Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Wind-Back Wednesday ~ Focus on Your Potential

Wind-Back Wednesday ~ Focus on Your Potential - not your limitations

ASSUMPTIONS

I read an article a while ago that said "people with a high level of confidence have just as many weaknesses as those without confidence, but they focus on their strengths instead of their weaknesses."

 As I've gotten older I find that I've tended to sit back and assume that I had achieved all that I was going to in this life, and basically there was nothing left to do now, other than accept where I was at. A friend of mine once said that she could be anything she wanted to be.....she just didn't know what she wanted to be (and that was the problem). I can certainly relate to that thought. I assumed I was limited in my potential now and stuck where I was until the end of time.

WORK

Being a woman of my generation, I had tended to slip into the path of least resistance when it came to choosing a career (my parents thought it would be a waste over-educating a daughter) and I settled for a job that helped pay the bills and keep the family finances in the black when my husband was changing jobs on a fairly regular basis (this was pretty much the norm throughout our married life). 

I don't think I ever reached my full potential in the area of employment, but I found a niche I was good at and settled for that being good enough. For a long time I chose to stay put in a field of employment where I felt safe, but not challenged and certainly not fulfilled. I wasn't appreciated by my boss and I felt like I was treading water and going nowhere. 

It would have been easy to stay put and wait out the next decade or so until retirement. It was easy to see what I didn't have and to assume that the skills I did possess wouldn't be of use in a new position. But....once I chose to step up and step out of that mindset, I found out my skills were very much in demand and I ended up in a new job that is interesting and where I'm appreciated and paid what I'm worth - it's amazing what can happen when you take a risk and trust in your abilities.

FAMILY LIFE

For as long as I can remember when it came to my family, I was the Queen of Great Expectations - only to watch them come crashing down around my ears at every turn. Now days I am doing my best to refuse to allow unreal expectations to control my emotions (this is a work in progress). The trouble with expectations is they highlight your failures in technicolour brilliance. No marriage and no children could ever hope to live up to my Brady Bunch ideals - so all I saw was where I'd failed. I focused in on all the things I did wrong, rather than celebrating all the small victories along the way.


when you release expectations -Mandy Hale.

Today I am choosing to look at what I have achieved in my marriage, and in the lives of my children, and in my friendships, and at work rather than zeroing in on the little nit-picking bits that I'm not happy with. By doing this, I've gained confidence in myself while trying to remain true to who I am. I don't claim to have all the answers, but I'm not my own worst critic anymore.

MATURITY

I am starting to feel that all my life's ups and downs and ins and outs have equipped me to be a sounding board for others who are facing similar life challenges. I have learnt that you can fight against life or you can flow with it and make the most of the good times. It's a balance of not staying still and slowly sinking and not being taken away and drowned by the currents of life. I've learned to appreciate that I have a lot of strengths and these far outweigh my weaknesses, so I will celebrate them more in the years ahead and work at improving where I can - because it's all about potential, not limitations.
Wind-Back Wednesday ~ Focus on Your Potential - not your limitations

This post was shared at some of these great link parties
To keep up to date with my posts, feel free to add your email into the spot especially for it on my sidebar or follow me on facebook

Windback Wednesday ~ www.crestingthehill.com.au

28 comments:

  1. One of my favourite posts of yours Leanne. I was nodding my agreement all the way through. I certainly had the Brady Bunch ideals but they soon came crashing down. I'm happy with life but we do out our own limitations on ourselves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the Brady Bunch have a lot to answer for Sue! I'm not sure how we got sucked into them being the ideal, but I'm gradually moving on and I think real is better in the long run!

      Delete
  2. I never saw this one before so it is new to me...awesome...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Renee - I've been reviving and rewriting some of my older posts - it seems a shame to leave them languishing in the archives.

      Delete
  3. I love your transparency in your writing, Leanne. This particular quote jumped out at me: "The trouble with expectations is they highlight your failures in technicolour brilliance. No marriage and no children could ever hope to live up to my Brady Bunch ideals - so all I saw was where I'd failed." I wish there was a way I could give a high five or fist bump or some other gesture that says, "YES! Me, too!" Isn't it interesting how we think setting expectations is giving us a goal to work toward, yet they can limit us in so many ways if we get too caught up in them. In my family, I have found this to be very true, and we are constantly reminding each other that not only are we good enough, we are so much more than that. xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I've finally come to realize that those expectations were killers Wendy - so many unreal hopes that were never going to eventuate and the only person bothered by that was me! Now I give myself some grace and that allows me to offer the same to those I love - win/win really!

