Then as adults we begin to limit ourselves to the things we are trained for. We wouldn't start a business unless we've gone to all the seminars we could afford and taken a professional diploma or masters. We wouldn't write the novel we've always wanted to write because we want to first take writing classes and learn all we can from the writers we admire. We wouldn't try swimming because we didn't learn it while growing up. We wouldn't try learning a musical instrument because we consider ourselves too old for learning a skill that can't be acquired via reading or seminars. And we complain about not reaching our potential. We even go to seminars on how to reach our potential. And we google for posts like this on how to reach our potential. We keep going about it the wrong way.
If only we could look back at our childhood, how we were so active, full of life and cruising the edge of our potential. If only we would follow that same pattern that got us walking before we could think and got us talking without any professional help. If only we would realize that the only way to reach our potential is to attempt the things we want to do without regard to our competence or training. The only way to reach our potential is to start the business we want to start first before taking courses and spending on seminars. To write the book we want to write before bothering about our grammar and style of writing. To enter the swimming pool before getting a swimming instructor. To buy and play the musical instrument we want to learn before buying a book on it. To go for whatever we want before getting qualified for it.
We need to stop aiming only for the things we are over-qualified for. Don't try to get a job you can do with your current expertise; apply for a job that is above your competence. If no one outside will grant you that job, take up bigger roles at the company you work. Don't limit yourself to your job description and current competence. Don't try to over-qualify yourself for every task you want to do. Don't go for MBA first if starting a business is what you really want to do; start the business first and then go for an MBA. Don't let the lack of an MBA hold you back. Don't try to be an expert before you call yourself a consultant. Start consulting the very day you find out that that is what you want to do. Learn on the job. It's the fastest and surest way to learn. Whatever it is you would love to do, start doing it now.
I have always wanted to be a prolific writer/author. And now I am. Originally, I thought I would need to take a course in creative writing and journalism. I kept postponing my serious writing to someday after I have done the professional training. I was holding myself back. I wanted to be over-qualified before starting the very thing my fulfillment in life depends on. Now I'm glad I have stopped holding myself back. I am now a prolific writer and I'm getting better each day. Best part is that I'm also already creating my audience. By the time I become a fine writer I won't have to start at the bottom to get people to read my writings/books. And because I write everyday I am always at the edge of my writing potential and also stretching that potential.
I have come across people who wouldn't go for professional/networking events because they don't drive a cool car or work in a company they are proud of or are just simply shy. They keep finding reasons not to do the things that will greatly improve their lives and push them to reach their potential. They only stick to the convenient, familiar and area of their expertise. They wouldn't try anything outside their competence even if it used to be their childhood dream. They experience a low energy life and wonder why. They read books on finding fulfillment and reaching their potential. But what they need is to go out on a limb and try out everything they wanted to do without any regard to their competence/qualification. Because that's the only way to reach your potential.