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10 Steps on How To Realize Your Full Potential

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Mt KinabaluWhat separates the winners from the losers?

Maya and Aini planned to climb Mt Kinabalu. They embarked on a 12 week training program which include climbing the stairs at the Batu Caves, hiking at Forestry Research Institute and running between 10km to 15km a week. After four weeks of training, Aini told Maya that “I change my mind about climbing the Mt Kinabalu. I don’t think I can do it. I am sorry that I have to quit now…and I hope you can find another friend to go with you…” Maya was surprised to hear that but she accepted Aini’s decision. Maya continued training and successfully climbed Mt Kinabalu 10 weeks later.

What separates Maya from Aini?

Maya was committed to realize her full potential. She planned, prepared, practiced/trained and followed through on her commitments. She showed up to realize her full potential. Whereas Aini stopped believing in herself – she did not follow through on her commitments and failed to realize her God given potential.

That’s what separates the winners from the losers.

In order to be a winner, you have to realize your full potential. Here are 10 steps on how to realize your full potential:

  • Positive Mind set
    As the common saying goes – it is all in the mind – undoubtedly your mind set plays the most crucial role in setting yourself to be a winner. You need to conquer your mind, eliminate self-doubt and fully believe in yourself that you have all the right capabilities and resources to fulfil what you set out to do.
  • Know What You Want

Have you ever asked yourself whether you really know what you want? I have met a lot of people who seem to be doing a lot of things with minimal outcomes. For instance, an entrepreneur starting up in one business can easily be swayed to do many other businesses due to the freedom that he has (in comparison to the Corporate workers who are committed to their 9-5 tasks). In fact, it is pretty common to see entrepreneurs getting involved in so many businesses at the same time that they end up spreading themselves too thin, losing focus and in the end, they do not achieve ‘real’ success in the venture that they initially started.
The right thing to do is to know exactly what you want and be super focus on it for long term success.

  • High degree of self-awareness and self-management

 Self-awareness is about knowing yourself – your internal states, preferences, resources and intuitions. Are you aware of your true capabilities? How confident are you in your respective field? What are you good at? What are you poor at? Do you recognize your own limitations? Do you realize how your emotions affect others?
These are some of the questions that will help to assess your own self-awareness. The skills involved in self-awareness include emotional awareness, accurate self-assessment and self-confidence.

Self-management is about managing your internal states, impulses and resources. Knowing your strengths, weaknesses, emotions, how well you adapt and manage yourself in varying situations and circumstances. Are you an angry maniac when things do not turn out as planned? Or are you calm and collected while seeking to understand what exactly goes wrong and actively working on a solution to fix the situation?

There are many skills that you need to sharpen to enhance your degree of self-management, namely emotional self-control, adaptability, transparency, achievement, initiative and optimism.

Without a doubt, the winners possess high degree of self-awareness and self-management which help them in maintaining control in their pursuit of excellence.

  • Never stop learning

“Those people who develop the ability to continuously acquire new and better forms of knowledge that they can apply to their work and to their lives will be the movers and shakers in our society for the indefinite future.” – Brian Tracy.

Learning is a lifelong journey. In the world that we live in today, new products come out every 12 months, the rapid development in technology enables people to do better things faster within a much shorter time and the world we live in has never been smaller. Your best survival weapon is knowledge.

  • Be around ‘highly infectious’ (in a positive way) people

 Murad is an outstanding worker in his company. Everyone seems to like him. He is ‘a ball of energy’, always doing his job enthusiastically and readily offers a helping hand to those in need. He listens well and always think well about the people around him. Having him around will make your day. He has such an impact that on the day he is not around, you will feel as if something is amiss in the office.

Being around people like Murad is something that you should include in your ‘to-do list’. Being selective in who you want to hang out with is a good thing to do. As much as possible you should maintain only positive energy and influences around you.

  • Share and Collaborate

Be ready to give and take. You will achieve a lot more – satisfaction, success and great partnership – by sharing and collaborating. Gone are the days of keeping things to yourself in your pursuit of excellence.

The world that we live in today is too complex and highly interconnected. The right model to win in this interconnected world is to share and collaborate. Share your knowledge and expertise. Strike a suitable partnership strategically with the right parties to complement your niche.

Likewise, at the individual level, do the same. If you were a seasoned marathon runner for instance, share the tips on the training regimen that you adopt with the aspiring marathoners. You may even want to invite them to join you in one of your training sessions.

  • Stay Relevant

 Change is constant.

Regardless of any fields you are in, you need to adapt to the new changes that happen. Adapting to the changes will require you to constantly enhance your skills and competencies, continually update your knowledge and ready to accept the new ways of doing things.

Unless you are prepared to adapt and evolve with time, you will lose your competitiveness.

You have to stay relevant to win.

  • Renew Your Goals and Raise The Bar

 Say, you are already the best in your field – you receive a 5 star performance year in and year out. What would you do? Do you maintain the status quo? Or do you keep on looking for ways to do even better?

The key to continue winning is to keep on pushing the envelope. Set a new goal. Raise the bar and test your limit. See how far you can go.

  • Continually Improve

The ideal scenario is for you to take stock on the relevant skills and competencies critical to your job. Based on your assessment, decide on specific action items required for you to improve. Two key considerations include the following:

  • Determine specific training or learning and development activities available for you to enrol in.
  • Deliberately request for feedback from your immediate boss, your peers and colleagues on their observations of the behaviours that you want to improve on.

For instance, Kevin wants to improve his negotiation skills in order to do better in his job as a Corporate Account Manager. He rates himself at Level 3 (out of 5) which means that he is comfortable negotiating a medium size project with the support of a Contract and Procurement Manager to be present with him during the negotiation. He knows that he needs to have a Level 4 competency to move up the value chain – to be trusted to handle negotiations on strategic major projects with very complex contractual terms. In this scenario, Kevin decides to take a 2 prong approach to continually improve his negotiation skills as listed below:

  • He signs up to attend the Advanced Negotiation Skills training
  • He requests for a group of selective people who work closely with him to provide direct feedback on his negotiation skills. The direct feedback should be provided shortly after their observing Kevin’s negotiation session. The format of the feedback focuses on three key attributes – what’s working, what’s not working and what he should be doing differently. In addition, Kevin together with the giver of the feedback will need to agree on the action items to be followed through and assess the progress over time. This is a reiterative process and Kevin will continue receiving feedback from them as there is always room for improvement.

Likewise, you can apply the same approach in your respective area of improvement that you are pursuing.

  • Get The Job Done Well

 You are better off starting and completing a job rather than starting many jobs but not completing any.

I have met many people who are involved in so many projects but yet none of those are completed as planned.

Winners are those who are focused on the tasks given to them, stay on course and follow through until the job is done well. They are very clear of the milestones and the expected outcomes. They take obstacles as opportunities. They proactively anticipate the worst case scenario and work backwards to map out required resources and remove obstacles. In addition, they are honest about the challenges, pull people together to solve problems and escalate serious situations to the people in authority to make the required decision in a timely manner.

What  steps have you taken to realize your full potential?

 

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