      Delete
  4. I've had to adjust my expectations as well, for my own sanity!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We didn't do ourselves any favours having those expectations in the first place Wendy, so adjusting them gives us some room to breathe :)

      Delete
  5. A most worthy model for self-reflection. Thx for reposting. Wouldn't have seen it had you not reposted.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's why I'm rewriting some of my older stuff Nancy - it still rings really true for me and I want to share it with others who didn't know me way back when I started.

      Delete
  6. I found some old diaries a while ago. In there were things I had accomplished that I had completely forgotten about. I thought. "Wow, this girl is pretty amazing!" We should keep those small notes all the time (which I don't , I'm afraid) because we forget how great we are, all the wonderful things we've done, and quite frankly, all the people who should be happy to be in our circle! Goo for you...this is the right and best way to look at every day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was pretty savvy as a young woman, too. Isn't it amazing?

      Delete
    2. That's such a great thing to find Cathy - we so quickly forget our achievements, but our failures linger on forever - to remind us of our imperfection. Overwriting those less than wonderful memories with positive ones makes us better people and a whole lot more compassionate towards others.

      Delete
  7. At this stage of life I never think about potential but instead my skills. Potential to me is a younger woman's term, something that you haven't reached. I feel so lucky that my career allowed me such satisfaction and now I can use my skills or not as i see fit!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like that Carol - maybe you reached your potential early - mine is still working its way out (I think I wasted a lot of time when I was younger living other people's expectations instead of focusing on what was really "me") I'm catching up though!

      Delete
  8. Your career pathway sounds very similar to mine Leanne. I was stagnating in a dead end job for years but got myself out of the rut and took 7 months off travelling and when I returned changed my career completely. We do place a lot of pressure on ourselves to have the perfect life with the perfect home, family and material possessions. Like you say, once we work out that these things are only achievable at a great cost to your own wellbeing, the better we learn to accept to be content with what we have and take small steps towards improving ourselves. Great post. I loved it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kathy - I love that we've managed to reinvent ourselves while we still have time to enjoy the fruits of our labours. It's also lovely to let my children and husband off the hook that my perfectionism had them strung up on.

      Delete
  9. Excellent post. Always always look for the strengths and potentials!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a change of mindset that has come with midlife for me Tam :)

      Delete
  10. "celebrating all the small victories along the way." Well said.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Roz - lots of small victories add up to a very satisfying life overall don't they?

      Delete
  11. I love this and can very much relate. I'm still coming to terms with the 'being middle aged' thing - and considering what I've accomplished and what I haven't. As I'm still single (and childless) at 48, I guess my 'misses' are a bit different to most.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's why I love this group of midlife bloggers Deborah - they have so many different experiences and are living out really authentic lives - Carol Cassara never had children either and her life has some amazing ups and downs - and yet she is thriving and so self confident - we need to work with what we've been given don't we?

      Delete
  12. I so understand what you are saying here Leanne. Four years ago I was in a job that started out as my dream job but over time changed a lot - I had less autonomy, less creative opportunities, and a horrible boss - BUT I was going to stay there til I retired coz it was local and "secure". Then I was made redundant at the age of 45! Although it seemed a cruel blow at the time, I can now see that I was stagnating there and was set free to create a wonderful new life for myself :-) . I needed the push!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was my job exactly Janet - I thought I'd found the perfect place to work until I retired, but you can only work with (and for) narcissists for so long before you feel ground down and drained. I left before I was pushed and I should have done it years earlier. Life is soooooo much better now!

      Delete
  13. Aaaah, Absolutely. Nailed it.
    Focussing on our strengths will make us strong (focussing on our our weaknesses will drag us down). Totes agree.
    #TeamLovinLife

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a simple truth isn't it Leanne? And yet a lot of us get sucked into the trap of seeing our shortcomings and forgetting our strengths - midlife has turned that completely around for me :)

      Delete
  14. We all get taught to study, work hard get a job and be good maybe we will get a promotion...Aaarrg Its time to break out of that mold and instead focus on learning what our strengths are and live our potential...Love it. Thanks for sharing at the Pit Stop

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...