See Your World in A Whole New Way | Blog
See Your World in A Whole New Way | Blog
Have you ever had the thought, “I’m not living up to my potential”? Or were you like me as a child and perhaps your parent was told this by your teacher? Does potential look like something to achieve or demonstrate?
I’m currently co-teaching a training for a group of practitioners in Australia with a friend and colleague, Fiona Lukeis. Over the last two weeks, we’ve been exploring a different take on potential. Usually, when people discuss potential, they focus on the world of form. We look to our work or our lives and wonder, “Are we living up to our full potential?” We look at results and behaviors, and measure against them.
But for now, I’d like to explore potential a bit differently. In this moment, I’d like to look at our innate, built-in ability (aka “potential”) to have ANY thought about ANY thing or ANY one, at ANY time. This ability points to the incredible potential ALL humans possess which allows us to have ANY experience about ANY thing in our lives. To literally change the world—not because it changed outside but because it shifted, first, from within.
Our internal experience, our feelings, our moods and our behaviors, are constant variables. They are coming from the fluidity of thought in the moment—from the quality of our minds in any given moment. In other words, what is possible is also a changing variable.
Beyond what we currently “see” in our world, exists an infinite pool of new possibilities & potential. When we understand that our external world is shaped by the quality of our internal world, we know where to look for fresh perspective.
Earlier this summer, I interviewed Kevin Gleason, President & CEO of Adams Outdoor Advertising, for The Real Business Real Lives podcast. Kevin tells a powerful story that illustrates how our view of the world, and of others, literally transforms in direct response to a shift in our internal world.
Kevin and his company were in the midst of what he called “choppy waters”, financially. They were running out of money and about to go out of business. Kevin had just taken over as CEO and the lenders wanted to see some type of new direction; they had about six months to restructure or the lenders were going to take over. Which put them in a tailspin and created an immense amount of pressure. It was troubling and definitely not business as usual.
During this high-pressured time, he was told by the owner of the company to attend a three-day wellness retreat, in La Conner, WA with his senior management. As you might imagine, when Kevin heard this, he was shocked and pushed back. He thought it was a crazy idea to take time away when they had so many deadlines and issues to resolve. His boss was insistent, so they went.
This retreat was focused on state-of-mind. It was focused on the quality of our minds and the role it plays in our well-being, and in our work. During their time there, Kevin started to notice a shift in himself. He was affected by what he was hearing and the ideas that were being shared.
Kevin describes feeling psychologically and emotionally “better”, and having greater intellectual clarity. He said, “I saw the world in more hopeful terms.” He had been living in a constant state of stress, pressure, and irritability and all of the sudden he was feeling more creative. He had more bandwidth to do something significant. “Prior to coming, I didn’t see the light; now I see a better potential for a result. I’m not only hopeful but excited about the potential outcome and what we can do.”
So, what happened? How is it possible to have this major shift when nothing changed on the outside? The lenders were still breathing down their necks and expecting change, they were still losing money, they still had no resolution or solution, yet Kevin was experiencing it very differently.
This story is common in my work. Business owners/leaders have new insight, new internal shifts, and go from hopeless to hopeful. From confusion to clarity. From bogged down to lightness, without any changes to their circumstances. From this new internal climate, what is possible, changes. They go from limited ideas to unlimited potential. They go from stuck to seeing a way forward.
When we tap into the expansiveness within—to the infinite potential of our innate nature to have new thinking, to see more clearly, to have new creative ideas—we see the world in a different way. And if we see it differently, we can respond to it differently.
In a freer, more present, state-of-mind we naturally tap into the infinite potential of new ideas and creativity. When we realize that circumstances are not determining our thinking or our behaviors, that it is coming from within, we experience for ourselves the ability to have a fresh take on whatever life has put on our plate.
In the interview, Kevin beautifully describes his own realization of this or, as he calls it, his personal “epiphany”. In the evening, at the end of one of the sessions, with George Pransky, he went to the local tavern. Something happened to him while he was enjoying a beer. His typical response to a crowded and loud place would have been to be highly critical of the surroundings, the people and why they act like they do, speak or dress like they do, why they are so loud, etc. But suddenly, that environment became truly enjoyable to him. He thought everyone was unique and cool. He realized in that moment that he was thinking differently about people. This was profoundly different than his usual norm. He was shifting, changing, and he liked it. He liked the feeling he was living in. As he says, “The way I was thinking, and feeling was far superior to the way I was doing it the day before.”
This is potential. The ability we all have to see fresh. To see something with new eyes. To get clear and access new levels of creativity and hopefulness. We bring forth new insight which has both practical and profound implications for our work and lives.
We naturally tap into this potential when we understand where it is coming from. It comes from a shift within.
We all come hard-wired, designed with the innate potential and the capability to have new understanding, shifts of consciousness, shifts in understanding.
From this internal shift, we see and experience our world in a whole new way. Free of old constraint and full of hope.
“If we see it differently, we can respond to it differently.”
Innate wisdom informs our lives, amplifies our potential and changes our world.
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Barbara Patterson is the owner of a global coaching and consulting company bringing the insights of performance and fulfillment to clients around the world. She helps organizations, leaders, entrepreneurs and coaches access more clarity, creativity, have greater impact and higher levels of performance in work and life. Barb is the Founder of Beyond Limits in Business and host of the Real Business Real Lives podcast. If you’d like to experience in-depth, robust and transformative mentoring for you and your business check out Barb’s 6-month Beyond Limits Small Group Mentoring Program. You can follow Barb on Linkedin, Twitter and Instagram. You can also subscribe to her weekly blog on her website at barbarapatterson.com