Your Potential And Your Power

Did you know that 81% of Americans say that they have the dream of writing a book?

Having written and published one book already, I am confident that anyone who desires it can do it. Every single person in that 81% has the potential.

The Definition Of Potential
I did a Google search for the meaning of “potential” and brought up this generally accepted definition – “latent qualities or abilities that may be developed and lead to future success or usefulness.”

Merriam Webster Online says it’s “something that can develop or become actual.”

And I especially like this one from the – “Having possibility, capability, or power.” Interestingly, “power,” according to, is the “ability or capacity to do something.”

So, obviously, “potential” and “power” both have to do with capability. You have the power or capability to reach your potential. You have the potential or capability to reach your power.

Basic Human Fears
But what is holding you back from reaching your potential and your power?

It might be a lack of personal discipline, true. And I have found that it takes passion along with a dose of ordered thinking to truly be disciplined. But I’m guessing at the core of it all, it’s really some sort of fear that holds you back from going for it… whatever that IT is for you.

Below are the big 3 – the main emotional fears all humans have in common. See if any or all of these ring true for you.

Fear of being rejected or being unloveable…

Fear of being misunderstood…

Fear of betrayal, disrespect, injustice…

What is holding you back from reaching your potential and your power?

  • Maybe you’re afraid your emotional needs won’t be met when you try to reach your potential and your power.
  • Maybe you’re afraid that your basic survival needs won’t be met.
  • Maybe you’re afraid that your lifestyle will be too dramatically affected.
  • Maybe you’re afraid of what your tribe will think of you or how they will be impacted.

… And the list goes on…

What’s The Worst That Can Happen?
Have you ever gone through the mental inquiry process that some like to call the “what’s the worst that can happen game”?

I have, and I’m glad I did. It helped me to realize a dream – it helped me face and let go of my fear of allowing my writing to be seen by all.

In the U.S., we are blessed with the freedom of expression, and yet I was still afraid to freely express myself. I was worried about what others would think of what I wanted to say. When I challenged myself to think of the worst thing that could happen if someone didn’t like what I had to say, I had to admit that the worst that could happen in another country where freedoms aren’t assured… or in another time when I would be burned or hanged for exploring even slightly off-center concepts… would not happen to me. The worst thing that could happen is that if someone didn’t like what I said, they would very likely just ignore me.

I tested the waters by starting to post articles to my blog. I couldn’t help notice that no one burst in to drag me away to a dark dungeon. Instead, people started telling me that they liked what I wrote! So rather than the “worst that could happen” happening, quite the opposite happened. Not only did they like my writing, they actually paid for it when I published my book.

Today, I continue to stretch and grow. It’s extremely satisfying to realize a dream. It leads you to dream some more and then some more. Every day, I challenge myself to reach more of my potential and tap into more of my personal power. And that has led me into writing my second book, which will be out in early 2012.

Potential and Self-Actualization
Previously, I mentioned that one of the definitions of potential describes it as something that can become actual. I can see how this means taking something from an idea and making it a reality… making it actual. But I would also like to think of this as reaching the top of Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Pyramid, which is where he placed the need to become self-actualized. To reach my own potential, I need to become actual-ized.

Like everyone, I have experienced, and continue to experience, all of the other needs mentioned – the need to be loved, the need for justice, the need to preserve my lifestyle, etc. – but, as Maslow suggested, I have the need to become self-actualized, too. Guess, for me, that need outweighs the fears now because when I hit my 30’s some time ago, I remember thinking that 3 decades of letting fear keep me small was quite long enough. More than a decade later my life is much bigger, and my other needs have been met and even exceeded. And so I look forward to stretching it bigger than this.

What is holding you back from reaching your potential and your power?
Maybe you have a dream that keeps nagging at you in the back of your mind, but you brush it away like a gnat – it keeps tugging at your heart, but you push it down until rises up for air again.

Ask yourself what’s the worst thing that could happen if you acted on your dream? And then ask yourself what’s the opposite of that?

Then go for it. Reach for your potential, reach for your power. You have the capability.


Angela Loëb helps people rediscover and use their gifts so they can bring who they are to what they do. To learn more, please visit:


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