When we refuse to recognize our true potential, it may have some negative consequences on our life over time.

The world holds many success stories. Sadly, though, it holds many more regrets and broken dreams.

How many of us spend our lives doing what is expected? College, a good respectable job, marriage, a nice house. And now many of us are just working to get our paycheck and have a little fun on the weekend.

But all the time, there is this little voice that nags at us, telling us there is a higher purpose, telling us that we can do better. Do we choose to listen to that little voice? Or do we keep maintaining the status quo?

It turns out that if we keep ignoring our higher purpose, over time, this can actually have very negative consequences on our well-being, our relationships, and even our work performance.

Here are some of the dangers of ignoring your true potential:

1. Losing Touch with Your Intuition

Some of us call it our “gut.” Some call it our “inner wisdom.” Whatever you call it, it has important truths for you about your unique purpose in life. People that are in touch with that “inner voice” are able to discern their goals and choices clearly.

Unfortunately, over time, many of us begin dismissing that “inner voice” as irrational. It often calls us to step out of our comfort zone and to take paths that are contrary to what people around us might expect. It tells us to disrupt the status quo. Consequently, many people just get in the habit of ignoring it.

But like any person who is always ignored, eventually, your inner voice will stop talking to you. When this happens, life becomes much more difficult and confusing. You will be unsure of what you really want.

The good news is that it is possible to rebuild your relationship with that “inner voice.” It just takes time and sincere intention to begin listening to it and honoring it.

2. Attracting Negative People and Relationships

One of the benefits of a strong intuition is the ability to discern the motives of others.

How many times have you met someone or hung out with them, and had this weird feeling that something was not quite right about that person? It was nothing you could easily explain or put your finger on. But you just knew there was something about him or her that seemed untrustworthy.

This is one of the many ways that being in touch with your inner voice will help you. Those hunches, those gut feelings, are actually telling you who you should trust and who you shouldn’t.

Without it, you can develop very poor boundaries in which you repeatedly allow people with negative intentions to enter your life. Over time, these relationships can do great harm.

Perhaps your intuition is telling you that you need to sever some ties with people who are impacting your life in a negative way. This will free you up to seek out and build relationships with people who will enhance your life purpose. And you can trust your gut to tell you who they are.

3. Being Easily Controlled by Others

For many of us, living to please others is a long-standing pattern. Perhaps you started out by doing everything you could to earn the approval of your parents. Next, it was your friends and the larger culture that you were trying to please. Now, you are all about gaining the approval of your spouse, partner, boss, and/or co-workers.

As a consequence of this, the opinions and judgements of others can become all-important. If you have fallen into this trap, then you have surrendered power and control of your own life into the hands of other people who may not even care about you all that much.

Besides that, excessive concern about the opinions of others can obscure your decision-making. It’s much harder to figure out your life’s purpose when your judgement is clouded by the opinions of everyone else.

4. Impaired Decision-Making Skills

When you constantly look to others for affirmation, this is a sign that you have lost any confidence in yourself and your own judgement. When you lose that confidence and that certainty about your purpose and goals, it becomes almost impossible to make good decisions.

And if a great opportunity comes up suddenly and unexpectedly, you may let it slip by you because you are so locked into habits and rigid expectations.

5. Inability to Forgive Mistakes (Your Own or Those of Others)

People that have lost touch with their true potential tend to blame others for their lack of achievement. This absolves them from any responsibility for reaching their true potential. It also leaves them with negative feelings about their own shortcomings, as well as the failings of others.

By abandoning any sense of responsibility for your gifts, you have effectively given up control of your life, thus ensuring that nothing can change.

Once you take ownership of your own gifts and true potential, this frees you to accept yourself as you are and to accept others as they are.  Consequently, you will be a much happier person.

6. Poor Quality Relationships

If you do not have clear goals in life, you will also fail to have clear goals in terms of what you want in a relationship. This lack of clarity can lead you to spend months, or even years, in a relationship that is not right for you, even perhaps abusive.

The happiest relationships happen when both people know what they want in life. They are secure enough in themselves that they could be happy alone if necessary.

7. Many Regrets

An entire lifetime of ignoring your intuition, of doing what everyone else wants, of living from paycheck to paycheck without ever questioning your real worth, has consequences. Without clear confidence in your purpose or decisions, you will find yourself living life looking backward, constantly wondering, “What would have happened if…” 

These doubts and regrets will torture you. They will keep you awake at night and drain the joy out of your days.  They will deplete your sense of gratitude and contentment.

So what’s holding you back?

I challenge you to ask yourself that question.

Perhaps it’s a financial concern. Perhaps it’s the fear of what your friends and family will think.

Now, ask yourself another question. What do you have to gain by really exercising your true potential, instead of ignoring it?

Perhaps it’s an inspirational book or a new company that could change the lives of millions.

At the very least, it’s an extraordinary life of challenge, adventure, and contentment.

I think it’s worth it. Don’t you?

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Chao

    My parents, father to be specific, wants me to go to collage so I can get a good education so I can get a good job and make a lot of money to raise a family. That isn’t what I want out of life at all. I want to explore. I want to live off the grid. I don’t want to work all my life. It’s not what I’m meant to do. I have a lot of gut feelings, like an instinct. It isn’t telling me to do what they want. I’ve attempted to explain this to them many times. I’m concerned I’ll be forced into collage.

    1. naima

      No one can force you to do anything, and this might sound easier said than done. But try figuring out how your passion can make you money and that way you can support your family while doing something you love. Good luck!

      1. Rima

        Yeah, I do agree with you..!

  2. Kim

    This article articulated so much of what I need to “hear”. Timeless, helpful advice!

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