In a webinar last week, Carolyne Gaithuma shared tips on how to unlock children’s potential and build resilience and emotional intelligence in them.

That webinar was powerful, and it touched raw nerves for many of the attendees, myself included. Beyond that, it got me thinking about our latent potential, some of which we are not aware of.

There’s also the potential we are aware of. We may want to do something about it, but we do nothing and remain the same.

Other people see your potential

For example, do you remember how in primary and secondary or high school teachers would write in report cards that you have a lot of potential? Sometimes they’d add, “…but you’re not using it…” or “…but you’re not excelling….”

There were also times when teachers and parents would tell you directly that you have potential and you’re not using it. Anytime they said it, you felt that you were less than. It was as if there was something you should be, something big, but you’re not getting there.

Now that we are parents, we say it to our children too.

Then in the workplace, sometimes bosses will say it to those working under them, especially during performance appraisals.

We have all been at the giving and receiving ends of the word potential. Nobody is exempt because we all started as novices in order to grow and excel in our lives, goals, careers, and businesses.

No one starts as an expert. Everyone starts somewhere and learns the ropes. You may not have started at the bottom. But even if you inherited a business or got a leg up in your career, you had to start by learning.

This gives us hope because everyone, no matter how much expertise they have today, was at one time not excellent at what they do.

Do you see your potential?

Do you know your potential in different areas of your life?

Have you tried to surprise yourself just to see how great your potential is? Nobody has to tell you to grow. You choose to push yourself and see how far you can go.

Are you actively working towards growing and improving, forcing yourself to be better each day than you were the previous day?

Do you constantly get surprised at how far you have come each time you look back at where you were at a certain time?

Remember, it’s not just about work

There are many things that can grow you and expand your potential. Here are some examples from the top of my mind.

  • Have you thought about being the kind of parent you’ve always dreamed of being?
  • Are you willing to work on goals you previously thought were beyond your reach? You finally resolve to just do it and see how far you’ll get.
  • How about working on something when it’s just an idea and you have no clue where it will lead? You get an inspired idea, take a leap of faith, and you build your parachute on the way. Your parachute could mean that you don’t fall. It could be a safe landing. Or it could take you to a place that you never expected, somewhere better than what you would have done on your own if you hadn’t taken the leap.
  • Maybe you choose to do something that is way out of your comfort zone. You get the idea and tell yourself, “Let me see where this will go…”. Then you map out a simple plan and start working on it.
  • It could also be something like going for a hobby or passion.
  • You can also take action on a goal that you’ve been procrastinating on for years. This is something you know will grow you in ways you were previously afraid of. But now you say, “It doesn’t matter. I know it will stretch me. But I’m going to go for it and commit to seeing it through.” In this way, you’re making a commitment to something bigger, and then you keep that commitment.

We are all potentially something more.

It’s not possible for humans not to be in potential. However far or high you reach, you still have the potential for more because achievement increases your potential. So there is always something you can grow into, overcome, or achieve.

There is always another mountain to climb

I remember when Richard Branson went to space in 2021. There’s controversy about whether he was actually in space or not. But let’s agree that he went to space, he was up there, somewhere beyond the Earth’s atmosphere.

I looked forward to this event because space travel intrigues me. So I made sure I wouldn’t miss it by putting reminders on both phones, the computer, and tab.

The trip took a short time, but Branson said that it changed his life. This is something he had wanted all his life from when he was young. It was now it was a reality and no longer a dream.

After watching the event, my son asked, “Mum, what will Richard Branson do now that he’s achieved his goals…all of them?

My response was that there’s always another mountain to climb.

There’s always something to do next. Reaching the top of a mountain is the beginning of coming down so that you start climbing another mountain.

For Branson, this achievement opened up the potential for more as he explained in the interviews afterward.

Age is just a number

This reminds me of two clients I had who were both 69 years old.

One of them revamped her LinkedIn profile because she wanted to apply for jobs that were in line with her new interests.

Here’s how the conversation went when she told me that she wanted a new job (she was still in employment).

Me: “What do you mean…?”

Client: “Yeah, I want a new job that is like this and this…”

Me: “But, you’re 69…” (For a moment there I forgot that I was a Coach…)

Client: “Yeah, so…?”

