5 Reasons Why Most People Never Fulfill Their True Potential

Not many can claim that they have achieved everything in life. You may have attained great heights in all spheres of life. However, accepting that you have accomplished all that you deserve, in itself, implies that you are stunting your growth and potential.

To realize your full potential, you may have to test your limits and experience situations that you have never been in before. They can help you explore your latent potential, and you never know, that talent can help you find your true calling. So, what is stopping you right now from fulfilling your potential?

Why Most People Never Fulfill Their True Potential

Here are some of the key barriers that can inhibit you from utilizing your true potential:

1. Choosing Comfort over Growth

Living in your comfort zone implies that you stick to a psychological/behavioral construct based on familiarity, safety and security. In today’s startup culture, entrepreneurs cannot play it safe, as it can hamper their business success. If you continue functioning in the same way as you did a few years back, it shows that you haven’t grown.

In the long run, if you cannot break free from your comfort zone, you may experience difficulty in transitioning to a higher position, growing and assuming greater roles. This, in turn, means that you are not utilizing your potential to the fullest.

Facing a slightly unusual situation, whether or not by choice, can push you to achieve goals that you didn’t believe could be possible. Anxiety, in a controlled amount, can create conditions for optimal performance. It can become your motivating force, preventing you from losing focus and propelling you into action.

Pro Tip: With optimal anxiety, you can challenge yourself and be more productive. With time, you’ll see that your comfort zone adjusts to the difficulty level, and what seemed to be anxiety-inducing will appear easier than before.

2. Giving in to Fear

“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?”, asked renowned painter Vincent van Gogh. Had he given in to the fear related to his struggle with mental illnesses and poverty-stricken lifestyle, the world would have been devoid of knowing his spectacular Post-Impressionist paintings.

People often face situations where they worry about not having a single passion, dream, or desire. We all have such fears, and the fear of failure can hold us back from achieving our goals.

In several situations, you may want to give in to the fear as soon as you get too close to them. This is primarily because you are afraid that you won’t succeed when you try something new. Overcoming fear that is related to work can help you focus on tasks that matter, and will inspire you to achieve your long-term goals.

Pro Tip: Perfectionism is one of the key aspects that can hamper your self-confidence. Work towards eliminating this approach, by analyzing all possible outcomes. Knowing the outcomes will help you eliminate the fear of the unknown. Also, having a contingency plan can help you feel more confident about your potential.

3. Lapse in Motivation

It is easy to settle for achievements that aren’t hard to get. It is simple, why aim for a new task when you are already good at doing what you do? Achievers who are aware of their potential go further, and take risks. They push themselves to hone their current skills and acquire new ones, so that they can face new challenges and test their abilities.

You need to set your goals that are relevant to your purpose. Vague goals can consume your time and energy, without leading to growth. One of the challenges of staying motivated in achieving your goals, is identifying goals that are entirely yours, and not imposed by anyone else.

Pro Tip: When setting your goals, ask yourself, “How is the goal relevant to your life?” and “What do you want to achieve from it?” Also, visualizing the end result can help you stay motivated and work towards achieving them.

4. Not Creating Actionable Steps to Your Goal

Goals can be associated with any field that impacts your life. However, if you don’t have your eyes on the bigger picture, it may be easier to give up on achieving them. The bigger challenge is to sustain the initial motivation and excitement. In a situation where you do not achieve your targets, reset the timeline and start again. The key is to keep moving.

Knowing how your goals are relevant to you can help you to stay driven, even in tough times. Follow the SMART goal setting approach to create a realistic plan to achieve your goals.

Mapping your progress is critical when you have clear goals for your life. For you to optimize your potential, you need to define your objectives and measure progress at every step. Set time-based targets for yourself in areas that are important to you. For instance, you may create a timeline to enhance your physical fitness, and partake in a marathon. Similarly, you can set targets for your career, finances, relationships and social life.

Pro Tip: In order to stay focused on working towards achieving your goals, you need to break down the goals into actionable milestones, and focus on one milestone at a time.

5. Surrounding Yourself with Under-Performers

Mediocrity is infectious, especially when you are surrounded by people who settle for less than what they are capable of achieving. You may have often heard people saying that, you are who you associate with. Living in a socially-influenced environment, people act in accordance with the people around them. This is true in most cases, and comes from the strong and natural desire to belong and to be accepted.

You will come across people in your social circle who are not driven enough. They may not be challenging you to achieve more either or even discourage you from pursuing your goals. There may be many reasons for them to do so, including concern, jealousy, ignorance and malice. Steer clear of such negative influences in your life.

Pro Tip: Ensure that the people who surround you add to your personal values and to your goals rather than hamper your zeal to achieve great heights.


It is human nature to get trapped by psychological barriers that can inhibit you from reaching their full potential.

Small steps, like knowing the possible bottlenecks that you may face in life, can help you work harder towards achieving your goals. By making honest efforts towards these goals can help you overcome these hurdles.