How to Embrace Change and Reach Your Potential

"Much of the unhappiness in the world is due to the fact that many people aren’t aware of their inner potentiality, and so do nothing about it because it is hidden deep inside, in invisible states easy to neglect"

Lothar Schafer – Infinite Potential: What Quantum Physics Reveals About How We Should Live.


I believe a lot of us feel that there is more potential for ourselves than what we are currently experiencing – but feel overwhelmed and unsure and sometimes frightened of what it might be - so  we choose to do nothing.

A while ago, I wrote about the changes I had to make to end up doing what I now do. I had left work due to 'burn out', and decided to take a year off. I had no idea what I was going to do, but felt that I really had to the potential to do something different. Better. More satisfying. However, after a few months I began to wonder whether to forget about my plan and instead return to the status quo. Although I felt that there was something 'better' out there for me, I did not know what and I certainly had no idea what my ‘potential’ was. I was getting nervous and feeling a little unsure of what I was doing.

And then this poem was read out to me:

In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.
For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.
It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.
Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream
A path of plenitude opening before you.
Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.
Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.
(John O’Donohue – Benedictus: A Book Of blessings)


Hearing this was enough at that time to spur me on. It wasn't even a conscious choice, it was more like an unconscious drive. There was no going back.

Once you take a step, into a different direction, something within you changes. It moves. And it is almost impossible to turn around.

I kept thinking, how will I feel when I am 80 years old? When I look over my life and ask the questions: Did I live well? How much time did I waste? How many moments were infused with self doubt and insecurity? And did I let those doubts influence my decisions? And what if I don't ever follow my heart and do what I think I must do to discover my potential? How would that feel?

As frightening as whatever ahead of you is, whether it has been your choice or whether change has been thrust upon you, keep taking the small steps forward. Find the general direction of your goal and slowly start heading towards it. If you lose sight of the light at the end of the tunnel, continue to have the faith that the light is there. Imagine how you will feel, looking back over your life. What will be the moments that make you proud? What have you done to fulfill your potential? How do you want to feel?

You will never reach your potential, unless you take the risk to change. The risk to change takes courage. But you only need to take one step at a time.


Helen Duyvestyn is a Registered Nurse and Life Coach. She worked for over fifteen years in the area of mental health, has an Advanced Diploma in Nursing (Mental Health) and a Masters in Health Science. She is the sole owner operator of "One Life – A Life Worth Living" a business dedicated to help improve health and well being of individuals. Facebook: