If you stay stuck in these 13 mindsets, you won’t reach your full potential in life

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When you were a kid, I bet you dreamed big and believed that you could achieve anything you set your mind to.

Yet here you are, all grown up, living a mediocre life, wondering where it all went wrong.

It seems that you’ve settled for good enough, even though deep down you know you could have done better.

I’m here to tell you that it’s not too late to change things around!

Whether it’s to do with your career, your love life, or your spiritual growth, you can still reach your full potential.

All you have to do is get rid of the negative frame of mind that’s holding you back.

If you want to reach your full potential, say goodbye to these 13 mindsets!

1) Lack of purpose

It seems that you put all your dreams aside when you grew up.

You have no purpose, no goals, and nothing to work toward, it’s no wonder you haven’t reached your full potential.

You need to check in with yourself and think back to when you were a kid. What did you dream of doing when you grew up?

This is more than just, “Growing up, I wanted to be an astronaut”. It’s how you saw your life, how you imagined happiness.

You need to take a long hard look at your life and see what it’s lacking – you need to find yourself a purpose.

Here are some examples:

  • Starting a family
  • Rescuing stray cats and dogs
  • Traveling the world
  • Raising awareness about climate change
  • Becoming regional manager at your job
  • Working with a guru to find inner peace

Whatever it is, the first step to reaching your potential is finding a purpose or goal to work toward.

2) Fear of failure

Fear is a powerful thing.

At its core, it’s a self-preservation mechanism.

For example, a fear of heights alerts us to potential danger and reminds us to be cautious in elevated situations.

The same goes for other fears such as fear of predators in the wild. These fears are crucial survival mechanisms.

But today, we don’t really have to worry about being eaten by a lion, do we? What many people fear most is failure and judgment.

In fact, some people are so scared of failing that it stops them from even trying, and that’s no way to reach one’s full potential, now is it?

3) Lack of flexibility

Here’s something that can stand in the way of progress: stubbornness.

Of course, you want things to go as planned, but that’s not always possible.

The reality, whether you like it or not, is that nothing is set in stone.

Now, you may imagine doing something one way, but because of changing circumstances, you’ll either need to be flexible and make some compromises, or risk failure.

So what’s it gonna be?

Are you willing to be a bit more flexible for the sake of reaching your full potential?

4) Search for perfection

Another mindset that gets in the way of people reaching their full potential is their obsession with perfection.

I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with wanting to do your best, but perfection?

Come on, there’s no such thing!

Congratulate yourself on a job well done and move on to the next thing.

Stop chasing perfection or you’ll never be satisfied and you’ll never grow.

5) Feeling sorry for yourself

We’ve all been victims of self-pity at one point or another.

The problem is that feeling sorry for yourself keeps you stuck in a rut. It makes you feel sad, worthless, and like you’ll never be able to get anything done, so why bother trying?

If you want to reach your full potential, you need to shake yourself out of it. Stop playing the victim!

Stop telling yourself, “Poor me” or “It’s easy for so-and-so, they were born with an advantage.” Those are just excuses. Either you want to accomplish something or you don’t.

So, what will it be?

6) Negative self-talk

This goes back to feeling sorry for yourself.

When you fail at something or are told that you’re not good enough, you’ve got two options:  you can try again, or, you can feel bad for yourself and start engaging in negative self-talk.

By that, I mean that you’ll tell yourself things like, “I knew I shouldn’t have wasted my time trying, there’s no way someone like me could pull that off.” or “So-and-so was right, I just don’t have what it takes.”

That kind of thinking will get you nowhere. The more you think about it, the more you’ll believe it and that’s certainly no way to move forward with your life or reach your full potential.

Throw that kind of thinking out the window. If it helps, replace your negative self-talk with positive affirmations such as, “I can learn from this and do better next time” and “I can do this, all it takes is some practice”.

7) Procrastination

Don’t feel bad if you’re a procrastinator, it happens to the best of us.

For example, I tend to procrastinate when I’m under a lot of stress and have too much on my plate. I don’t know where to start, so I put it off.

I also procrastinate when I have to do something important that scares or intimidates me.

And while it’s a common thing to do, taken to the extreme it can interfere with your progress.

If you’re frustrated because you’re not reaching your full potential, next time you feel like procrastinating, tell yourself, “No! I’ll do it now.”

It’s quite simple really, it’s only by doing that we are able to learn and grow.

8) Need for external validation

Attaching too much importance to what other people think can be quite an obstacle.

I mean sure, you want people with the know-how to give you some pointers and tell you when you’re going in the right direction, but you shouldn’t be asking for their approval every two seconds.

Also, if you want to do something that’s important to you and other people think it’s silly, so what? You shouldn’t care what they think.

You’re a grown-up.

You need to learn to be more independent and self-sufficient.

9) Fear of stepping out of comfort zones

In my experience, life is often most interesting outside of our comfort zones.

On the one hand, avoiding situations that feel uncomfortable or unfamiliar makes us feel safe, but restricts personal growth.

On the other hand, stepping outside of our comfort zones and embracing challenges usually leads to new opportunities and experiences.

If you’re still feeling hesitant, you should know that it’s only by stepping out of my comfort zone and venturing out into the unknown that I met my husband almost ten years ago!

Ready to give it a try?

10) Short-term thinking

Look, I get it. You want to see results, like yesterday!

However, focusing solely on immediate gratification without considering long-term goals can hinder your overall success.

You need to see the big picture.

Sometimes you have to wait a while to see results.

Be patient and celebrate the small victories.

11) Comparing yourself to others

Don’t do it!

No matter how smart, successful, or good-looking you are, there’s always going to be someone out there who’s better than you at something.

Constantly comparing yourself to others is toxic and is sure to lead to feelings of inadequacy and limit your sense of individuality.

It’s important to understand that we’re all different and to learn to recognize and appreciate your personal strengths and uniqueness.

In short, if you want to reach your full potential, then the only comparison you should be making is to yourself – from yesterday, a month ago, a year ago… It’s the only way to measure true progress.

12) Dependency

You need to be able to make your own decisions and solve your own problems.

Relying too heavily on external validation and help can limit autonomy and personal agency.

If you want to grow as a person, learn to be more self-reliant and to take initiative. Stop waiting for someone to hold your hand or bail you out when you’re in a jam.

Think for yourself.

13) Complacency

Finally, one of the reasons you find yourself stuck is because you’re content with good enough.

You’re probably feeling pretty smug, thinking you’ve done well for yourself.

And maybe you have, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do better.

You can always learn new things and grow as a person, you just need to be open to change and willing to try new things.

Lost Your Sense of Purpose?

In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.

Jeanette Brown created this free values discovery PDF to help clarify your deepest motivations and beliefs. As an experienced life coach and self-improvement teacher, Jeanette guides people through major transitions by realigning them with their principles.

Her uniquely insightful values exercises will illuminate what inspires you, what you stand for, and how you aim to operate. This serves as a refreshing filter to tune out societal noise so you can make choices rooted in what matters most to you.

With your values clearly anchored, you’ll gain direction, motivation and the compass to navigate decisions from your best self – rather than fleeting emotion or outside influences.

Stop drifting without purpose. Rediscover what makes you come alive with Jeanette Brown’s values clarity guide.


Jelena Dincic

Jelena has a background in photography and film-making and has spent the last few years as a content editor and copywriter. Jelena is a citizen of the world who is passionate about travel and learning about new cultures. She’s a foodie who loves to cook. And, as an art lover, she is always experimenting with new art mediums. When she’s not at her computer, she’s usually out and about in some forest with her dogs.

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