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5 Keys That Will Unlock Your Real Potential

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unlock your potential

We are all born into this world with a clean slate. The same unlimited potential. Yet, when we get to the end, it may seem that some have been gifted with more potential than others. The only reason this happens is that as we go through our journey of life, we create boundaries and limitations on ourselves.

Most of these began way back as a young child when we were sponges, eager and hungry to absorb information of the world around us, and also that of the world beyond us. We relied initially on our parents, our siblings and our close family, and then expanded to our friends and teachers, and later through relationships at work .

During these crucial developmental stages, we were ultimately imprinted with the beliefs and values of these people, and predominantly based most of our beliefs and values on these foundations.

Unfortunately, as young children we were sometimes told “You’re not smart!”, “You’ll never be good at anything!”, “You’re a loser!”, and so on…..and this stuff sticks. When these words come from people we respect and trust, we then believe it. And when these types of beliefs are carried through life, our confidence, self-esteem, and potential diminish.

So if you are at a point on your journey that you feel you can do more, or be more here are a few simple things you can do to alter your thinking:

1. Accept Where You Are

By knowing where your life is at, and accepting you are exactly where you are meant to be, you are able to create a vision of moving forward. If you feel life owes you for your past, you are going to wait for it to be given to you. And that could take a very long time. Sure, some events might not have been fair, some may have hurt, and some may have been wrong, but if you hold on to them, and more specifically the emotions attached to them, then they will keep you exactly where you are now. You must accept where you are right now, and make a decision to change.

“If you argue for your limitations, you get to keep them” – Richard Bach

2. Grow Your Mindset

Those that live with a Fixed Mindset believe that their personality, their potential, and their intelligence are all framed and determined at birth, whilst those that live with a Growth Mindset believe that their personality, potential, and intelligence can be improved. They believe that we are all born with a ‘clean slate’, and every person on this planet can be whatever they choose to be.

They decide to improve their life situation by learning, applying themselves, and by failing. You need to recognize these two mindsets and ensure you have a Growth Mindset. If you find your mindset is Fixed, it is essential you make a decision to change it.

3. Create A Picture

If you want to make changes, you need to know what it is you want. What is your real potential? What does it look like? What are you doing in the picture? Hear the sounds, feel the feelings. If you don’t visualise your outcome, you will have no idea what you are aiming at, and you will keep hitting nothing. Be very precise with what it is. It doesn’t matter what that picture is right now, as it can (and will) change over time. The important things is that you have something to begin with.

4. Believe You Can

As I mentioned at the beginning, many of our beliefs were imprinted when we were children. We learnt them. And we can equally ‘unlearn’ them if we choose. And from there, new beliefs can be formed. When we do this, our unconscious mind will work with them (that’s what it does with our beliefs) to help create outcomes that will be consistent to them.

Now, you will come across people who are going to judge you and criticise you, and will do what they can to ‘cut you down’, and that is ok. They don’t have the same beliefs as you, nor do they see the same picture as you. So stay focused on your path without stepping on to theirs.

“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right” – Henry Ford

5. No Excuses

If you make a decision to change, then stick with it. Change can be hard, especially when doing things you have never done before. It means creating new habits that will, at times, be uncomfortable. Every night, plan your next day. What do you need to get done, and how are you going to do it? The least amount of surprises you have each day is going to help stop you from getting side-tracked. Go into each day with a 100% attitude. 99% is making room for an excuse.

Making change can often be hard, but as long as you make a decision to change you will be on your way. Choose to learn. Change to a positive internal language. Embrace the challenges along the way. Be motivated by the setbacks. And if you need some support, then get it.

Some believe we are here for a reason, a specific purpose, whilst others believe we are here just because we are, and with no set agenda. Wherever you fit on that scale is fine, and regardless of where that is, strive to be the best version of you that you can possibly be. That is living to your real potential.

How are you unlocking your real potential? Please leave your thoughts below!

Hamish Bayston is an expert at helping business owners create a powerful mindset, enabling them to get successful outcomes. Key drivers such as values, beliefs, strategies, modelling, goal setting, accountability and mentoring are what gets results for his clients. Hamish's clients include entrepreneurs, business owners, and Network Marketing / MLM business builders. Online training programs, and Skype coaching, allow his local and international clients easy access to resources and coaching. Grab his ebook here and connect with him on his website hamishbayston.com.

Life

5 Simple Hacks to Help You Develop the Habit That Will Transform Your Life

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It’s excruciating when we know what’s killing us but we can’t do anything about it because as you know, it is not easy to pull the brake on a high way. According to Napoleon Hill, “remember this always – the best (and one might say the only) way in which old habits may be removed is to form new habits to counteract and replace the undesirable ones”. (more…)

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Why Do We Have An Unconscious Bias and How Can We Manage It?

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When I hear someone using my name once in a while throughout the conversation we are having, I cannot stop myself thinking “this person must have read Dale Carnegie’s books or must have been influenced by someone who read them…” Have you just recalled a similar moment and it felt nice?

As Dale Carnegie famously said, “Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and the most important sound in any language”. Why did Dale Carnegie highlight the importance of an individual’s name to that person in his “How to Win Friends and Influence People” book published in 1936?

