Are You Undermining Your Potential?

By Ellesse

Yesterday, my sister was flipping through a fashion magazine when she came across several pictures of well designed neckties and cuff links. Suddenly she exclaimed “Gosh, these are the same cuff links that are being sold at my boyfriend’s push carts. Look at the price. Oh my goodness, they’re selling at USD 30 for each pair! Ours is only selling at …” I looked at her as she rumbled on, though my thoughts were actually lost on the TV program telecasted that night. But I caught her last sentence “You know why they’re selling at such prices? It’s branding. Because apparently one of the partners used to work in the Advertising & Media industry and he has got the relevant contacts to help them get the necessary exposure. If only we’ve got the same network…” She murmured in despair.

As I recall this incident, I can’t wondering if it’s human nature to unknowingly sell yourself short by thinking that you can never be able to achieve the same phenomenal success unless you’ve got the same background, network of contacts or skillsets as the person who’s already successful in that arena. Well, there may be a need to acquire certain qualifications to be in some particular industries. You definitely need a medical degree to be a doctor! But what I’m trying to differentiate is that someone with unfavourable conditions need not necessary be deprived of success just because he doesn’t possess the edge now. Why? Because the law of Cause & Effect has derogated everyone of us to be equal in the eyes of the Universe.

Now what do I mean by that?

The Law Of Cause & Effect

Let me first start off by explaining the law of Cause & Effect. In his book, 21 Secrets of Self Made Millionaires, Brian Tracy explains that in life, for every action, there is a reaction. An unequivocal phenomenon, that means nature, the marketplace or our society doesn’t care who you’re or what background you’ve, making everyone of us equal. Yes, some people may have a slight advantage over the rest. They could be born with a silver spoon so coming up with the start up capital for their business seem relatively easier. But if they’re not willing to put in the efforts into their business like what some of the successful entreprenuers did, they may find themselves lagging behind those who started off later.

In a nutshell, so long as you work like what the successful people do, you can achieve the same level of success. If a person has become successful, there must be good reasons for so. He may have spent many years building up the contacts while he was an advertising account executive. Or he could have come up with a excellent marketing plan and executed it forcefully. Instead of moaning why he has that while you don’t and discounting your own ability because of that, why don’t you spend the effort replicating his steps and aspiring to do much better?

An interesting thing to note is success is the result of doing certain things, over and over again until you achieve the effect that you desire. How far you can generate that level of success hence depends on 3 mutually inclusive factors : determining the effect you want, knowing the cause and most importantly applying that consistently!

If So, Why Are People Still Selling Themselves Short?

There could be a few reasons for that :

(1) The Paradoxical Desire to Wallow in Self Pity

Much as some people may not want to admit it, subconsciously, they actually desire to be in the under privileged group. Because it brings them to another different dimension where they can put up a false reality, relate it to others (or a even divine self) hoping to gain sympathy and indirectly, ready assistance. It’s their paradoxical way of deflecting from their real problem.

Unknowingly, the more you tell yourselves “If only…”, “I’ll never…” etc, the more you’re communicating to your subconscious a desperate sense of lack and that’s what you’ll attract, the lack of those things that you’ve been yearning for! Remember, no one, no one except yourself is responsible for your circumstance, actions and results. Others can help but there’s not so much they can do. They may be able to tie you up with a suitable contact who can provide you the advertising exposure, but it’ll still be you who follow it through with a great branding and marketing proposal.

(2) Past Haunting Experiences

Whenever I read the annual reports or prospectus of stocks and mutual funds, the most common disclaimer that I’ll notice in the fine print, states “..Past performances is not necessary indicative of future results”. Now, isn’t it highly applicable to us as well? You may have failed once, twice but that doesn’t mean you’ll fail the next time! Do you know that the average self made millionaire has been bankrupt or close to being so, 3.2 times and that 99% of all financially successful people started off broke or nearly broke? Learn from your experiences but don’t let it haunt you when you aspire to do something new, exciting or different. Learn how to draw inspiration from your miserable failure.

(3) Conviction That People Who’re Doing Better Than You Are Better Than You

If you take a look at the education systems all over the world, most if not all, have some forms of elite systems. They classify students into gifted programs and streams based on their intellectual levels, measured using MENSA scores, GPA etc and apply different teaching techniques from the mainstream schools. And if you examine our society now, almost all have some kind of clubs or associations such as Millionaire Clubs that provide perks and benefits that are exclusive to members only.

Even our banks differentiate their customers by segregating them into different groups of income earners! In a way or another, all these promote a societal acceptance that whoever is deemed to be smarter than you is smarter than you and whoever is deemed to be better than you is better than you! I don’t deny that people from such programs or clubs have extraordinary achievements, but it’s still a relatively grey area whether their achievements is really due to their intelligence, financial status or because of the resources that they can tap into given their advantage of being in that group in the first place!

You may not be where you want to be now, but that doesn’t mean you’ll not be where you want to be in 10, 5 or even a year down the road. Look at Bill Gates, he’s a Harvard dropout but who can dispute his achievements? Is he faring worse off than his peers just because he was a dropout? Remember, there are no limits. Except those that you set on yourself.

Who knows? You may be the next richest (smartest, prettiest or whatever attribute that you aspire to have) person in the world!

What Can You Do To Get Out Of this Rut?

Even if you don’t know the extent of your potential and keep telling yourself “you’re not capable” or “you’re not good enough”, rest assured that you can still turn things around. The first thing you should do? Stop thinking you are not capable, not good enough etc etc. Remember our talk about the Law of Attraction and Mike Dooley’s infamous quote that thoughts become things in the Secret? Make it a commitment to stop those negative thoughts today before they became your reality. Not sometime later. Not tomorrow, but now. It also helps a lot if you can start learning how to :

  • Be Grateful

    Learn to be grateful for what attributes you may have. Take out a piece of paper and write out all the wonderful traits or characteristics that you have. If you have a knack for organising things, write it down. If you have the gift of the gab, state it down. If you’re not sure what characteristics you’ve, ask your friends or family.

  • Get Inspired

    Start reading biographies or success stories of people who have succeeded in the arena that you want to succeed in, or get yourself a personal or business mentor and start visualizing if you were in their shoes. Find out what they’re doing that are right. Determine for yourself the effect you want to achieve.

  • Set Some Goals

    Try our Goal Setting Tutorial and incorporate the steps that these mentors have already gone through into your plan and get into action. Action is the Cause!

  • Repeat the above Consistently

    Yes, continuously be grateful, get inspired, set new goals (after each is completed) and repeat again and again.

With that, I’ll sign off with this last quote by Anne Frank :

“Everyone has inside himself a piece of good news! The good news is that you really don’t know how great you can be, how much you can love, what you can accomplish, and what your potential is!”


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