12/10/2012 02:51 pm ET Updated Feb 09, 2013

Stepping Into My Potential

My whole life I have been told I have so much potential. Growing up, it would be a thorn in my side when I was told this. It made me feel like I was never enough, that I wasn't living up to my purpose, the bigger reason for why I'm here on Earth. A waste of human potential cuts me so deeply. Whether it is unjust circumstances that do not allow for human potential to prosper, or if it's just unforeseen life decisions leading to distraction, it pains me to watch potential go to waste.

In science class growing up, we learned what a catalyst was something that turned potential energy into kinetic energy. I have always done this with others. I have seen potential, grabbed it out of them, provided relationships and encouraged insight to help show each friend, student and boyfriend they were all I saw them to be, but I have been too afraid to step up into my own potential. I have been using my spotlight to shine on others, terrified of what I would see when I shined it onto myself.

There are people in my life who are really hard on me, who do not let me give up or back down or who think I am doing my best when everyone else is congratulating me. Someone recently said to me, "Never be the smartest person in the room, because if you are, you are in the wrong room." I try to always challenge myself and surround myself with people who understand me but push me to my best, and I think it is truly a balance between knowing when to push yourself to excellence and knowing when you need someone else's excellence to push you.

Last week, I was very lucky to be invited to magical Sedona by my friend Andrea Lake, who is a serial entrepreneur with seven companies and is always one to help me learn I should never underestimate my potential. Through countless conversations of past mistakes and present barriers, I realized more than anything I was not the only one going through such a transition, that I have surrounded myself with people who are constantly striving to be better, to do more, to be bigger. Some may call this an overachiever, but when I am not striving for greatness, I feel like a waste.

There are times in your life where you just feel something inside you pushing you to be more, to be bigger, to go into the unknown. While I know there are so many people in my life who can help me be a better version of myself, I also am learning there is no better person than myself to help me get there. It is about being your own catalyst, believing in yourself and knowing yourself so deeply, and most importantly, never being afraid to step into your spotlight.

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