Achieve Your Full Potential

Once you've developed your full potential, it is time to work toward achieving it. It will take planning, time, and effort, but you can do it! Achieving your full potential is about committing yourself to the process of self-improvement, not a single task. Sail your own ocean, and you never know what you might find.


Setting Yourself up for Success

  1. Define the best version of yourself. At its heart, achieving your full potential is about being the best person that you can be. Since everyone is different, you will need to define the terms of success for yourself. Therefore, it is important to know yourself.
  2. Set goals for yourself. Setting goals is an important part of achieving success. Research shows that setting specific goals helps people get what they want.[2] Take advantage of this fact by setting both short and long term goals for yourself.
    • Write down a list of everything you want to achieve.
    • Check over your list and seriously consider whether or not it is realistic.
    • State your goals positively. Instead of “I want to be less worried about my appearance,” write “I want to be confident about my appearance.”[3]
    • Be specific. The more specific you are, the easier it will be to define success.
  3. Work toward your goal every day. Once you have confirmed that your goal is achievable and realistic, get to work. Your goal may take time to achieve, but you have to begin somewhere.
    • Commit to the process. When you focus on the process, rather than the end point, you will find it much easier to stay on track. [4]
    • Note that your long-term goal does not have to be set in stone, word-for-word. Times will change, people will change, and therefore, your goals will change. It's not an exact science, so you don't need to treat it like one. Allow yourself some room to grow.
    • Create a checklist of things you should do every day to work towards you goal. Do those things every day without fail.

Beginning Your Journey

  1. Find your inspiration. It can be a person, a landmark, or your lucky charm. Whatever it is, it will make you smile when you wake up in the morning, and it is the last thing you want to see before you fall asleep at night. Discover what or who it is and treasure it.
    • To find inspiration, try disconnecting from your usual routine.[5]
    • Listen to music.
    • Spend time in nature [6]
    • Carry around a small notepad with you. Write down inspirational moments so you can remember them later.
  2. Create short-term goals. Breaking your goals into small steps also makes you more likely to achieve them. Achieving short-term goals will help you stay motivated along the way to achieving your long-term goals.[7]
    • Write your short-term goals down on a calendar. Use the calendar to hold yourself accountable for achieving your short-term goals.
    • In order to get yourself in a mindset for success, make your first few short-term goals easy to attain.[6]
    • That being said, once you get going, do challenge yourself. Whenever you feel like something is getting too easy to do, take it up a notch. Once you get in the habit of pushing yourself, it will be easier to continue making progress on your goals.
  3. Be confident. Being confident will help you achieve you goals. Although believing is not enough on its own, negative thoughts will slow you down.
    • Take care of yourself. Dress well, brush your hair, sit with good posture, and groom regularly.[8]
    • Think positively. When you have a negative thought, rephrase it positively.
    • Do not compare yourself to others. Instead of dwelling on how you stack up to other people, focus on yourself and your goals.[9]
  4. Accept changes as they happen. On the way to developing your full potential, things in your life will change. If you become stuck in your ways, your personal development will stagnate.
    • Focus on the things that you can influence and then do them.
    • As before, remember you are engaging in a process.
    • Adapt to new circumstances by setting new goals.
    • Be open to learning new things. [10]

Achieving Your Potential in the Long Term

  1. Accept your failures. Setbacks and failures will happen; they're a natural part of life. Failures are simply a way of showing you what works and what does not. They will help you figure out what you are capable of, and what needs work as you move toward achieving your goal(s).
    • Do not take failure personally. Failure to achieve a goal does not mean you are a failure as a person.
    • Move on. After you have learned from your failed attempt, let the failure go.
    • One way to keep your morale high is to look at any setbacks as learning opportunities. Failing once does not mean you will fail in the future. In fact, having failed, you are now more prepared to succeed the next time.
    • Visualize your past successes. This can give you the mental boost you need to get past the stress of your failure.[11]
  2. Get support. Whether you are Deal With Addiction, obsession, or any crisis, it helps to have external support. This could mean friends, family, coworkers, or buddies at the gym. You do not have to do it alone.
    • Tell someone you see frequently about your goals.
    • When the people in your life know about your goals, they can help you achieve them and hold you accountable. Sometimes our willpower fails us, but the people around us can help. [12]
  3. Trust your intuition. Intuition comes from experience and instinct. Although you must be open to change, you should also be willing to trust your own experience and knowledge.
    • Trust your experience, but be open to new experiences too.
    • Your intuition can help you make better decisions.
    • Remember that intuition and contemplation are not mutually exclusive. You can use your intuition to help inform your decision making process, even when you are not relying on it fully.[13]
    • Intuition is a helpful tool for making quick decisions. This can free you up to work on other important goals. You do not need to dwell on every decision, but acting on intuition does not mean making the decision lightly either.
    • In your journal, keep a list of the times your intuition helped you. Reference your journal when you are working through a problem.
  4. Never stop. Achieving your full potential is a lifelong process. You will achieve many goals along the way, but always stay committed to the process of self-improvement. Our abilities are not static and fixed.
    • Even after you achieve your goals, continue to abide by the checklist you created earlier. This will help you continue to progress even further than you thought you could.
    • Failure is not absolute. Samuel Beckett wrote: “Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”[14] Follow this simple premise and you will be able to continue to work toward achieving your full potential.


  • Remember that this is a simple guide. You'll have to twist and tweak this to fit your specific goals in mind. As mentioned before, everyone's full potential is variable, so find yours and work toward it in the best way that you can.
  • Love yourself. Don't expect people to respect and accept you if you can't respect and accept yourself!
  • Smile and be positive. It's a phrase that's used way too much, but that's because it's true. Smile at a stranger on the street just once, and your mood will lift. Whether you're on your way to the court or the office, keeping a generally kind and accepting attitude will be inspiring to you and everyone around you.
  • Know the difference between developing your full potential and achieving it: You'll develop full potential as you find out what it is and how to go about working toward it. Achieving it is doing your best to get as close as you can to the potential you envision.

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Sources and Citations

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