that by learning the nature of the mind through meditation, and by taking a greater control over the thoughts that I permit to reside in my own mind, I can greater control my mental state.
Mental state, beliefs and potential
Your dominant mental state, ideas and beliefs all play a factor in determining your potential. How you perceive yourself and relate to others is also a factor in how you feel about yourself. (See this article on self image.) If you see yourself as a failure, you won’t be actively looking for opportunities. Your self image is busy reminding you of your past failures and looking for more evidence that this is true of you. To change your self image you need to begin to think differently about yourself, offering praise and compassion, rather than criticism and self deprecation. How do you talk to yourself during the quiet moments of your day? Are you kind or cruel?
Seeing yourself as the potential, and not the finished product allows for ongoing change and development which opens up many possibilities which simply aren’t possible from a mentality which is closed to new ideas directions and achievements.
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