Understanding your full potential has numerous benefits for you. Your relationships will usually be healthier, you will be more productive at work, and you will generally be more emotionally stable and resilient. Fortunately, there is much you can do to get your self-confidence high and keep it there. 

Of course, having self-confidence is excellent, but what if you are genuinely underestimating your potential? Often, people limit themselves in life because they assume they cannot undertake certain activities or tasks based on what they believe to be true. These beliefs are usually based on one’s previous experience or upbringing. But what if some of the limitations you think you have are not founded in reality? What if you could do much more than you ever thought possible?

The truth is that most individuals do not reach their full potential in life because they settle for “just OK” or they don’t believe they are capable of doing and being more. Don’t let this be you.

Here are five habits you can develop to help you understand your own potential and accomplish more than you ever dreamed.  

1. Develop a Positive Inner Voice

You are likely familiar with the idea of an inner critic. That is the voice in your head that constantly talks you down, exposes your innermost fears, and generally is a bummer. According to that voice, every success is an accident, and every setback is something you deserve. The good news is you can tame that nagging little monster in your favor by developing a positive mindset every day.

A positive inner voice is like your inner hype man, someone who is always on your side. They will give you emotional support when you are down and help reinforce good habits. Developing that voice is a matter of challenging your negative self-talk. For example, when your inner voice tells you that you can’t accomplish a task, blast it back with the exact opposite. Tell yourself that you can do it! It is a small act, but that is where great things begin.

There are hundreds of books written on the power of positive thinking. Although this type of “self-improvement” philosophy is often the brunt of jokes and sarcasm, thinking positive works. In fact, the University of Pennsylvania has an entire program devoted to the study of positive psychology. If one tip you take from this list can help you learn about your potential and improve your productivity and well-being, cultivating positivity is it.

2. Resist the Urge to Compare Yourself to Others Group of People Having Fun Together Under the Sun

It is difficult not to look over the fence and see the grass being greener. You know all your flaws, and so when you look at yourself and what you have accomplished, you can still see every little hiccup. Unfortunately, constantly comparing yourself to others is unhealthy and unproductive. You feel worse about yourself, which negatively impacts your mood. That issue is made worse with the advent of social media. People rarely post about their problems and only put up successes, seemingly making them invincible paragons of productivity and luck.

We are all guilty of comparing ourselves to our peers. We would hardly be human if we did not have this inherent quality. However, in most cases, it is pretty self-destructive.  

Instead, focus on yourself. Take a realistic look at both your weaknesses and strengths. A proper assessment of who and what you are will adequately align your expectations. That someone else is doing better or worse than you does not matter. What matters is whether you like who you see in the mirror.

3. Manage Your Physical Health

Your physical state directly impacts your mental health. It’s tough to have healthy self-confidence when you don’t feel right physically. That is why it is crucial to stay physically well. A bit of daily exercise goes a long way. Even a fifteen-minute walk around the block can work wonders. Additionally, you should take a look at what you eat. Making healthy food may take a little more effort, but it’s better for you in the long run compared to a bag of chips.

Managing your physical health is a great way to begin understanding your potential. Perhaps you need to lose 20 pounds, but you don’t feel like it will ever happen. Challenge yourself to lose just two pounds a month. Within a year, you can easily reach that goal and prove that you have more potential than you initially thought. This achievement can spur you forward to even bigger goals.  

4. Embrace Self-Compassion Photo of Woman Looking at the Mirror

When building and maintaining your self-confidence, it is important not to beat yourself into the ground. Instead, you need to take care of yourself. There are moments when you should hype yourself up and go further than you had before, but you should also take time to be kind to yourself. If you make a mistake, remind yourself that it is OK and that you can do better. When you have a bad day, take a break and do something you enjoy.

The importance of caring for yourself has been shown to foster self-confidence. That is because you end up relating to yourself, giving you a greater understanding of your unique quirks and tendencies. That understanding helps you feel rooted and connected to yourself and the world around you, and this, in turn, teaches you the power of your own potential.

5. Do What You Fear

One of the best ways to build your self-confidence is to accomplish something, and the best way to do that is to face your fears. Facing your fears, whether the outcome is successful or not, tells you that you are brave and can get things done, even when you are afraid. It does not matter how small the task is – look for what you fear and get that done. For example, if you’ve always wanted to make side income but you’re intimidated, take a baby step and take paid surveys to get started in making money online.

There are numerous ways that doing what you are afraid of can help you understand your potential. At the most basic level, many people end up realizing that their fear made a task more complicated than it looked. It will also remind you that perfection isn’t necessary for a job well done and that occasional mistakes are OK. It might even remind you that doing what you are afraid of is fine if what you get afterward is something worth having.

Closing Thoughts

Developing confidence in your own abilities and believing you have potential is not a one-time task. That is a part of yourself you have to monitor and take care of constantly. It entails a little bit of hard work, a change in your mindset, and a switch in your perspective. However, millions of people have built successful and productive lives by committing to small steps like those listed above. We believe in you—now believe in yourself!