Reaching Your Potential
by Joan Sotkin

One of the phrases I hear from coaching clients and from others I talk to is, "I haven't lived up to my potential." I'll admit, I often said that to myself as well. Finally, it dawned on me - I wasn't even sure what "my potential" really is and, if I can define it, whether I really want to live it. Ask yourself, "What is my potential?" There are probably a dozen ways you can answer that question. Your potential is certainly not limited to one specific path and one specific talent.

And here's the kicker, your true calling in life (and let's say that this is in some way related to your potential), may be something that you cannot even conceive at this moment. Colonel Sanders didn't start selling fried chicken until he was in his 60s. Do you think when he was in his 40s he sat around thinking, "Gee, if I could only be frying chicken for millions of people I'd be living up to my potential." I doubt it. Or, how about Grandma Moses? She started painting really late in life and didn't even realize earlier in life that she had the talent that she did. When Edison was working on his earlier inventions, do you think he said to himself, "These are okay. But I won't be really satisfied until I create the light bulb."

When I tried to define my potential, one of the areas I examined related to my public speaking abilities. I love to speak to large groups of people and I'm good at it. I belonged to the National Speakers Association and had plenty of private coaching. I've been told that I could be in the upper echelons of public speakers. I've examined a possible career as a professional speaker, but the fact is, I don't like to travel. And, professional speakers do a lot of traveling. So even though I am not living up to my potential as a professional speaker, I couldn't care less. I'm perfectly happy staying in beautiful Santa Fe, New Mexico finding other ways to express myself, like writing these newsletters and "speaking" to almost 10,000 people every time I have something to say.

If I really wanted to frustrate myself, I could make a list of all of the areas in which I haven't lived up to my potential. So I chose an alternative. . . .

It's Not Static. One day, I just declared that I have reached my potential. The fact is that I am doing the best I can, given who I am at this moment in time. I can't remember a time I woke up and said to myself, "I'm really going to screw up today and do the worst job I possibly can." So, today, I'm living up to my potential. Does that mean I'll always be doing what I'm doing today? Does it mean that I'll never move forward in my life? Absolutely not. We are all dynamic beings whose lives change on a daily basis. We cannot avoid change, although a lot of people do their best to resist it. It's clear to me that if I continue to live up to my potential, as I am doing today, my life is going to keep moving in a forward direction. I'm chosen to enjoy my journey, so I'm having a terrific time. At some point, I may say, "I don't think I can learn any more, create any more, or grow any more," but at that moment, I'll probably be on my death bed.

There is a terrific freedom in taking the pressure off and saying, "I have reached my potential." Think of how much more you could support yourself in being who you are if you stopped expecting so much more of yourself today. Think of how much better you would feel about your life - and who you are - if you would be willing to say to yourself, "You are doing a great job right here and now and I'm not going to expect or ask any more of you." Whew! Maybe you can take a day off from pushing and worrying. If you are willing to do this, then you'll have a taste of what prosperity is all about. It's about being satisfied with who you are and what you have created in your life. Again, it doesn't mean your life is going to remain static, it just means that you are enjoying who and what you are and everything you have. As you expand, so does everything in your life.

On August 4th, Marianne Williamson spoke to our spiritual community in Santa Fe. She talked about the expanding universe and how each of us, as part of that universe, becomes a central point in that expansion. You are expanding and it's only an unfamiliarity with and fear of your power that keeps you from kicking back and letting your life unfold, feeling satisfied with yourself at every step along the way.

Tap Away Your Dissatisfaction. If you've been beating up on yourself because you aren't living up to some predefined potential and you're feeling uncomfortable about it, do some EFT and let go of the pressure. First, travel back into your past and think about the expectations of your parents and perhaps some teachers who were always pushing you to achieve more and more and more. Perhaps they wanted you to make up for the potential that they never reached. As you think about times when they pushed and you reacted emotionally, do some EFT. After doing that, do some EFT on the pressure you feel in the present.

Here are some possible setup phrases:

  • "Even though my father was always disappointed in my achievements, I deeply and completely love and support myself."
  • "Even though my mother kept telling me I could be so much more than I am, I deeply and completely love and support myself."
  • "Even though I'm disappointed with myself for my lack of progress, I deeply and completely love and support myself."
  • "Even though it feels as if I will never reach my potential and that seems to matter to me, I deeply and completely love and support myself."
  • "Even though I have not met my parents' expectations and I feel like a failure, I deeply and completely love and support myself."

For those of you who haven't used EFT, you will find instructions at

Very detailed and extended instructions are on Gary Craig's site (he's the founder of EFT) at

Joan Sotkin's is the only place that is using EFT for financial issues on the level we are. Helping you improve your relationship with money with the Build Your Money Muscles Program(tm).


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