Unlocking your potential

Always remember, you are always more than you think you are. Unlocking your potential will prove this to you! Here’s how.

We humans have tremendous potential. For most of us, however, especially those with mental illness, this potential can go unrealized. But why is this the case? Well, it can happen for a number of reasons, but mostly, we tend to underestimate our own value. Stil you can get good at Unlocking your potential.

Jonathan Arenburg
Jonathan Arenburg

Jonathan is a mental health blogger, published author, and speaker. He has appeared in numerous newspapers and has been a guest on many podcasts.

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Unlocking your potential – updated Aug 11, 2022

With that said, I often find myself wondering, “Is it really important to understand why one has locked up their potential?” Furthermore, do we really need to know the exact source of our self-loathing? Personally, I’m inclined to think the answer is both yes and no. Here’s the rundown.

Firstly, it may be wise to explore why one’s self-esteem is in a state of non-self-actualization. For example, if you were raised in a household that spends most of your upbringing by questioning and criticizing, you likely will end up feeling “less than.” Not an advantageous position to start life out in. But because we have been led to believe that we can’t realize our dreams, doesn’t mean we can’t… Hear me out.

We are like a house plant – here’s the scenario.

We all know people in our lives who just can’t look after even the simplest of house plants (am I right?) No matter what they do, their plants, the poor things, seem to wither. In reality, many people just neglect them, not intentionally, but maybe plants just aren’t their “thing.” Or maybe these folks are terrified of killing these plants. And in their efforts to not kill these living green things, they do.

So, say you’re at a friend’s house and he/she/they are moving. They are inches away from tossing this half-dead house plant out; when you scream, “No No, what are you doing? That plant’s not dead!” They respond with, “Ugh – I suck at looking after house plants. I always seem to kill them.” This is followed by, “Here – you want it? Be my guest.”

You eagerly accept and take home the plant. You look after it lovingly and with diligence. In doing so, you nurse this plant back to life. Now, a few weeks later, it’s lush and green, vibrant and flowering.

So, now that it is robust, strong, and healthy, I ask you: does it matter where it came from, what its past was like? Maybe not as much as we think?

How are you and a house plant alike?

At first glance, you may not see the similarities between yourself and a singular, withering house plant. But what if I told you that, many of us are that house plant? In other words, our childhoods may have made us wither and sag because of unintentional/intentional neglect, verbal tear downs, etc. But with nurturing and care, we can reach our full potential.

I think it’s fair to say that any one of us who have had the wind taken out of our sails will, by default, lock their true potential behind fear and anxiety. Why wouldn’t we? After all, anxiety’s superpower is avoidance. So, if one fears chasing their dreams, their growth (potential) is delayed, not nurtured. As a result, it can go completely unrealized.

Essentially, you are both the plant and caregiver, responsible to see that you flourish. While your past may have plunged you into a state of perpetual angst, what can you do about that now? How can you unlock your full potential today? These are the questions that require answers the most.

Front and back cover of the road to mental wellness - 8 sings your relationship is hurting your mental health.
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While sometimes our poor self-esteem might not be so obvious to us, there are signs that tell us that we have some growing to do. For example, are you still seeking relationships that mirror your childhood expectations within yourself? In other words, are you being met with neglect and verbal tear downs? Furthermore, do you find yourself in this type of relationship often?

If this is true for you, you have fallen into an unhealthy, but familiar pattern that continues to stunt your growth. A good indication of this might be When you catch yourself saying, “Guys/girls, they’re all the same.”

In crisis? go to Crisis Services Canada

If this seems like you, it’s far more likely that you are choosing a partner you feel matches your long-believed perception of your worth or lack thereof. This is of course an inaccurate narrative because you are always worth more than you think.

Additionally, becoming aware of such statements, can be the catalyst you need for change. So don’t ignore that familiar feeling of worthlessness and dread that often comes with repeating the same mistakes.

Want to work on quelling your fears? Get help from a mental health professional and step outside your comfort zone Even if this means a toe at a time.

How to realize your potential

In conclusion, your past doesn’t have to be the mantra of your entire life. You are, in fact, more than you think you are. So, nurture yourself. What you do today, will determine your future. Please don’t wither and give up on yourself. Like the house plant and start to take a different route to find healthy relationships. Tip. Stop running from the nice folk.

you have the potential to flourish and to have a better, life. Trust me, unlocking your potential will set your passions afire and help you gravitate towards high value partners.

If you are struggling, please go here for help: Reach out to Kids Help Phone

In crisis? Go to Crisis Services Canada

Go to our Mental Health Resources Page

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Unlocking your potential copyright – 2022

Jonathan Arenburg

Jonathan Arenburg is a mental health blogger, S speaker, writer, and published author; He is also the host of the mental wellness podcast, #thewellnesstalksHe has also appeared in the i'Mpossible's Lemonade Stand III. He has also been a contributing writer for Mental health talk, a column in his local paper. In addition, he has also written for the mental health advocacy organization; Sick Not Weak.Jonathan has also appeared on several mental health-related podcasts Including: A New Dawn, The Depression Files, Books and Authors, and Men Are Nuts. Since being put off work because of PTSD, Jonathan has dedicated his time to his mental wellness journey while helping others along the way.Educated as an addictions' counsellor, he has dedicated most of his professional life of eighteen years, working with those who have intellectual disabilities, behavioural challenges, and mental illness.He has also spent fifteen years in the volunteer fire service helping his community.His new book (2021), “The Road To Mental Wellness,” goes into detail about his life-long battle with depression, anxiety and more recently, PTSD. In it, he hopes to provide insight on how mental illness cultivates over a lifetime and, if not recognized and treated, how it impacts the entirety of one's life; right from childhood into the adult years. Jonathan lives with his two children in Nova Scotia, Canada.

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