the inspiration blog

Beyond Resolutions + Your “Potential” – What Will You Create?

Posted on: January 1, 2014

Happy New Year! Today’s typically the day for discussing resolutions. We all know there’s a trap in saying we want something… and yet it not happening. So let’s discuss another term that often traps us: potential.

Right now, “potential” is one of my least favorite words. I have so many big dreams for what I want to do with my life’s purpose and work in the world… that it can start to feel like a burden after a while. Feel familiar? I’ve also experienced this with dating. We can feel a lot of love, connection, commonalities, and potential for a life together… and yet find ourselves struggling due to whatever dynamics are present. The potential is real, but is not what’s at hand.

Focusing on potential keeps us stuck in possibility – and can even prolong suffering. While it’s good to dream, it’s very different than actually choosing to take action and bring something into reality.

Similarly, we may judge ourselves as not having potential, talent, or the ability to do something… even though we actually can! It’s often our beliefs about ourselves that get in our way. In this case, our perception of potential is a negative and limiting trap.

Whether it’s in reference to yourself, a relationship, a job, or anything in your life, here’s my suggestion: forget about its potential. Instead, decide what you actually want to happen. To create.

Here are a series of steps that I’ve found to be helpful:

1)   Examine your current circumstances. What do you want to change, or bring into being?

2)   With that in mind, look at what you’re willing to take action on in the immediate future. Don’t think too far off. And your goal can be a stretch, but make sure it feels exciting, and not too big that it weighs you down. (You can always do this exercise again in the future with bigger goals – so just what truly feels like the next steps right now.) You may want to go into meditation, and ask Source to provide you with insight – but also really listen inwardly as well. What choices make your body and energy feel lighter and freer?

3)   Acknowledge outside circumstances that are beyond your control. Know what you absolutely can’t change. Often, this is another person, unless they want to and are ready. Note areas that feel intractable… and look at steps 4 and 6 to make sure that’s true.

4)   Figure out where you need help – and then research and utilize outside resources. Find out where you need assistance. There may be more possibility for bringing things to fruition than you currently realize, and we need help with areas where we’re not experts (unless we want to take a really, really long time). This could mean reading a book, looking into a loan or grant for personal or professional uses, or getting support from a coach or professional, among other things.

5)   Make an action plan – and do it! Get as specific as possible, with small steps that are doable – not big goals that are intangible. There’s a difference between “get a job” or “get a client” and “go to 2 networking events this week, and follow up with new connections.” And if that’s too hard, simply researching networking events is a good step – or even turning on the computer. Break it down into whatever feels doable.

6)   Get help with your blocks. Nothing to be ashamed about here – we all have them. Whether with a therapist, healer, coach, or perhaps a skilled friend who knows you well, let go of the illusion that you can do it alone. We all need support.

7)   Celebrate! Even taking little steps is a big thing if you haven’t been doing them. Give yourself little rewards, and be kind to yourself.

You may think of other steps you need as well; this just a template that I hope you find useful.

Now, the truth is that I’m really writing this for myself. And hopefully it’ll help you too. I’m committing to doing this with my life. Want to join me? (I’m pretty busy with other projects, but if there were sufficient interest, I’d consider starting up what I call an Inspiration Team – so that we can do it together. This isn’t a pitch; I just like to be of service.)

What would you like to create in 2014? I’d love to hear about it, and to hear your thoughts on my pretty unconventional take on potential.

Please leave your thoughts below in a comment. Blessings for a joyous, prosperous and wholly fulfilling 2014!!!


7 Responses to "Beyond Resolutions + Your “Potential” – What Will You Create?"

Very practical approach. I love your different take on potential.. as a matter of definition, potential is never actualized…it can’t be actualized because it is potential…always in the future. I am ready to commit myself to the Action Plan. I was just watching a Jack Canfield video and he talks about the Power of 5–DOING 5 items each day from your action plan. So my plan is to make an overall plan for the first 6 months of 2014 and at least 5 days a week break it into 5 action steps I can take that day.
I would also love to be a part of an inspiration team…While I was taking Marie Forleo’s B School last year, I had an accountability partner…what a wonderful resource to keep me on track. Let’s do it!

I love this Jonathan. It’s very clear and easy to digest.

Great article, thanks Jonathan! What I am called to create in 2014 is a range of products and services under the overarching theme of “The Playground of Possibilities”, because LIFE is a playground of possibilities (and hey, I like the alliteration). It’s definitely not about simply drifting along aimlessly in the realm of possibilities or potential; it’s about believing in the possibilities and then making a choice and taking action. As you say, “It’s often our beliefs about ourselves that get in our way.” My concept is that the Playground of Possibilities is a real-world and online place for people to explore and transform their thoughts, beliefs and stories about themselves and the world, to tap into the abundance of the Universe, to take bold action, and to play with like-minded, like-hearted playmates. I’m taking action every day to build the playground and develop the products/services. So I’d be happy to join your Inspiration Team.

I can relate to the idea of ‘potential’ coming to feel like a burden, and agree that breaking things down into steps is a great way to move forward. I also think its important to be realistic with what we plan. Lots of things are exciting at the beginning of the year, and selecting a few key ideas and focusing on them is likely to reap more rewards than trying to do everything.

Thank you Jonathan. Happy New Year. I always love to read you. I feel your approach is a very logical and practical one. Thank you for sharing. I wish you lots of success.

With love and transformation,

Great article, Jonathan! Very timely reading for me. Sometimes I am blown away by getting the right words at the right time.

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