No matter what side of the sustainability argument you find yourself on, you cannot deny that there’s a heavy focus on the subject of waste in the world right now.
But I can’t help but think, why is there not a focus on the devastating waste that occurs every day when it comes to our potential as human beings?
The worst form of human waste is the waste of potential.
Before I had children, when I used to assist my husband on his weekly homeless outreach, I’d often leave the streets feeling a great sense of loss.
I’d consider the broken families, the shattered dreams and the lost sense of identity that occurred amongst many of the rough sleepers.
When you think about it, no one really leaves school with homelessness as part of their 10 year plan, yet so many of the rough sleepers are young 20 somethings with SO much potential, yet no idea of where their next meal is coming from, never mind when they’ll see another bed again.
Their situation causes them to be preoccupied with survival, rather than with the fulfilment of their potential. It’s a great shame.
Some eventually break-free of the toxic negative cycle, but I can’t tell you how many middle-aged rough sleepers I’ve encountered who have been trapped in that cycle for many years, some, even decades!
It’s sad. But that sense of loss is not uncommon amongst people at all different stages of life.
What about you?
When you assess your life, does your experience align with your identity?
Do you feel like you’re maximising the talents you’ve been given? Or have you just settled for what’s convenient?
Are you truly making the best use of your gifts and talents?
Are you living up to your potential?
I want you to sit with that last question honestly and openly. And if the answer is no, I want you to consider why not.
In 2023, there is no reason to sleep on your potential. Not with the abundance of information and support that’s available.
Here are 5 common mistakes that lead to wasting your potential
1. Overemphasis on self
When you’re too preoccupied with your own problems, you leave no room to consider how to help others and helping others is the key to your purpose. When you pursue your purpose, that is how you maximise potential.
Just think about every business, movement or person who inspires you. At the core of why they’re inspiring is their dedication to serving others.
What did Yeshua say?
Matthew 23:11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
2. Overemphasis of the NOW
Just like the rough sleepers I’ve met, you’re concentrating on surviving, leaving no room to consider the future.
Now I’m not saying that it’s wrong to think about the present and in extreme cases, focus on the now is necessary, but if you only ever concentrate on the here and now, then how can you expect good fruit for the future?
People who reach their potential are not without their problems at the beginning. They just decide to move forward in their purpose despite their challenging circumstances.
This starts by being open to the idea that YHWH (GOD) has a plan for you.
Proverbs 16:3 – Commit your works to Yahweh And your plans will be established.
3. Overemphasis on your own abilities
In other words, trusting in yourself rather than the power of YHWH to move you forward.
Trusting in your own abilities to fulfil your potential can result in not trying at all due to the fear of failure or burning out through the process because you’re relying on your own strength.
When you decide to trust YHWH with your goals, you will succeed if it’s His will because He is directing your path.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in Yahweh with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.
4. Underemphasis of community
You can’t fulfil your potential without the support of a wider community.
Finding likeminded people will help you to go the distance when walking out your purpose. It’s helpful to find people who understand your goals, who understand your challenges and who are willing to support or advise you along the way.
If you avoid finding a community to support you, you have a smaller chance of fulfilling your potential.
Proverbs 15:22 – Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers, they succeed.
5. Underemphasis of rewards
Make no mistake, there is great reward to fulfilling your potential.
When you pursue your potential through pursuing your purpose, you WILL be changed as a person.
If you understood the blessing that comes along with it, the decision would be a no brainer.
By stepping out of your comfort-zone, seeking to serve others and maximising your innate abilities, gifts and talents, you will inevitably change for the better.
Pursuing your purpose and maximising your potential will put you on a road to personal development like no other. You will endure it because as you go along, you will recognise the blessings as well as the need to continue.
You will also find provision. If your heart is in the right place and you’re trusting YHWH with your potential and purpose, He will provide, not just for your mission, but for you. I saw this over and over again when I helped out on the streets. And I still see this as I support my husband with a food bank and other Ministry activities. It’s a win win.
And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
So now that you see how people waste their potential, it’s time to consider how all of this applies to you.
I’ll ask you again.
Are you living up to your potential?
Are you willing to do what it takes to make that answer a YES without compromising on your morals or values?
If so, i'd love to have a chat with you.
Book a FREE consultation. Together we can talk through the options that will set you up for a life of PURPOSE.
If you've tried and failed or don't know where to start, this free call could be the game-changer that you've been looking for.