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What Gets in the Way of You Reaching For Your Potential?

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“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” – Christopher Reeve

I hope you read the last article about why your potential is unlimited.

This awareness and acknowledgement that you are capable of immensely more is a first step toward starting to blossom and transform as a person.

I believe that once we believe in our potential, we connect with that innate drive and need of self-actualization.

We begin to appreciate personal growth and strive to expand mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

A realization emerges that we are meant to evolve and express our potential!

I’m sure your thinking, “This sounds great an all, but I have way too many problems and messes to clean up in life right now. Transcending to a higher level of awareness and consciousness is not on the agenda.”

Fair enough, I realize that your personal growth may not be the first priority in your life right now.

If not, please don’t think I am insensitive about people struggling to meet basic needs.

This is a reality, but this article won’t talk about that.

This article is for someone who is mentally, emotionally, and spiritually ready to step up to the “self-actualization train.”

Okay, okay, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Reaching for our potential will very likely be a never ending journey!

And committing to personal growth isn’t all fun and games.

We will have obstacles and challenges, and we will feel stuck and unsure about taking the next step or making that healthy change we desire to make.

If becoming the best-version-of-ourselves was easy we would all be enlightened and in touch with our superpowers!

So, what’s getting in the way of you starting to elevate and upgrade your life?

It might be one of these two types of interference?

There are two main types of interference that get in the way of improving our lives.

One is internal, and includes the thoughts, feelings, behaviors, habits, beliefs, etc., that influence our life.

The other is external, and includes the relationships, resources, and overall external circumstances we experience.

Here is an example from a previous client I worked with.

A gentlemen we’ll call Frank (not his real name) contacted me because he wanted to leave his current job. He was bored and unfulfilled, and frankly wasn’t using even near his potential.

He wasn’t engaged in his work and didn’t gain anything personal from his career, besides a paycheck of course.

However, leaving this job and doing what he wanted (which was to open a franchise and be his own boss) wasn’t happening.

As it ended up, this client was dealing with both internal and external interference.

Internally he was lacking confidence and was fearful that his business would be a success.

Self-critical thinking, doubts, discouragement, and negative thinking was getting in the way.

As well, on the external side, he needed to build the resources to make this a reality. He needed financial resources to get the process rolling.

There was no way he would do what he wanted to do with these obstacles in the way.

He was able to work through these challenges eventually, and in doing so took an important step toward bettering his life.

If you want to make change in your life but feel stuck, there is probably either an internal interference, external interference, or both.

“Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You will find that they haven’t half the strength you think they have.” – Norman Vincent Peale

What is getting in the way for you?

What are the obstacles you’re dealing with?

If obstacles are external here are some questions to ask.

  • What specific steps can you take to remove these obstacles?
  • Who do I need to meet?
  • What can I do that I have control over today?

If they are internal you are probably dealing with limiting beliefs, negative thinking, and low level emotions.

Here are some questions to help explore internal interference.

  • What feelings will lead you to achieve this goal naturally and easily?
  • What can be done on a daily basis to feel this way?
  • What personal habits would help support your success?
  • What can you be thinking on a daily basis to achieve this goal?
  • What can I be focusing on to grow my motivation and determination?

For the next article we’ll begin exploring how to overcome some of these obstacles.

For now just do your best. Do what you can with the resources you have, and take one small step in the direction you want to go, even if you’re afraid and uncertain.

You don’t have to dismantle your entire life to start making progress!

“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” – Michael Jordan


What Gets in the Way of You Reaching For Your Potential?

Joe Wilner

Joe Wilner is a life coach, licensed clinical psychotherapist (LCP), and drummer from the band Yes You Are. He is also creator of You Have a Calling, a blog and online community helping people discover and pursue their life’s work and mission. Through deep and personalized coaching, he helps ambitious, creative, and spiritually minded individuals make a greater impact, grow as leaders, and design a soulful life they are inspired by.

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APA Reference
Wilner, J. (2014). What Gets in the Way of You Reaching For Your Potential?. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 5, 2020, from


Last updated: 23 Jul 2014
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