Everyone has the potential to become the best versions of themselves. Yet oftentimes we are too scared to allow ourselves to accept who we can really be. We’re often told that potential isn’t enough. That you can love someone for who they are, but you shouldn’t love them for who they could be. In terms of loving other people based on their potential, I agree that it is not always enough. You should love people for what they show you during the time you spend with them.
But independent potential is not the same. Loving the potential of who we can be independently is very important and in some cases is exactly what leads us to become who we’ve always yearned to become.
When I was younger—around 16 years old—I had no idea what I wanted to pursue in life. I did not carry the confidence within myself to even consider the thought of going to law school. “That’s for super smart people,” I remember saying to family members who would offer law as a suggestion of what I could study.
I’d have a similar response when people would ask me if I would consider UCLA for undergrad. I did not see myself as someone who was able to achieve something that astounding.
Yet during these years I would frequently have daydreams of who I wished to be.
I would see myself living in an apartment, joining a sorority, and being the girl who could balance UCLA’s course load while maintaining a high GPA. I dreamed of being the girl who was social enough, yet still studious and hardworking. The type of girl who would go out on a Monday night and not worry about having an 8 a.m. class, because I would somehow manage to get there well-dressed and on time. The type of girl who would wake up early to go to the gym on campus, go back to the apartment to shower and change, and make it back in time for classes all day.These were all images in my mind of a girl I dreamed of being. This was my unleashed potential that I did not believe could become my reality.
So when these daydreams did become my reality, I was shocked to say the least.
After my first quarter at UCLA, I remember telling myself over and over again that I just got lucky with my classes. That I would not do as well next quarter. I undermined my study habits and all of the work I did put into getting the grades I earned. I got into the sorority I wanted. And I was living in an apartment with a random roommate I found on Facebook who somehow turned into my best friend. I was going out Monday nights and still managing to make it to my 8 a.m. classes on time. I was finding the time to go to the gym and then coming back to the apartment and meal-prepping for the rest of my day.
Somehow, I had achieved everything I had been daydreaming about for years without realizing how.
I still did not understand that creating this potential in my mind of who I could become is exactly what led me down the path of achieving my goals.
It honestly wasn’t until I came to the decision of going to Law school that I realized how powerful seeing and accepting my potential is.
I had almost been too shy and embarrassed to even say I wanted to pursue law. I did not think I was capable of being good at it, let alone great. It was not until I thought back on all those times I underestimated myself and somehow managed to reach my goals that I realized just how capable I am.
It was after a few more daydreams that I realized these images in my mind are not merely daydreams. In reality, they are a glimpse into who I can become one day. And ever since that realization clicked for me, I have been studying for the LSAT with the notion that I will become the lawyer I dream of being.
I am the girl who sees my potential and uses that to motivate me to reach my goals.
So the next time you think your potential isn’t enough, remember this: Those moments of daydreaming of who you wish to be are actually moments of clarity of who you can and will be with hard work. So love your potential. Believe in your potential. Take in every daydream and allow it to motivate you.
The potential you see in yourself is who you will become, if only you begin to believe in yourself and put in the hard work.
Recognizing your potential is enough to create the reality you dream of living.
Believe in your potential and you will reach your full potential.