Hidden Potential

Published on May 26, 2013 by

We all have hidden potential inside of us. Every single one of us. Thomas Edison said, " If we did all the things we were capable of doing, We would literally astound ourselves." How many of us intellectually agree with that and then go back to business as usual? The Universe is pulsating with the energy of hidden potential and we all have that energy within. All of our self-doubts, all of our self-criticism cannot extenguish the energy of possibilities and potential within.

We all have potential for greatness in some way.  The question is, what do we do with it? Do we nurture it or take it for granted? Do we recognize that we are far more capable than we give ourselves credit for? We are capable of loving deeply, thinking big and creating happiness, meaning and significance in our lives. We can do that in our careers, in our relationships, in our health and in every area of life.

Today, company leaders across the globe are talking about the lack of talent. That's small thinking and misguided thinking and we have tolerated it far too long. How many leaders believe there is an abundance of talent and it's their job to find it and create an environment for talent and passion to thrive? Not many. That's why we seldom experience extraordinary customer service and why we have a small list of companies that have uber loyal employees and customers.

The problem isn't a lack of talent or inner drive. The problem is that there are so few of us that know how to find and unlock our potential--and the fact of the matter is that most of us don't even think much about our hidden potential. The problem is that few leaders and managers know how to find the hidden potential in their team and so few that know how to nurture it.

When I was a psychotherapist in private practice for over a decade, I never "diagnosed" or "treated" a "patient." Instead, I asked questions, listened and asked more questions. I looked for what was already inside them  and I helped them to unleash it. I didn't help someone deal with their depression, that would be depressing--I helped them to awaken to who they really were, to have the courage to admit what they really wanted, and to take a small step towards what they were really capable of.   I do the same thing as a coach, consultant and speaker.

If you are a manager or leader, you aren't paid for what you know or what you can do by yourself. You are paid for your ability to see and nurture the hidden potential of others. You are paid to awaken others to who they really are, what they really want and what they are truly capable of. You are paid to help others find out they are capable of astounding themselves. Edison set a record for 1093 patents, but he didn't do that by himself. He worked his magic by finding the magic in others and helping them to let it loose.

The more you excel at that, the more others want to be around you. Not primarily because of who you are, but because of how they feel about themselves when they are around you. We all know on some level we have magic inside us. And we will do anything to be around someone who sees that in us and helps us to see it. But what do you do if you don't have someone to do that for you?

What you do is to make it your chief aim to discover your hidden potential for work and life. You have an opportunity to awaken to that potential, to honor it and to transform that potential, day by day, into a reality that can astound us. We can do that, but we have to be intentional about it.

We don't really know what we are capable of. We don't really know what our limitations are. If that's true, why do  argue for our limitations? Why don't we do the opposite more oftern? Why don't we look for our hidden potential, argue for that--and in the process end up  astounding ourselves?

Let me know what you think. Let's have a conversation about hidden potential and how we can astound ourselvs.






  1. Frank

    Imagination, powered by passion, fueled by the creativity given to us by a wonderful creator, is a powerful and limitless source of opportunity that is waiting to become our reality. I am very fortunate to have a manager that believes in me AND a life coach that contiunues to encourage me to question anything (especially me) that would hinder my dreams. Thanks Alan for keeping us cognizant of our potential.

    • Alan Allard

      Frank, I like what you said: "Imgagination, fueled by creativity...is powerful and limtless." Thanks always for your comments and insights. As your coach, it's has been fun watching you grow and change by leaps and bounds.

  2. laurie

    Bringing out the best in ourselves and others around us- You're right, the possibilities are limitless! It's so easy to get mired in the everyday and forget about the dreams you had before. Thank goodness you're here to remind of us that it's still possible to achieve more and enjoy the journey. Thank you for your inspiring blog!

    • Alan Allard

      Laurie, thanks for stopping by and for your encouragement. I agree with you, it's easy to get mired down and to forget our dreams. Thanks for being who you are and for your love and support...and for being the greatest sister in the world!

  3. [...] many of America’s best and brightest do not know how to unlock their hidden potential. These men and woman are made in the image of God and could do anything they set their sights on; [...]

  4. Chrissy

    It feels like I am hiding my potential, but I am much more stronger than that. I am talented and brave. But the thing I fear the most is public speaking. Why can I find the courage to speak from within? It's like I have this big wall that is never coming down.

    • Alan Allard

      Hi Chrissy, thanks for adding to the discussion. Have you considered joining Toastmasters? It is a great organization that is very effective in helping anyone to deal with their anxieties of public speaking, get comfortable with it and learn to enjoy speaking to groups. I highly recommend them and there are groups almost everywhere and very inexpensive.

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