I was walking the other day from the park with my son who dreaded the walk and kept complaining. As he is a big fan of the movie Black Panther, I kept telling him he has the power of King t’challa, and he can walk for miles. He stopped and looked at me with a straight face:
Mommy, you should watch the movie before you speak. Black Panther uses his spaceship to fly to Wakanda; he does not walk!
Even at the age of five, I knew then that his bullshit detector is already on high alert and he has the same if not more potential than his mommy!
In my previous blogs (Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3), I spoke about ways and techniques that worked for me in unlocking my real potential. Today I will share my insights on the importance of humility, developing self-awareness and why you should focus on building your strengths.
The difference between arrogance and confidence is humility
Growing up, my father always thought us the power of humility and kept reminding us that we are born with no material possessions, and we will die with none, and our bodies will eventually disseminate in the grave. Yes, very depressing to hear this as a child and we kept rolling our eyes. Years later he could not have been more right.
Some of the greatest leaders and accomplished individuals I know are more humble than most people I had to work with. They strive to be a better person for their loved ones and people around them. They are people who have enough confidence in their abilities and lift others up throughout their journey.
They increase their self-confidence by continuously learning new things, developing and honing their skills and act as transformational change agents for the good. And most of them blush when you compliment them!
Now, this does not mean they are never insecure or arrogant. No human being is perfect, and we all make mistakes and have regrets on how we acted or how we treated others, including me. The beauty is that we have a reset button every morning we wake up.
“The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.”Charles Bukowski
Self-awareness is your GPS for life
A sailing boat needs its boom to be able to navigate the ocean. And depending on the waves and stormy weather, you will have to adjust the boom.
Emotions have the same purpose as the boom in navigating life. Without them, you are likely to drown and succumb to the storms life throws at you.
When I get angry, I am fueled by fire which helps me stand up for myself. When I am vulnerable, my writing and communication skills are at their peak. When I am crying, I wash away my thoughts and I reach a state of mind with unprecedented clarity. When I am joyful, my smile becomes contagious and I connect easily with others.
Society teaches us preconceived labels on what masculinity and femininity stand for, and we learn to repress our emotions instead of embracing them.
When you learn to embrace and engage your emotions, you become more self-aware of their root cause and your own underlying beliefs.
Because only then will you discover your authentic self in a world where everyone hides behind technology. Only then will you learn how to stay true to yourself and navigate life without regrets.
The most important relationship is with oneself, often our most ferocious judge. Self-awareness will help you find a healthy balance between your judge and your advocate.
Be aware of your weaknesses and hone your strengths
In my case, two-thirds of my life I focused on working on my weaknesses. Trying to fix them believing I can turn them into strengths like when Popeye eats spinach.
That is until I read Strengths finder 2.0 and learned how to develop my top five strengths. I became aware of my weaknesses and made sure they did not hold me back.
We can’t be everything to everybody; we just need to be enough to ourselves.
When I shifted my energy and focus on developing my talent, I started to build my personal brand based on my strengths. I finally understood my expertise and how I can use it to add value.
Just knowing you have talent does not get you very far. Just having a car that is red does not have any value. But a red car which drives you from A to B is what adds value.
Understanding and honing your talent is what will make the difference and develop your value proposition to the world. That’s why when something comes naturally to you, don’t brush it off as ordinary.
What happens naturally to you may not come easy to others, and that’s when you discovered your talent, and you can learn to hone it, so you achieve excellence. Because once you reach excellence, you start tapping into your real potential.
Thank you for reading and stay tuned for future pieces on how to unlock your real potential.