Find your potential. It’s a phrase we hear so often but doesn’t offer any direction. Potential is often not something we know we have or are certainly not very good at acknowledging. But there is so much power in recognising what you have the potential to achieve - it’s the foundation of self-belief and can shape where life takes us next. And so, we have someone who is no stranger to the challenge of finding and exceeding your potential, Tori James, inspiring adventurer and explorer sharing her insights. Not only in overcoming great physical challenges but mental challenges too.

Uncovering your motivation

“When you embark on these things it’s about really understanding where your motivation comes from. What’s your why? What’s your connection to this challenge? And it’s interesting to note that there are pull motivations and push motivations. Sometimes we might not be content with life as it is and something is making us want to step away or move toward something else. Or there’s the other type of motivation when we see something and think I want a piece of that. I’m gonna go and chase it.”, says Tori on motivation. Her journey began when her colleagues propositioned her to join the first female team to ski to the Magnetic North Pole, a 360 mile race called the Polar Challenge. For Tori, this was an enormous challenge and something she desperately wanted to be a part of. Knowing what motivates you and why is key to keeping on track long term. On the days where self-doubt creeps in or you start questioning your ability to push through the challenge, relating back to your core motivator is key.

Choosing your challenge

Now you’ve got a handle on your motivation, it’s about choosing the challenge. Generally, we move toward things that feel familiar - even if they’re a slight deviation. Being ‘adventurous’ comes in many forms and Tori suggests starting small by challenging yourself with cooking a different recipe this week with a loved one. Sharing the experience will not only strengthen your confidence but may also be a catalyst for change in the person you’re dealing with. This tells the brain that it's safe and OK to do something different. No matter how big or small.  

Overcoming your fear

Challenges by their nature take you out of your comfort zone. Whether it’s a new business venture, a journey of personal growth or climbing a mountain. But sometimes even when we’re motivated we’re overcome by fear. “Comfort zones are actually nothing to do with comfort at all. They’re to do with fear. And when we step outside of that comfort zone into what I describe as the stretch zone, we’re really talking about fear. But I’ve got a useful acronym for you today that I often refer back to just to get things into perspective if we quite simply take the letters that spell fear and take it to read this: false expectations appearing real.”, Tori notes on how comfort zones and fear intertwine. Ultimately fear is somewhat a self-imposed feeling - something you can train yourself out of and respond differently to. So instead of fighting it with excuses, giving up on something tough or feeling paralysed by it, you can actively push against that fear. Once you see fear is just false expectations appearing real and they’re not actually real, you can choose to overcome them.

What to do when you’re in the process

The pre and post aspects of potential are those that we tend to focus on. But how do you keep going when things get tough? Tori highlights how music was a great tool for her when she was dealing with the toughest moments on Everest. What’s more, she also notes how Neuro-linguistic programming helped her. At the heart of the NLP is creating a personal map of your reality. How do you respond to things, what thought patterns are natural for you, what do you value most and what do you bring to the table? Once you have an understanding of this map you can almost objectify your thoughts - seeing them as separate from you and processable rather than all-consuming. In the case of moving outside of your comfort zone, it can help you to re-frame negativity thoughts in order to move you and your team forwards. Seeing all ‘failures’ as something to learn from, obstacles as an opportunity to grow and change.

We hope Tori’s incredible story and wisdom have helped you to see how you can discover and exceed your potential. That even achievements you never thought possible are. Once we can see our own potential and surprise ourselves it’s a domino effect - pushing us to step out of our comfort zone more and more often. If you want to watch Tori’s full PepTalk, subscribe to our online service or if you’re looking for a mind-blowing private PepTalk, get in touch with our team. 

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