Fulfilling our overall potential is something that probably escapes most of us. Whether this be in sport, work or life in general. Fulfilment comes from a sense of achievement and meeting pre-determined goals. Yet according to scientists, 92% of us fail to reach our goals. The majority of us all fail for the same reasons and repeat these same mistakes year after year.
I enjoyed reading an article recently by Gordon Tredgold, Founder and CEO of Leadership Principles, entitled 7 habits you need to give up to fulfil your potential. This got me thinking about why most people don’t achieve fulfilment. Helping clients understand their “nirvana” is an integral part of my role as a Financial Planner. It is not unusual for potential clients to talk about how they would like their life to look, but the reality of their everyday living can be very different. The key is to do something about it and set about bridging the gap.
Let’s take a look at some of the main reasons why we are highly likely NOT to fulfil our potential. It’s all about our mental outlook.
We can all be good at this! There might be reasons why you are not doing as well as you should but there are definitely no excuses.
We are a product of our experiences
Sure, it’s difficult to shake off pre-determined thinking. In many cases our experiences create fears about what may lie ahead. Two people said to me recently, that they never used to be afraid of flying but now they are. Such negativity is learnt.
Waiting for someone else to help
If you want to achieve something it has to come from you. It’s important not to rely on others.
We don’t have the time
In most cases, it’s not a case of not having enough time, it’s more about poor prioritisation. In this interconnected world it is so easy for us to believe we are ‘too busy’. It’s important to differentiate between being busy and being productive.
Most of us are not afraid of hard work but are afraid of failure. Self-doubt can feed right into that fear which then causes us to quit. People find it hard to identify what is special about themselves. So, what is the talent that you have not developed yet? What do you know you are capable of?
Thinking there is a short cut
Rarely does success land in your lap. Hard work is required.
I also read an article by Paul Sloane entitled The five reason why you are not achieving your potential. There are similarities to Gordon Tregold’s article but he made some additional points which are very relevant to what I discuss with new clients at Blue Sky.
Waiting for the perfect time to start. The best way to avoid procrastination is to create a plan and then be self-disciplined about it. Do what needs to be done today and don’t put things off until tomorrow. Sometimes procrastination comes from a lack of understanding, sometimes fear and in our world of financial planning, the cost of advice can be a barrier. Yet research has shown that people who engage a comprehensive financial planner have significantly more income, net worth and retirement savings than those who don’t!
Not setting goals
It’s hard to make progress if you have no clear goals for your life. Most of us muddle along from one thing to the next. Successful people define their objectives and measure progress against them. You should set yourself targets in the areas that are important to you e.g. career, wealth, health, relationships and social life.
The most important thing is to write your goals down and track progress. If you do not achieve some of the goals then reset them. You can be flexible and adjust how you move forward but you must keep moving. Do you have written objectives that you track regularly? When it comes to financial well-being so few people have a co-ordinated plan which they asses frequently in harmony with their goals.
The message is clear; if you want to fulfill your potential, do something about it. You have to change your mindset.