If you recognize these 8 signs, you’re not living up to your true potential in life 

I think I’m happy. 

I have a job, friends, and family, but I find myself thinking that there’s got to be more to life or that there are still things that I want to achieve. 

Maybe you can relate? Even when you’re having a good day, it feels like something is missing or you wonder whether you’re fulfilling your purpose. 

There are a few indications that you may not have reached your purpose or potential, and it’s time to start paying attention. 

It’s all about self-awareness, so you can identify what is preventing you from being all you can be. That also means letting go of the fears and judgments that could be hindering your success. 

To help you make the most of life, let’s look at 8 signs that you may not be living up to your true potential. 

1) You constantly compare yourself to others 

I’ve got to admit that I’m guilty of this. 

You know those family gatherings where you haven’t seen relatives and friends for a while, and when you finally start those long-lost conversations, a sense of dread comes over you. 

You’ll hear about the new house, the recent engagements, and the big career moves, and you’re left totally disheartened by what you don’t have or haven’t done

It’s hard not to look at where others are and not think about how you measure up. Naturally, we may find ourselves becoming jealous, competitive, and caught up in materialistic things. 

I’m not saying that jealousy is a good thing. The green-eyed monster never looked good on anyone!

But when self-comparison makes you feel like a failure, it’s time to re-evaluate things. 

Looking outside of ourselves for validation simply makes us miserable. 

Sure, there are times when we want what we don’t have, but it’s better to look within and focus on ways to be the best that we can be. 

2) You feel negative about your future 

If I asked you where you see yourself in 10 years time, what would your answer be? 

Would it be filled with everything you can’t do or achieve, or would your response be realistic but hopeful? 

Think about it.

When you’ve achieved something, you feel an inner sense of pride and satisfaction. You look at your future and see opportunities, even if it means overcoming hurdles along the way. 

A pessimistic attitude about what your future holds will prevent you from moving toward your goals. 

Here’s a better way to understand it: 

There’s something called “negativity bias.” 

By hanging on to negative thoughts and memories, we keep this information in our conscious minds, which greatly influences our choices in life. 

The more we rely on unhelpful thoughts to make sense of our lives, the more it negatively influences our beliefs, abilities, and future. Ultimately, the fear of taking risks because of a negative outcome stops us from reaching and living our potential

3) You’ve let go of your dreams 

Another indication that you’re not living up to your potential is the abandonment of your dreams

Dreaming about what you want out of life can motivate you to do things like finish your degree, apply for a promotion, or build a family. These could even be childhood dreams that you’ve given up on. 

Either way, a dream keeps you inspired, and that’s one sure way to find your life’s purpose. 

You know the phrase about dreaming big. Well, you can definitely dream big, but it also takes courage to wake up one day and say, “Today, I’m making a positive change; these are my goals, and I’m going to achieve them.” 

Living up to your true potential is about being courageous and finding ways to reach those dreams. 

4) You feel like you don’t matter  

When you lose your sense of purpose, you find yourself questioning your self-worth and whether you truly matter.

It’s as if you feel lost or insignificant, but you can’t quite place what it is. 

These negative emotions and thoughts can filter into your job or family life as you start believing that your contributions aren’t important. 

Watch out.

It restricts you from moving forward. 

What you don’t realize is just how powerful the stories that you tell yourself can become. 

You cannot achieve your purpose if you tell yourself that what you do or who you are is insignificant. 

Live up to your potential by focusing on and working on what brings you joy and meaning. 

5) You don’t feel truly happy and motivated 

unmotivated If you recognize these 8 signs, you’re not living up to your true potential in life 

Not living out your potential doesn’t mean that you don’t have a good life. 

You could be doing well at work or have possessions, such as a nice car, that many associate with success. 

But if something doesn’t feel right in the pit of your stomach, as if you’re lacking something that brings purpose, then it’s time to look inward. 

Let me explain: 

If you or someone you admire seem to have the greatest successes on paper, you could still struggle with feeling peace or satisfied with your life. 

Living up to your true potential is not about being perfect all the time, and that includes having a standout resume!

It’s about fulfillment in all areas of your life, which motivates you to achieve your goals, no matter how big or small. It’s also about accepting who you are and taking courageous steps to unapologetically find your purpose. 

6) You feel constant judgment from others 

When you feel that you can’t live up to the expectations of others, it stops you from reaching your own success. 

Fearing judgment prevents you from voicing your opinions or expressing your ideas in the workplace. 

For example: 

You’ve been working hard for months, and your boss is impressed with your dedication, but you’re too scared to ask for a raise. What if your boss and coworkers think that you’re unhappy or ungrateful? 

It’s not pleasant to feel rejected or like your self-esteem is being attacked. It’s easier to avoid a situation where you will be judged, but in doing so, you don’t stand up for yourself. 

Stop looking for outside acceptance that distracts you from your true potential. Instead, take the time to accept yourself. 

7) You’re not satisfied with the results you’re achieving in your personal or professional life 

Sometimes we tend to move in the same cycles. 

Let’s say that you’ve wanted a promotion at work for quite some time. 

You prepare for the interview and get shortlisted, but it’s the third time that you don’t get the job. 

When you feel dissatisfied with an outcome, questions about whether you’re good enough start forming in your head. Maybe your confidence isn’t what it used to be, and you’re stopping yourself from advancing.   

You may get stuck in life, but it’s up to you to try something different. It’s not worth the frustration and confusion, even if you are scared to make a change. 

Just don’t quit. 

And don’t start filling your head with self-doubt either. 

It’s always good to introspect, even though it can be tough to look within. Once you’ve discovered your unique abilities, use them to achieve success. 

8) You fear failure 

We can’t be good at everything, or what would we learn? 

It’s certainly not pleasant to experience failure, whether in a relationship or at work, but living up to your potential is about taking failure and turning it into triumph. 

When we allow failure to make us feel insecure and unsure of our abilities, we give up. 

Many of us use it to make excuses, so we never follow through with an opportunity. We get scared and question whether we can bring anything of value. 

The truth is that we all experience failure at some stage, so don’t feel defeated or let it hold you back. 

Just remember…

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. 

Recognize the signs and take control 

You might feel lost and unsure, but there’s no time limit on reaching and living your true potential.

Once you recognize the signs, you’ve already started the journey to self-awareness, and this is an important step toward discovering your purpose. 

Think about your goals, and if you don’t have any, create some! They can be as simple as planting a vegetable garden for your community or as ambitious as pursuing a new business. 

Focus on the thought patterns and perceptions that are holding you back. 

Most importantly… 

Accept who you are because a life of fulfillment is about feeling positive, hopeful, and resilient in the present and about your future. 

Marcel Deer

Marcel Deer

Marcel is a journalist, gamer, and entrepreneur. When not obsessing over his man cave or the latest tech, he’s failing helplessly at training his obnoxious rescue dog ‘Boogies’.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.

0:00
0:00