Self- awareness is about paying attention to yourself, to your habits and patterns and your thoughts. Most of us are stuck in the story of our lives, not the truth about the story or ourselves. It is a step not worth missing, this self-awareness experience. There are several steps in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs that support you in attaining self-awareness. I’m sticking with this one for now.

Self-awareness occurs in our brain and thoughts; self- actualization blossoms from our hearts and souls.

Potential, used to be a trigger word for me. I thought (see!) it was an insult when someone said I had or you have potential.

I was feeling guilty that I wasn’t living up to others’ perspective of what my life should be. I have overcome the stigma I placed on this word, potential, and hope others will do the same if indeed it is an issue. I look on the word kindly now, with great scrutiny on who says it to me.

When others see potential in you, they are probably seeing the innate talents and abilities that could be developed. That has happened to me an several occasions, although only a few stand out.

I am sure that others have seen potential in you when they hired you for a job or chose you to be in a relationship.

I think this is a question to add to the bilateral interviews job seekers have, a question to be presented to the person who might be your direct report. ‘Do you see potential in me and in what specific regard?’ may help you find someone who can be your mentor. It is a great short-cut through all the minutiae that gets in everyone’s way when making a decision.

You are still on the path of self- awareness, on your way to self- actualization, with a side trip to potentiality. All is good!

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Joanne Victoria