Believing in Your Own Potential When it Feels Like No One Else Does
BY: ASHLEY JOHNSON
Knowing your true potential and the kind of person you want to become can be difficult. But once you’ve unlocked that side of yourself and figured out exactly where you want to end up in life, it’s the best feeling in the world. Knowing your true potential is so important in our modern culture and with women being given more opportunities in the workplace now more than ever, it is the time to shoot for the stars and make your biggest and best dreams come to life.
But what do you do when people around you try to put you down? What happens when people try to make you feel less than and doubt that potential? What about when the people putting you down are the women who should be lifting you up? No matter the mantras (i.e. “collaboration over competition”), women can sometimes be the most detrimental when it comes to the success of other females around them. People will blame this on the fact that women had to fight for such a small number of jobs over the years and that competition is woven into our DNA because of it. But if you ask me, I think that’s a total cop out.
It’s a new age and the only way to change the vicious cycle of women vs. women is to stop seeing other women’s potential as a threat to your own—there’s space for everyone to succeed. Having experienced this first hand, I wanted to offer a few tidbits of advice to other women in this competitive space because sometimes the negativity of those around you can make you want to give up entirely.
1. You are exactly who you were meant to be.
Don’t ever apologize for your skills, strength or beauty. When you’re confident in yourself, others will take notice. While some will take to admiring the woman you are and being inspired because of it, others will see it as a threat. Having spent time around people who try to make you feel less than about yourself, I know it’s hard to keep going sometimes. But more than anything, you have to constantly remind yourself that you are worthy and amazing and you deserve to make your dreams a reality. Don’t let jealous people get in the way of your success.
2. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and your potential.
Life is a lot easier when you spend time with people who know how special you are. For the times you’re feeling doubtful, these are the people that will lift you up. While there are definitely women who will view you as competition, there are plenty more that will support your dreams—find those people and never let them go.
3. Do everything with passion.
If you’ve figured out where you want to go in life and the barriers you want to break down, it means you are passionate about your future. There are so many people who aren’t passionate about what they do, and you’ll know it when you see it. When someone else is trying to bring you down because they’ve lost sight of their own life goals, remind yourself why you’re there in the first place. Working 50+ hour weeks with people who don’t share your passion or authenticity can be difficult. But when things get tough, you have to remember the end goal. Being truly passionate about what you do is something that will make you stand out from the rest and propel you towards your prosperous future.
4. Set goals for yourself.
It’s easier to ignore the people trying to put you down when you’re working towards your dream life. Sit down and make a plan for yourself. You want to create a killer site for your merchandise? Start a podcast? Find the cure to cancer? All of these things take dedication and the first step to achieving them is to set goals for yourself—both big and small. With time, discipline and passion, you can make anything happen and by taking steps forward every day, you’ll become even closer to your ideal life and reaching your full potential.
At the end of the day, you are the only one who knows what you are fully capable of. Instead of listening to the opinions of others around you, remind yourself of what YOU are meant to do in this life. And during the toughest times, I always remind myself of my favorite quote and encourage you to do the same: “Lions don’t lose sleep over the opinions of sheep.”
Ashley Johnson is the managing editor of She Reads by day and an aspiring novelist by night. Blogging her way through college, Ashley graduated Northern Arizona University with a degree in English in 2017. When she’s not catching up on the best new reads from her favorite publishers, she can be found taking naps with her four loyal chihuahuas and claiming her rightful title of “VIB Rouge” at Sephora.