She also upgraded how she looked by getting a beautiful haircut and becoming more active. I tell you that woman looked so good that all I could think of was, “Well…Ooookay!”

The other 69-year-old client started a couple of businesses within a year. She’s now in her 70s and still going strong. She also does yoga, travels, and has an active life.

She told me she didn’t think she had the potential to scale up in her 70s as opposed to slowing down until she actually did something different. This woke in her the desire and ability to be different and to do things she’d never thought of before.

These women are grandmothers and spend time with their children and grandchildren. They both love what they do and the lives they have created.  

They are also not in a hurry to slow down. Life is full of fun for them as they discover new things like travelling alone or with new friends they have made. They are allowing themselves to experience the world differently, and the world is opening up for them.

These women taught me something powerful. They taught me that age is actually just a number. They also made me realize that age is what you decide it is for you. You can choose to be active and to live a better quality of life, no matter your age.

As I think about these two women, I remember people I know who are in their 30s, 40s, and 50s who are stuck and unfulfilled. It’s sad and scary when you think that there are many years ahead of them and they are stuck in one place!

I choose to grow

At a personal level, I’ve chosen to grow beyond my comfort zone, especially in my work.

For example, last year I started a virtual community for women called Nawiri. I didn’t know I had the potential to lead a group like this until I started it and allowed myself to go through teething problems.

Now, a year later, I am more confident and show up strongly in the group each week. My posts and weekly voice notes have also changed and they show confidence and ease. I don’t struggle and I’m doing things now that I would not have tried before.

This potential was there. I just didn’t know I had it in me this time last year.

I also didn’t think Learning Wednesday would grow into what it is today. What started as a platform where I could share personal and business growth tips now has guest experts who come and teach.

I never thought a time would come when I could host these guest experts with ease. It now feels normal to hop onto the webinar on Wednesday without endless preparation.

But the early days were tough! I would prepare the whole morning just for that one hour. And even when I was not the one presenting, I had to memorize the introductions and the closing of each webinar. It was stressful but I loved it.

Today, I just write down a few talking points, sometimes half an hour before the webinar. I do research the people we’re bringing in and talk to them in advance so that I get to know them. But I don’t have to do all that memorization or feel stressed. Things flow…and I allow the webinar to flow.

Beyond that, I never thought I had the potential to write and publish a blog post daily. In October this year, I committed to starting a personal blog and publishing a post daily for the rest of this year. The goal is to publish 72 blog posts by 31st December 2023.

The potential to write those posts daily was not a reality before that. It became a reality the moment I made the commitment.

It’s so much of a reality that there are days when I write write 2 articles, and these are articles that are over a thousand words. I don’t know where the words are coming from. But they are coming from somewhere.

What’s interesting is that I write in the evening between 8:30pm and midnight because the article for each day has to be published before midnight. Then I must wake up at my usual time (5:30am) so that I put in a full day’s work.

  • Where was the time to write these daily blog posts before?
  • What was I doing with that time?
  • Where was the confidence to host guest experts in Learning Wednesday before I started hosting them?
  • Where was the ability to lead Nawiri Community?

All that was potential and each step forward unlocks more of it.

On my end, I had to release the fear of publicity which has been a BIG obstacle for me. I had to give myself permission to stand out and shine as myself.

I had hidden behind business names for years, but it was time to boldly be me. This is why I started a personal blog instead of writing under a pseudonym. I said, “Let me claim my name online and do this as myself.” and off I went.

That permission has given me the ability to write daily blog posts for the last 21 days. The posts are very personal and some are witty. There are also times when I find myself laughing out loud as I write. Who knew going for a dream could be such fun!?

But best of all, by writing these blog posts, I am also working on another dream, which is writing a book. This book now has slightly under 32,000 words, all written in less than 3 weeks. It’s effortless and yet I had procrastinated on this goal for more than a decade!

Let’s get back to you…

First, I see potential as greatness held hostage.

I’ve borrowed the term greatness held hostage from Mike Litman, who is a personal growth expert.

As you read this blog post, where would you say you are allowing your greatness to be held hostage?

What are you going to do about it starting today?

There is no waiting. You start immediately because, as I said in last week’s blog post, nothing happens until you start. Also, keep in mind that starting is not enough. Nothing gets achieved until you keep moving and consistently focus on your goal.

Second, you will never know who you can be or what you can achieve until you give yourself permission to be great.

