Reach Your Potential

Four ways you could be holding yourself back from reaching your goals

March 2, 2013
Reach Your Potential

Recently I received an email from someone I haven’t seen in years asking for some advice. It’s always great to connect with people, but this time it caught me off guard because it wasn’t the usual fitness-related questions. This person wanted to know whether or not I thought he should go after a certain business goal he had been working toward for some time now. At first I thought, “Hmmm why are you asking me this? I haven’t seen you in years and I don’t know anything about you, your project, and certainly not your business.” But the more I thought about it, even though his goal had nothing to do with fitness or competing, it didn’t matter. I didn’t need to know anything about him or his business because he reminded me of myself before I entered my first fitness competition and I could completely relate to his feelings of apprehension.

Deep inside I knew I wanted to compete. I was crazy about fitness and already in shape but yet I was so hesitant. No matter how much encouragement I received, l lacked the confidence to do it. Looking back I was afraid. I was afraid of failing, afraid of letting myself down, and I was focused on all the reasons not to do it instead of just following my heart. One thing I knew was that I never want to have regrets later in life so I needed to stop and take a good hard look inside and ask myself why I was holding myself back. It wasn’t until I did this that things changed, not only for this goal but for all aspects of my life. Sure enough I realized that I was my own biggest obstacle without even knowing it, and there were a few things I had to change right away.

> I had to stop saying “I wish.” No more “I wish I could do that” or “I wish I could look like so and so” etc. In doing that I was putting myself in the mindset that it was out of my control when in reality it wasn’t at all. I immediately replaced all the “I wishes” with small specific set goals.

> I had to stop procrastinating. There’s never a perfect time. Any small step you can do right now is one step closer to your dream.

> I had to surround myself with positive encouraging people and get rid of any negative people.

> I had to stop trying to be perfect and comparing myself to others. It’s great to have role models but I needed to focus on my own goals and just becoming the best “me” I could. I had to “put my blinders up” and stay focused.

My dream at the time was just to get out there and do something I never thought I could, to come out of my shell and gain some much needed self-confidence. Just to step on stage once. When I finally did step on stage for what I thought was going to be a “one time” experience I was hooked. I fell in love with competing and haven’t stopped since! Since then I’ve accomplished way more than I ever imagined possible and I feel so blessed.

I have so many more dreams I want to fulfill, and going after them isn’t always easy, but I try to always remember the lessons I learned from that experience. Whatever dream you have no matter how big or how small, chasing after it is what matters most. That’s what living is!

So even though I don’t know much about this person’s particular field, I answered his question the best way I could. I told him the same thing I’ll tell my own son as he leaves for college this summer and enters a whole new world of opportunity:

“Absolutely you should go for it! Look inside and ask yourself why you’re holding yourself back and then make every effort to fix it. Being comfortable and gravitating to familiar territory is easier… but that would be boring. The world needs exciting people that aren’t afraid to be daring. Whatever your dream is no matter how big or how small, start right now. Never look back and live life with no regrets.”

Patty Zariello
IFBB Figure Pro
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