How to stop underachieving and reach your true potential

Have you ever felt that you could be getting more out of life? If so, you are probably right. In fact, the vast majority of people never come close to fulfilling their true potential.

It’s frustrating to watch others enjoy great relationships, achieve financial and career success, security and peace of mind. It’s not that you resent others. You simply wish that more of these good things would come your way.

Why are you underachieving and more importantly what can you do about it? I’ll answer these two questions in just a moment. First I would like to illustrate the extent to which you might be missing out.

Take an A4 piece of paper and draw a small square in the middle of it. This square represents what you are currently achieving. Now take a second sheet of A4 paper and draw a square that almost fills the whole page leaving just a small margin outside the square.

This represents what you could be achieving. We all have limits but most of us operate nowhere near our true limitations. The people we consider really successful, leaders in the world of business, music, sport, the arts are people who are actually operating close to their limits. Most people never even get a glimpse of what they could actually be achieving.

Woman working

Why do we underachieve?

There are three reasons for this. Firstly most people never formulate clear goals. Secondly, most people have an inadequate self-image. Thirdly, most people use only roughly one-tenth of their mental ability that contained at the conscious level of mind. They are unaware of or don’t know how to use the 90% of their mental ability existing at the unconscious level of mind.

Ask most people what they are aiming at and they’ll probably say something like “I want to have a good job” or “I want a family”. These goals are too vague to be worked towards in a meaningful way.

A clear achievable goal could be “to work for a public relations company based in London earning £35,000 per annum”.  Or “to have a partner, two children and a boxer dog”. Until you define it, you can’t achieve it

Virtually everyone has an inadequate self-image even those who appear outwardly successful. Our self-image, the mental picture of ourselves that we carry around in our heads, contains not just physical details such as our height and hair colour. It also contains details of the sort of person that we believe that we are; shy, outgoing, academic, sporty and so on including how capable we are.

The reason why virtually all of us have an inadequate self-image is because our self-image is not updated beyond the age of seven.

Imagine doing your demanding job, running your business, studying at university, or caring for a family with only the abilities that you had at the age of seven.

Of course, you have vastly more ability as an adult than you had at the age of seven. However, your powerful unconscious level of mind still at times makes you feel as though you were seven. This always happens at the worst times such as when you need to speak at a meeting, attend a job interview or when you meet an attractive member of the opposite sex.

The third reason why most people underachieve is that they use only the conscious level of their minds - the 10%. This is because they are unaware of or don’t know how to use the 90% their unconscious mind. This is like living in a four bedroom detached house with garden, swimming pool and games room but only using the basement or attic.

Man at work

How can we achieve more and reach our true potential?

So what can you do to achieve more and enjoy a better quality of life? Start by thinking what you want in all areas of your life personal and professional. When I say “what you want” I do mean exactly that, not what others think you should have or what you currently believe is possible. If someone else has achieved it then it is possible.

Write down your goals. It’s important that you do this as committing them to paper will greatly increase the likelihood of them being achieved. Do this in as much detail as possible. Once you have completed your goal list you can congratulate yourself on taking a major step towards achieving your goals.

Now you can begin to update your self-image so that it reflects your adult abilities, not those that you had at the age of seven. You’ll use your unconscious mind to do this and you’ll do it by giving yourself positive suggestions and picturing the desired results.

You’ll be communicating with your unconscious mind in the same way that hypnotherapists communicate with the minds of clients.

You’ll speak your goals out loud to yourself each day ideally twice and mentally picture yourself having achieved the goal. This is very important because your unconscious mind can only respond to suggestions which are worded positively and in the present tense.

Changing your self-image is done in a similar way by suggesting that you already have the qualities that you would like. For example, an affirmation could be “I am a calm and confident person” or “I get along well with others and enjoy their company”. Or “I am enjoying being a non-smoker”.

You’ll need to persist and do this regularly to get results. Your life won’t change overnight but you’ll begin to see opportunities that you overlooked before. You’ll then need to act on these to get your desired result. You will at the same time create whatever personal qualities you need to take advantage of the opportunities coming your way for example courage, persistence, friendliness, punctuality.

You can’t influence your self-image at the conscious level of your mind so it’s pointless simply telling yourself that you need to be more outgoing, confident or whatever personal quality you desire. However, following the instructions given above you will be speaking to your unconscious mind in its own language which should ensure its co-operation with your requests.   

If you want to turbocharge this process and get much faster results any good hypnotherapist can help. 

Hypnotherapy Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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