Unmask Your Potential: Deconstructing the Influence of Expectation

Faces of KNOW | Jennie Robles KNOW TAMPA 2019

Jennie Robles is passionate about equity in the workplace and leveraging values to motivate and inspire success. After 10years in HR on Wall Street, Jennie’s diversity and inclusion advocacy and reputation for delivering candid constructivefeedback compelled her to become a Certified Professional Coach and launch her firm.

Intersection Faith Life Work is an executive coaching and diversity consultancy. We deliver strategic data-driven solutions to bridge the representation gap of women, Black, and Latinx professionals in leadership and executive positions. Core values are a defining feature of great organizations and talent. Our approach recognizes that value alignment and early access to executive coaching enhances workforce engagement, productivity, and business impact. Intersection FLW assists organizations by identifying opportunities to maximize the development, retention, and trajectory of talent. We partner with professionals to identify and navigate solutions to achieve success and collaborate with faith-basedorganizations to design curriculum that intersects themes of faith, life, and career. 


Keep reading to check out Jennie’s guest blog post on How to Unmask Your Potential: 

When I hear the word potential, I vividly recall that Geico commercial with Pinocchio as a motivational speaker. Pinocchio tells attendees “I look around this room and I see nothing but untapped potential. You have potential…” and his nose begins to grow indicating that he’s lying. 

It’s a commercial, but I’m sure many people can relate to that ad. Misplaced expectations and lack of confidence deter you from trying something new or taking a risk. You may seek out people and resources, or perhaps work harder, hoping your potential will reveal itself or others will help you find it. So, what is potential and how can you tap into it? 

Potential is what you’re capable of becoming as well as the qualities or abilities you already have that need development or the opportunity to manifest. Potential can be masked by emotions and feelings like uncertainty, insecurity, fear, and shame impacting thoughts about who you think you are as well as how you believe other people perceive you. 

Tapping into your potential may require distancing from expectations that we have for ourselves, others, and what we perceive others have of us. That may seem counterintuitive, but expectations are often layered with judgement about who or what we desire people, things, or situations to be. Major League Baseball player Willie Stargell said “judgment traps you within the limitations of your comparisons. It inhibits freedom.” This judgement is precisely what I released last fall, allowing me to embrace the freedom I needed to make critical decisions to develop and scale my business. 

Potential is within reach if you are willing to commit to the process of overcoming a deficient mindset and surrender to being out of your comfort zone. Potential is exposed during what I refer to as the Cycle of Discomfort™ – when you experience the uncomfortable edges of what you have never done. Here are three steps to unmasking your potential:

  1. Try

Think about who you want to be and what you want to achieve. Then think bigger. What is one practical step you can take to get you closer to making that bigger idea a reality? TAKE IT! Ignore the urge to give in to self-doubt, self-sabotage, imposter syndrome, haters, or any other barrier.

  1. Struggle

The journey to discover your potential will be challenging and you will struggle. Accept this fact. It’s not you; it’s your potential. New pressures and responsibilities will stretch you beyond what you ever thought capable. But when you are guided by your values and not your expectations, your faith and character are strengthened, and you make the best of what you have to be as great as possible. Key to this step is asking for and accepting help, having a strong support system and strategy. What will you need more or less of to persevere during the struggle?

  1. Fail/Succeed

Potential is not what you achieve, but who you become in the process. Ironically, both failure and success though subjective, bring you closer to fully realizing your potential. You are equipped with what is needed (or not) to develop and lead to you and your “bigger idea” to future success. It is important to make time for self-care, celebrate your milestones, and self-promote. How has failure and success shaped who you are?

If you’ve read this far, a great opportunity lies ahead. The world is waiting for you to unmask your potential. Who do you want to become? Who will you be after embracing the Cycle of Discomfort™? 


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