This seems to happen to all of us. We have a dream or calling but don’t pursue it because we don’t believe we have what it takes. Out of nowhere, it’s like an instant fear paralyzes us and we make up excuses as to why we can’t do it.
It happened to Moses. When God told him to go and bring the Israelites out of slavery, he replied: “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
It happened to Les Brown. He recounts during a speech on how he was once afraid to speak on stage even though he prepared. It happened to me when I avoided writing an annual youth ministry report as the upcoming youth leader. And I’m sure it happened to you.
Despite how you might feel about yourself, I’m writing to let you know that You Have What It Takes! Just like a car has the potential to go much faster than the highest speed limits allow, you have the potential to do much more than you’re doing now.
If you know the story of Moses, you’ll know that he eventually led the Israelites out of slavery. Likewise, Les Brown went on to become one of the greatest motivational speakers of his time. And I have since written many reports and continue to write to date. You can live up to your potential too and I want to share 3 points on how you can. Let’s dive in!
Develop an “I Have What It Takes” Attitude
The start of living up to your potential begins with an attitude that you actually can. Attitude means “a settled way of thinking or feeling about something” and one of the best examples I’ve heard of an “I Have What It Takes” attitude came from the late Dr. Myles Munroe.
He spoke of how the lion is considered to be the king of the jungle although it isn’t the smartest, tallest, heaviest, nor strongest. Dr. Myles goes on to say that when a lion sees an elephant, the lion thinks it has what it takes to eat the elephant.
On the other hand, despite its size and power, the elephant sees the lion and thinks it will be eaten. From this example, it’s an “I Have What It Takes” attitude that makes the lion attempt its attack on the elephant. Likewise, attempting to live up to your potential begins with the attitude that you actually can.
Sadly, for many of us, our once had “I Have What It Takes” attitude has diminished. Like speed limits keep a car from reaching top speed, society has discouraged many of us from being all we can be. But the truth is, what society thinks is not a reflection of what’s possible. Although you may not be operating at your full potential now, you have what it takes to do so. This leads me to the next point.
Do What’s Necessary To Develop Yourself
The next point on how you can live up to your potential is to Do What’s Necessary To Develop Yourself. We are like seeds, we have the potential to become trees. Unfortunately, like seeds if we aren’t placed in the right environment and fed the right things, we won’t ever become a tree.
Whether it’s by taking a class, reading a book, or putting in the time to practice, you can acquire the skills and abilities that can help you reach your potential.
I once made a post on LinkedIn that states: “No One Has A Monopoly On Knowledge.” It was inspired by my experience working with a consultant. The consultant was implementing a system and proved to be very proficient.
At one point, I wondered to myself if I could ever be as knowledgeable as he was. After all, I would be responsible for administering the system after he left. Not long after, I was given access to the knowledge base for the system and while glancing through the manuals it occurred to me that once I put in the time to study, someday I could be just as proficient as the consultant was.
In the same way, once you do what’s necessary to develop yourself, you can reach your potential. You have it in you. You Have What It Takes! Let’s move on to the last point.
Take It One Step At A Time
There’s a popular story in The Bible called David and Goliath. The full story can be found in 1 Samuel 17. In summary, Goliath was a giant soldier in an army that was oppressing the Israelites. David, on the other hand, was just a boy.
As you may already know, he challenged Goliath and took him down with a slingshot. Many lessons can be taken from this story, but what I want to highlight is what led David to think he could defeat Goliath in the first place. It’s found in verses 34-36:
“34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth.
When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God.”1 Samuel 17:34-36
The thing that made David think he could defeat Goliath, was his ability to defeat the lions and bears. What he grew comfortable in doing gave him the confidence to take it up a notch. In the same way, we get up to our potential one step at a time. Big accomplishments start with small accomplishments. Don’t despise the seemingly little things you can conquer today, they’ll lead you to conquer great things tomorrow.
Despite how you may feel about yourself, despite the limits society may place on you, know that you have great potential. Start pursuing that dream or calling today. You Have What It Takes!