Unlocking your full potential is about coming to know the many facets of yourself. Most of us treat parts of ourselves as if they were “not me.” For example, in a recent coaching session in which I was being coached, I encountered a part of myself that feels disempowered, shamed, and small. I don’t like to think of myself that way. And there’s a part of myself that is critical, telling me I am not good enough. There’s also a part of myself that expresses wisdom and empowers others in ways that I am shy to own.
When we begin a coaching assignment with a leader, he or she invariably initiates the coaching effort by listing deficits they believe exist in who and how they are. A good coach knows hidden strengths will be found in these supposed deficits. As we work together, one split off part after another is discovered to be a valid aspect of the full self that is emerging.
In my case, the Small Part that I mentioned above opens me to my tender, loving self. The Inner Critic to my strength. The Great Empowerer in me shows me the gift that is mine to bring. And so on. As we go along, we become ever more aware of the rich depth and range of who we are.
Yet, there is a still deeper discovery. While it had been emerging over time, this landed for me in a most potent way one day in the woods up in the Colorado hills. It suddenly became unmistakably apparent that all I see and feel is an unbroken whole underlying and including everything. I realized there was no separation. What I had previously thought of as a separate “me”—my body and its personality—is just as much an expression of this whole as anything I was seeing around me. And everything around me is simply an expression of who and what I am.
This is true for everyone.
Whatever favorite self or selves we have thought of as “me,” they are found to be contained in this larger whole, in awareness itself. No matter how we feel in any moment, or what part we’re playing out, this awareness is simply free and present, an easeful respite right at the source of all activity going on around and inside us.
Not just the source of what I think as “me” but the source of all.
It is a endless emergence. We continually discover more about ourselves, own and embody more parts, more of our full potential. At the same time, we recognize ever more deeply the ease, strength and intelligence inherent in the whole of which all the contents of our awareness are parts.
It is a truly fulfilling way to live.
David Lesser is an executive coach in Northern California who has worked with hundreds of CEOs, guiding them and their organizations in mature self-emergence for over 25 years. Please visit SelfEmergence.com for more info.