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5 Ways We (can) Sabotage Our Potential

Often in a workshop or presentation I ask people to put their hands up in the air.

And then I tell them to leave their hand in the air, IF they are using 100% of their potential.

I have only ever had one person leave their hand up and I am not sure they understood the directions. 😉

This means almost everyone I have ever asked the question of, knows they have more potential inside.

Fact 1: We all (very very likely) have more potential in us than we are expressing.

Is it 10 times or 100 times?

Who really knows, until we really step into it.

Take Wim Hof for example; who has been setting Guinness World Records for years (about 26).

One of them (2007) was climbing 22,000ft up Mount Everest in only shorts and shoes!!

He not only performs these ‘extreme’ practices, but he teaches other people to do them too.

He trains them to express more of their potential (physically and mentally).

So yes we all have more potential, and no we are not sure where the actual ceiling to our potential is.

But what I really want to talk about now, is how do we sabotage this expression of our higher potential?

Let’s see…

Sabotaging our Potential #1: Selling ourselves short

Stories are powerful. Very powerful.

They can even create our personal reality.

The stories we tell about ourselves, to ourselves, also have an enormous potential to propel us forward, or hold us back.

The first way I think we sabotage our potential is by simply down-playing our potential.

Telling ourselves we have maxed out.

Making excuses like: “Yeah, that it is okay for them, but…”

Then there is: “Maybe when I was younger”, “I am not smart enough”, “What if something goes wrong”, “I don’t have the time”, “I don’t have the discipline”, “I don’t blah, blah, blah”.

I think the number one saboteur, in holding back our potential, is the little gremlin inside our heads that makes up stories, which are not true, and which causes us to retreat back from our actual growth potential.

Getting clear of our inner dialogue and the truth of our thoughting (especially the limiting stuff) is essential for tapping into our full potential.

Sabotaging our Potential #2: Getting attached to the comfort zone

Comfort can be a great thing.

Praise be to the inventor of the reclining armchair!!!

Too much comfort on the other hand – or over-attachment to comfort – is hitting the brake on the exploration and expansion of your true potential.

Feeling comfortable is pleasant, but it can get in the way of our growth.

Think of the gym for instance.

Practice lifting air in the gym and you experience no discomfort (woohoo!), but also no growth into a greater physical potential (bummer!!).

To reach your higher potential physically, you actually need to leave the comfort zone, and spend time in the ‘discomfort zone’.

I witness many people not reaching a greater potential because they back off once they feel any discomfort. They surrender back into the comfort zone, and therefore sabotage their full potential.

This applies equally to emotional discomfort.

We are able to ‘handle more’ in life, and stretch ourselves more, if we practice leaning into discomfort.

So the good news is, we have a LOT more potential available to us.

The bad news is, it requires getting uncomfortable to do so.

There is a great YouTube channel called Yes Theory, where their tagline is “Seek Discomfort“.

I am not sure about you, but I love that!

It is an offer and a challenge into your higher potential and most likely leads to a great adventure.


Sabotaging our Potential #3: Having a crappy strategy

I LOVE a good strategy.

It is something I’ve been trained in, practiced and talked about extensively in my last book Decision Making Mastery.

Working on strategies is a bit part of my work with clients.

Once we figure out what our heart truly desires, then it is time to come up with the most effective strategy.

People often sabotage their potential to DO, BE or HAVE something they desire, because they have a crap strategy (or no strategy).

These are just some things that might lead to ineffective strategies:

  • Poor advice.
  • Lack of knowledge.
  • Failure to see, or take in, the full picture.
  • Incorrect information.
  • Unrealistic (or unhealthy) timelines.
  • Lack of clarity of the end result you desire.
  • There are several more, but that is a pretty good list of the biggies.

Benjamin Franklin said on planning: “Success is the residue of planning.”

You can have all of the enthusiasm, confidence, commitment, discipline, and passion in the world, but if you are heading West, when your goal is in the East, you are very likely to miss your mark, and your desired outcome.

Essentially you are likely to sabotage your potential to achieve something, if your plan sucks.

Sabotaging our Potential #4: Keeping the ‘wrong’ company

I think the title says it all.

And I think you know it.

I think you know there are people in your life who suck the life force out of you.

Who stifle your potential.

Who drag you back into their misery or mediocrity or comfort zone or their known and familiar environment.

I don’t think I need to labour this point.

If you know someone who is holding you back from your potential; take the time to get really clear (and honest) about why you are still choosing to have them in your life. Then come up with a strategy to minimise or remove their impact on your life (and your precious potential).

Sabotaging our Potential #5: A poor relationship with the unknown

What is your relationship with the unknown?

Do you avoid it?

Run away from it?

Or try to plan every last micro detail in your life so you have the ‘perception’ that there is no room for the unknown to exist?

None of those are beneficial or helpful for you.

Because here is the thing: Your FULL potential is actually hanging out in the unknown.

In the unknown is also the field of infinite possibilities.

In the unknown is something NEW, which you have never created before.

In the unknown is the adventure that causes you to grow in a way you could never imagine.

In the unknown is a loving, intelligent consciousness that wants nothing more than to see you evolve into your GREATEST POTENTIAL.


It is not only time to make peace with the unknown, but it is time for you to consciously step into it.

Your full potential is waiting for you there.

My question for you is this:

“In your life right now; what specific Action or Choice (followed by action) would take you into the unknown and your greatest potential gowth?”

Now dip into COURAGE and try it on.

The key points (and summary)

We all have a LOT more potential than we are showing up with.

Don’t sell yourself short. You are so much more powerful than you have been lead to believe.

Don’t get too comfortable. Apart from bed sores (or pimples on your butt), it is masking your potential, and a rich life experience.

Take time to come up with an effective strategy (or get help).

Remove certain people in your life (or avoid them).

Fall in love with the Unknown (to borrow a line from Dr Joe Dispenza).

My parting words

I may not know you personally, but I know we have not seen the best of you yet.

I am guessing you have at least 10 times more potential in your tank.

Feel free to seek it out.

And I will be cheering you on from the sidelines (whilst doing my own work to level up ;-)).

Have an expansive day and a exponential week.

Take care,


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