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7 Ways You Can Reach Your Highest Potential

7 Ways You Can Reach Your Highest Potential

Have you ever heard of someone who achieved greatness in their lives just by using a mediocre amount of their talent or potential? All of the great names that you will see throughout human history that have contributed to the human development and evolution in different fields had one thing in common—they all did what they did at their highest potential.

Whether it is Einstein, Gandhi or Martin Luther King, all of them achieved greatness in their domains just because they exhibited and observed their highest potential in their undertaking. Therefore, in order to be successful and achieve greatness, you have to work to your best potential. Usually the highest potential is considered exertion of greater level of efforts; however, working on the highest potential is easier said than done and there is much more to it than just exerting efforts.

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Below, I’ll be discussing with you the 7 things that you can do to reach your highest potential.

1. Identifying your potential is the key.

Before achieving highest potential, it is imperative that you know what your potential is. You need to know about what you do best or the things you love doing the most. In most of the cases, it will be the things you love doing in which you have potential. Therefore, it is of grave importance that you identify the things you love doing before blindly exerting efforts. You must know whether you want to be a doctor or a lawyer instead of doing the wrong thing your whole life, and then wondering at the end why you did not achieve excellence in your profession. Ergo, before following a particular profession and exerting efforts, first identify whether or not you have the potential for that very undertaking.

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2. Commitment is the compulsory factor.

Once you have identified the field in which you have potential, the next thing you ought to do in order to achieve the highest potential is be committed to achieving the higher level of potential. When doing this, there are two things that need to be considered. First of all, you must be aware of the fact that change is the only constant and that things will change around you; however, your commitment should be with the holistic goal. The second and more important thing to remember is that commitment requires inspiration; therefore, to ensure that your potential level soars, you need to find some inspiration, whether its in the form of some idols or something that is the voice of your heart.

3. Take small steps toward your potential.

You cannot possibly become a physics genius by reading the course of masters when you are in 8th grade. Thus, the journey to your higher potential must always comprise of small steps, where with every step your level of knowledge and expertise in your potential increase ,which will eventually lead to the highest step of the ladder.

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4. Accept failures as learning experiences.

Without disappointment you cannot appreciate victory. Failure is an important part of the learning curve, and failure is the condition where your metal is tested; therefore, it is important that you consider failure as an integral component of your journey toward higher potential. With each failure, you come to know one more way of not doing things; thus, you exert your efforts in the right direction, which ultimately boosts your spirit and morale leading to achievement of a higher potential.

5. Be confident in your ability to reach your highest potential.

Perhaps the single most important factor without which you cannot achieve even little potential, let alone higher potential, is confidence. You need to be confident of your ability pertaining to achieving higher potential. One major factor that can lead to you becoming confident about your abilities is when you love what you do or you are someone who you love. When you are in such a mental state, then you feel confident about your potential. Thus, with time, the confidence grows and you reach a higher level of potential.

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6. There is no shame in getting support.

I cannot understand why people feel shame in getting support in something which they aren’t capable of doing on their own. In every walk of life, we have some ideals, some inspiration, and some personalities to whom we turn for guidance at the time of need. Therefore, if you aren’t able to maximize your potential despite all your efforts, then you should not feel shame in getting support from a mentor or someone who has been in the same condition as you. Having a mentor will make your way to higher potential easier and more effective.

8. Listen to your intuition.

Intuition is a combination of instinct and experience; therefore, when you feel that the level of your potential has become stagnant, you need to consider the scenario from both the instinct and experience perspective. When you undertake an activity after deciding upon it with both experience and your gut feeling, you will feel confident that you will perform to your highest potential.

Now it’s your turn!

What do you think about the common notion regarding potential that it is just exertion of efforts? How did you find your potential? How did you raise it? What ways did you adopt to improve your potential in your field? Please share your insightful opinion in the comments section below.

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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