Realizing Your Full Potential
By Richard L. Roberts, PhD.
Personal power is simple. It means aligning with your joy. Joy is the impetus for realizing your true potential and being a fully functioning individual. Joy points the way to personal awakening and is the path to fulfilling your destiny.
True, authentic power resides within. It’s not about being aggressive nor does it require any force. What it does require is trust. Trust that Life will present you exactly with what you need to unfold your innate capacities. It is this acceptance of what life presents, confident you can face everything that comes your way, for it is for your highest good.
Those individuals who have made this fundamental choice greet each day with optimism and welcome whatever is presented to them, using a creative approach to move with these daily events in the direction of their inner passion. These individuals choose to see the universe as conspiring for us, not against us.
The universe is there to guide us in the direction of our greatest good, to become all we can be as we choose to take total responsibility for our life. We need only to tune in to what is actually happening, remaining fully in the present.
Challenges then become opportunities rather than crises and point the way to our own growth. Retreating from problems, challenges, and fears are not the way to strengthen our creative muscles and become fully actualized. Self actualizing requires that we focus to what we want and then go after it and as we encounter problems, activate our creative juices, stretch ourselves, welcome the problem as an opportunity to grow and progress towards fulfilling our mission.
To then choose to pursue the path of creative expression and the realization of our full human potential requires that we trust in our selves, and in the support from the universe, knowing that we are being guided by circumstance and intuition to find our rightful place. Trust means coming to know that we can handle whatever comes, knowing our creative resources will pull us through whatever obstacles. Trust also means allowing the pieces to fall into place in their own right time.
Those who choose to follow their mission and express their creative talents fully must come to welcome all that life presents for the universe is working with us and guiding us. These are equally important topics of discussion with clients seeking career planning assistance, yet are rarely addressed in traditional models.
Knowing and fulfilling your mission requires living in the present, being alert to daily events and circumstances, for each day the universe provides us with special occurrences that are hidden opportunities. These special occurrences, if we can identify them, can point us in the right direction. Jung referred to this as the “Law of Synchronicity”. Certain ‘coincidences’, like catching a book falling off the shelf, which is exactly the book we need to read, occur each day. We are then guided forward.
Trusting in the universe, knowing that it totally supports and guides us as well as trusting in our own inner guidance and our inherent talents are requirements for walking the path of freedom and fulfilling our soul’s purpose.
On the path to authentic empowerment, we must also then reconsider our relationship to fear. Fears will arise inevitably. The only true freedom from fear is death, otherwise we are human and will experience fear, especially when we consider change. We react normally to fear with a fight or flight response. We react based on these habitual responding patterns. Avoiding the situation or fighting it does not allow us to spontaneously work with circumstances and bring our genuine creativity to bear in the situation. If the path of authentic power is in harmony with fulfilling our mission, then fear is that which can cause us to alter our path and give in to the ‘defending against problems’ stance, thus losing touch with our mission. To avoid that which we fear is simply to avoid life and to remain empty and thirsting for fulfillment.
Working with and even welcoming fear is the path to authentic empowerment and fulfilling your mission. To work with fear, first be aware of it and feel it. The more you allow yourself to feel, the more aware you can be of it as it arises. Being aware that fear is operating gives you the freedom to choose to move through it. It is the moving through fears, rather than avoiding them, that enables a person to self-actualize. In other words, feel it, acknowledge it and then act, following your calling.
Those who are self-actualized, who walk the vertical path of authentic empowerment, welcome their fears, for they offer a means not only for self discovery, but point the direction to personal freedom. Fear can be a great ally, pointing the way to our greatest fulfillment. Often, that direction that we fear the most is also the one that holds the greatest possibilities and excitement for us. In addition, intimate to fulfilling our mission and becoming all we can be is breaking through self-imposed limitations. Fear highlights these boundaries. Facing our fears, breaking boundaries, empowers and frees us further. It is important to accept our fear as it arises for it points the way to greater fulfillment and actualization of our creative potentialities.
Fear is something we must face if we are to self actualize and fulfill our life’s work. Of course, fear itself is not really the problem, the problem comes when we allow it to stop us from acting on what we want to create, which is when we lose our power. We then take the victim stance. To face our fears is a requirement if we are to stretch and become what we have the potential to become. Courage to act in spite of our fears brings out the best in an individual. It activates authentic power within us. It strengthens our creative muscles, and allows us to discover the magic inherent in life’s many hidden opportunities. Unfortunately, dealing with client’s fears is often a taboo area, especially within formal career planning, for it is seen as infringing on the work of psychotherapists, which is highly discouraged.
Fulfilling our mission is not about reaching a goal, as the personality may have us believe. It is about the process of fully expressing ourselves, enjoying each present moment, awakening to the joy of creative expression. It is not the result, but the journey that matters. Truly following our bliss demands that we be true to our highest self, performing for the joy of it, expressing our inner being. Thurston referred to our mission as the quality of consciousness from which we live. It means we must take a stand, in consciousness, in being, to act from the best and highest within us, and not succumb to the fear patterns of the personality. Loving this process of unfoldment of our creative energies in the present, not sacrificing our life for some intangible future glory, is the path of authentic empowerment, of manifesting our dreams, and of self awakening.
Working from the personality always brings in an element of struggle, forcing, resisting, and controlling circumstances. We generally find ourselves listening to the many voices of the mind, shutting out the heart through which intuition flows. This seeking of approval pulls us off track. Granted, staying aligned with the intention of our highest self is not always easy. We have to focus on continually silencing the inner confusion created by the mind and personality, listen to our feelings, learn day by day to re-center ourselves, stay present, and listen to our intuition. And then, we need to practice trusting and acting on that guidance, despite fears that arise. Pursuing our vocation based on the dictates of the ego, having it be a goal to achieve, will only lead to burnout and a lack of inner satisfaction. Unfortunately, we normally do not receive reinforcement from society, and specifically even traditional career models, in following the higher, spiritual path.
As aligning with our soul’s intention allows us to clarify mission, aligning with our soul is also necessary to fully express our talents in service of that mission. What is critical is how we choose to express ourselves and live our life, including the way that we “do” our missionAs mentioned, each day we receive guidance in the form of certain events that are actually hidden opportunities. These provide us with the next step forward in fulfilling our mission. Being alert to these opportunities means we listen to and trust our intuition, for it can help us to be aware of these special forms of guidance.
The question then is do we make our moment to moment choices based on habitual personality patterns or do we trust and listen to the voice of our soul. In the end, mission is not about reaching goals, it is about the process of unfolding our latent potentialities, loving in the moment and fully expressing ourselves in the here-and-now. Bliss exists only in the Now, not in reaching some projected future goal. This is the essence of vocational awakening and effective career planning.