Sunday, April 14, 2019

Tap Into Your Full Potential

"Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny." - Mahatma Gandhi

There are many elements to change. However, one of the most powerful is that of self-efficacy.  Almost everyone can identify goals they want to accomplish, accomplishments to achieve, or personal and professional aspects they would like to change. Here is where self-efficacy comes in. It plays a significant role in how goals, tasks, and challenges are approached and ultimately achieved.  To improve one's self; we must first determine where our practice currently lies. The next step is deciding where we eventually want to be. Success in this endeavor requires self-efficacy combined with a leap of faith. 

For self-efficacy to play a role in the change process, we must always be open to growth and improvement.  Without these, there is nothing for us to hold ourselves accountable for.  This is why it is so important that we are our own most prominent critic and make reflection a daily part of our routine. No matter who you are and what you do, there is always the opportunity to get better. The question is, will you pursue it?  Enter the Potential Matrix created by Mark Sanborn. It is not about achieving perfection as that is not a reality in the professional world. Sorry to burst anyone’s bubble, but nobody is perfect.  It is about how we can become better to evolve into the best iteration of ourselves. Here is a great description from Thinking Space

As we look at the matrix, we probably identify one quadrant which we prefer: perhaps you’re naturally an activist, in which case, ‘performing’ is probably your favored way of operating. If you only ever concentrate on performing, you may not be taking the time to reflect and see how you could operate even more efficiently. If you spend all your time reflecting and planning but never take action to learn new skills and try them out, nothing will change. To see more improvement and to release more potential, we need to step outside of that comfortable quadrant and explore the other areas too. 
You will see that improvement happens not only outwardly as we learn new skills and perform but also inwardly as we think and reflect. It’s about active experiences which we initiate and passive experiences to which we respond.
Our potential is often inhibited by a fixed mindset or an unwillingness to grow.  We often perceive our talents and ideas as not being all that great. I know this is how I viewed these for a long time, which inhibited my growth as both a principal and then as a speaker/author.  However, looking at where we put the most and least amount of time in the quadrants of the Potential Matrix, we can begin to unleash potential that we never thought was possible.  It is ok to not have a clear idea on any given day as to where we want to be.  This is my daily reality.  The key is never to be satisfied where you are. 

If we want to help those we either serve or work with unlock their potential, then we must do so ourselves first. Think about where you are and then where you eventually want to be.  Apply the same lens to your classroom, school, organization, or district. Then take the leap of faith; trusting in your innate abilities to improve in ways you never thought were possible.  Will everything always work out the way you want it to? Heck no! Just remember that each journey, no matter the result, provides an invaluable learning experience. 

There is no better time than now to tap into your full potential. 

1 comment:

  1. I just had this conversation with a good friend and mentor who works with leaders in business. He put that same challenge to me - take the leap of faith - he calls it risk taking - to not be satisfied with when there is so much more I could be doing. Thank you for the additional push.