This is a challenge for those who fear success and the changes that success will bring. We also fear what other people will say when we go for greater things and goals than we have done in the past. It’s always easier to stay within the comfort of our circles.

We all know deep inside that achieving some of the goals and dreams we have will mean not being able to hang out in these circles that we’re comfortable in.

However, when you grow, there is the potential to outgrow some people in your circles. Other times, people may no longer feel comfortable with you being there because you really don’t belong in the same circles anymore.

But then, time will still pass by. And you will keep feeling bad about the goals and dreams that you’re letting go. The regrets grow over the years and if you’re not careful, these will be your end-of-life regrets.

Are you willing to take that risk?

If you’re not willing to take that risk, what permission do you need to give yourself today so that you release yourself to go for your goals and dreams?

  • Release yourself and stop holding your greatness hostage.
  • Give yourself the required permission today, not tomorrow. You start today.
  • Decide what you want to work on.
  • Create a simple action plan.
  • Start working on your plan.
  • Keep moving forward.

Don’t overthink. Life can actually be simpler than we make it. You don’t have to go for big or bold things. You start where you are and with what you have. Boldness and courage will come as you move along.

Finally, remember that potential is always there.

It’s in you. It’s part of who you are as a human being and only you can stop yourself from harnessing your potential.

I hope that reading this blog post lights a fire under you and gives you permission to stop sitting on your potential so that you give your goals and dreams all that you’ve got. Commit to it to ensure that you no longer hold your greatness hostage.

Additionally, I hope that you will start working on something that pushes you out of your comfort zone within the coming week. As I said earlier, there is no need to wait so don’t wait to set New Year resolutions. Instead, pick a goal and start working on it at any time of the year.

I’d also love to hear from you so feel free to share your thoughts or experiences in the Comments below.

And, if you need further support, read on to find out how my team and I can help you.


Here are some ways I can help you if you feel stuck or you’re unable to unleash your greatness.

1. Sign up for The Clarity Blueprint which is a FREE 5-day email course

In this email course, I share the 5 biggest mistakes high-achieving women make while pursuing success. When you make these mistakes, you are likely to get stuck and lose confidence.

I also share some simple fixes you can use to get unstuck and find clarity even if you have already made one or more of these mistakes.

Click here to get access to The Clarity Blueprint.

2. Join my Community

The journey up the success ladder can be lonely. But you don’t have to go it alone. That is why I have set up Nawiri Community which is made up of high-achieving women who want community, support and accountability from like-minded women.

We have different activities that allow us to connect and grow together including:

  1. Monthly Learning Wednesday webinars where experts come to teach us personal, professional, and financial growth strategies.
  2. Monthly virtual meetups where members connect and share experiences as we implement what we’re learning in the monthly class.
  3. Quarterly half-day meetups in Nairobi for additional learning and connection.
  4. An annual 3-day retreat in November to learn, connect, evaluate the year, celebrate milestones achieved, and plan for the next year.

Email me to get more info when Nawiri Community opens for new members.

3. Sign up for the Break Free, Live Your Life Coaching Program

Do you long for a life where your achievements are not just success stories but also reflections of your true passions? Are you eager to embrace a future filled with purpose, fulfillment, and unwavering confidence?

If these traits describe your aspirations, then Break Free, Live Your Life is tailored precisely for women just like you.

This is a 5-month transformational life coaching program for women who are already successful but are feeling stuck and unfulfilled despite being successful.

It’s also for you if you’ve been wondering how you can align your Purpose with what you do, and find greater meaning in life.

Through this transformative journey, you will:

  1. Get deep insights into your life’s purpose, values, and goals.
  2. Identify and align what matters most to you with your goals.
  3. Craft a clear, actionable plan that aligns your life and work with your newfound clarity.
  4. Start implementing your action plan within the program.
  5. Identify and work on beliefs and habits that work against your overall wellness and happiness.
  6. Get unstuck, gain confidence, and boldly move towards your next level.

You’ll also find support, guidance, and a community of like-minded women. This is an invaluable bonus as you work on your growth.

Break Free is also available on a 1-1 basis where the program is tailor-made for you. This is a good option if you’re in a leadership position as you get to learn how to lead your team by coaching instead of managing them.

Click here to book a Discovery Call to find out more about the Break Free program.


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