Each and every one of us wants to feel special and unique. I guess he recommends using the person’s name in the conversation because that is one of the easiest ways to grab that person’s attention so that we can enhance the chances of getting our point across. However, I am more interested in this from the other side; hearing our names directly addresses our individuality, our need or desire to feel special and unique.  

Let’s park this one for now and we will come back. 

Categorization is essential to our survival

There is countless scientific research telling us about how our brains recognize similarities and put things into categories, which has been crucial to our survival in evolution and still helps us with a lot of things from learning new things to coping with the continuous influx of massive amounts of information through our senses. 

The continuous influx of information is mostly handled by our subconscious mind rather than conscious. It is estimated that our brains receive about 11 million bits of information every second through our senses, of which only 40-50 bits can be processed by our conscious mind. We process more information than we are aware of. The magic here is the subconscious mind.

An example is when you are at a very loud party where you hear a lot of words flying around without you recognizing each one of them, then suddenly, you immediately catch it when you hear your name. Your subconscious had been processing all of those words, without your awareness, but informed your conscious mind when your name was out there because it was relevant to you.

In order to most effectively process this much information and inform the conscious mind with only the relevant ones, our subconscious employs categorization as one of its strategies.

When our ancestors encountered some deadly predators in the African savanna, their subconscious prompted their conscious mind to immediately fight or flight by categorizing the information gathered through their senses into “predator / life threat / take action”. Most probably we are not descendants of the ones that were frozen rather than fighting or flighting! 

Although it is a completely different situation, the same strategy applied in remembering lists. Let’s look at the below two lists.

  1. lion, eagle, shark, leopard, hawk, whale, panther, falcon and dolphin 
  2. lion, leopard, panther, eagle, hawk, falcon, shark, whale and dolphin

The second list is easy to remember because it is reordered into relevant groups even though the content of the both lists are identical.

Subconsciousness is the magic and categorization is one of its key strategies. It is essential to our survival, learning new skills and processing information as well as bringing back the information we had processed and stored. 

This amazing skill has its drawbacks

As a result of our brains’ categorization strategy, we also categorize people, especially if we don’t know them as well as our closest ones.

Imagine I am sitting at the table next to yours while you are having your favorite coffee and working on your computer or reading your novel at your neighborhood coffee shop. I stand up, very calmly grab your bag, and start walking away. Your reaction might be quite different depending on my outfit. It could be much more vocal and harsh if I have a dirty T-Shirt and a pair of torn jeans on. However, if I have some navy colored, 3-piece suit and well-pressed white button up shirt on, you might even say something like “Excuse me, you might have picked up my bag by mistake”. (There is an experiment done by social psychologists which reported similar results)

Similarly, I would not be surprised to hear that my co-worker’s spouse is very skilled and knowledgeable in English grammar and literature because he is an English teacher. However, I would not expect it from my co-worker herself because she is an outstanding chemical engineer.  

This is defined as unconscious bias or stereotyping, as a result of our subconscious brain’s categorization strategy. The outfit I have at the coffee shop impacts your response to my action, because it puts me into a different category in your mind depending on my outfit. My co-worker’s and her spouse’s backgrounds make me put them into different categories, which might mislead me sometimes.

Just like we categorize things, it is very natural that we categorize people.  

The key question here for me is; how do we truly treat people as individuals so that they feel unique, just like as they would want, while we know that our brains categorize people

We can overcome unconscious bias 

Leonard Mlodinow, in his enlightening book “Subliminal”, suggests that “if we are aware of our bias and motivated to overcome it, we can.” That doesn’t mean that we need to fight our brain’s categorization strategy. We just need to employ our conscious mind more when we are working or dealing with individuals. 

Our unconscious bias might tell us scientists are bunch of technical nerds who cannot understand abstract concepts that marketers are talking about or it might say that marketers are some daydreamers who need to be grounded by scientists to the real world all the time. I am an engineer and I love thinking in abstract terms and I worked with quite a lot of marketers who thought primarily in factual and concrete terms. 

Spending some effort to learn more about individuals will help overcome unconscious bias. Gathering more information and qualities about them will make it easier for us to treat them as individuals rather than a member of the category we put them in our minds. 

The moral of the story here is to recognize the fact that our brains do categorize, and it is essential; but also, to recognize that every individual wants to feel unique. When we appreciate these two and keep reminding them to ourselves, we are one step closer to figuring out our own way to overcome unconscious bias and treat people more like individuals. 

What was the most interesting part of this article for you? Share your thoughts below!

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Life

The Problem Is Not Actually the Problem: Here’s Why

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With my understanding of the Three Principles, which is deepening month-by-month, I’m becoming more curious about whether the ‘problem’ that we think we have, is really a problem. Not for one second am I dismissing a persons’ experience; I’m human after all and I encounter challenges and what I think are ‘problems’ just like the next person. (more…)

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5 Things You Can Do to Fend off Boredom and Stay Focused

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Curiosity is human nature and it’s only natural that humans will lose interest in a topic after a while. This has been a topic that has been extensively explored among children, teenagers and adults by a psychologist with similar results being reported from each of the categories. Human’s minds are therefore prone to boredom, making it important for each professional to spend some time to understand the factors that drive boredom and strategies the individuals needs to use to overcome boredom and focus on their profession and development. (more…)

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