What is stopping you from reaching your full potential?

We all want to do well in life but for some people it’s difficult to achieve their desired goals and full potential. Are you one of those people? Unable to drive your ideas forward or solve problems? Unable to think creatively or produce the work you dream of? Why? Do you feel too tired to motivate yourself due to lack of sleep or a healthy lifestyle? Is it a lack of confidence or belief? Or do you find it difficult to think clearly due to low mood, depression or anxiety?


An American psychologist called Abraham Maslow believed that for us to really drive ourselves to be the best that we can be, we must have our basic and psychological needs intact first before we can gain realisation of our full potential. He produced a pyramid called the ‘hierarchy of needs’ whereby steps one to four below are required before achieving step five. Take a look and see if you are fulfilling your needs.

1. Basic needs enable us to function properly. Are you;

  • Eating three balanced meals a day with the right vitamins and minerals?
  • Hydrating your body by drinking enough water?
  • Getting 6-8 hours’ sleep?
  • Exercising regularly? 

2. Safety needs are required for us to feel secure. Do you have;

  • A safe place to live where you can relax and recharge? 
  • Access to health professionals who can help you stay healthy physically and mentally?
  •  Financial security and some means of income? 

3.  A sense of belonging or feeling loved usually helps people feel happy. When this need is lacking it can make us feel lonely and disconnected. Are you; 

  • Able to keep in touch with loved ones?
  • Making time to see your friends? 
  • Able to connect with people at work?

4. Our self-esteem is another psychological need that can affect how we feel. Reflect on whether you feel the following; 

  • respected
  • confident 
  • able to achieve goals and tasks 
  • a sense of accomplishment 

5.  Once the needs between one to four have been met then you are more likely to reach your full potential. You have the ability now to;

  • problem solve and deal with challenging situations
  • think creatively
  • initiate strong ideas
  • drive plans forward

So, if you want to reach your full potential and be the best that you can be, ensure those basic needs are met first and those psychological needs are intact so that your performance and aspirations can be met, providing you with a purpose in your life.

Having purpose helps to motivate us to get up in the morning and strive towards our day on a quest to achieve tasks and goals. Achievement provides value and satisfaction and helps us to feel that we have something to offer, something to contribute. Motivation is the driving force that keeps our interest lively and pushes us to do more.

So take the time to look back at yourself to see if you need to make some changes in order to achieve your full and deserved potential.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Newton Aycliffe, Durham, DL5
Written by Maria Harrop, MBA, FDA, MBACP
Newton Aycliffe, Durham, DL5

Founder of Guardian Angels Counselling, a limited company set up in memory of a sister who passed away. Maria is also a fluid and abstract artist with ambitions to write childrens books. Culturally developed life skills living in Cyprus, Singapore and Malaysia but most of her life has been spent in the North East of England helping others.

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