HOME>> Personal Growth: Maximize Your Potential & Use It or Lose It!
By Krystal Kuehn, MA, LPC, LLP, NCC
You have probably heard the expression, Use it or lose it. If you ever began an exercise program, played a musical instrument, or participated in a sport, you know just how true it can be. Muscles atrophy without continual use and conditioning. Skill and technique diminish without practice. Recall and memory fade when not accessed consistently.
There may have been times in your life when you were really good and proficient in something that you no longer can do with the same excellence or fortitude. Changes in your life diverted your energies away from certain activities. You began to develop new interests and with them came new opportunities to develop skills and talents you might not have known you had. Activities that previously occupied your life have been set aside, sometimes for the time being and at other times for life. There is not enough time for everything. Energy can only be directed toward so many goals at a time. Options need to be narrowed down. Choices have to be made.
No one can be their best at everything all the time. You can be good at many things, but it’s a limited number of things that you can invest your time and energy in. And that is what using your talents, gifts and abilities requires—an investment of your time and attention as well as commitment. That’s where priorities and responsibilities come into play. What is most important to you? Is there something you want to become proficient in? Would you like to renew a skill that you once enjoyed? Is there something you miss that you would like to experience again in some way in your life? Are there things you have no other choice but to do? How can you best develop and grow in these areas? What can make it more enjoyable and fulfilling to you?
Remember, if you use it, whatever it is, you have the potential to become increasingly better at whatever you set your mind to do. Sometimes people give up at something that is new and challenging before they ever give it a chance. So, they stop doing what is necessary to help them get better. Sometimes people stop using what they have developed and let it deteriorate or diminish into a memory. And that can be okay. There are some things that we all have to let go of in order to make room for new things in our lives.
We are ever-growing and ever-changing. There are so many ways in which we can expand and develop beyond our self-imposed limitations. We can experience so much more of life and grow in new ways. We can use what we have and in doing so discover more. We can find new and unexpected reservoirs of untapped gifts and talents within us. We can be our very best in all we set our heart and mind to. We can feel alive again. There is a world beyond the horizon that we have yet to discover.
Krystal Kuehn, MA, LPC, LLP, NCC is a psychotherapist, author, teacher and musician. She is the cofounder of New Day Counseling, a family therapy and couples counseling center and BeHappy4Life.com, an award-winning, personal growth and self-help site.