•    Are  you at 100% of your potential?
•    Do you sometimes feel you want to accomplish so much, but don’t know where to start?

Our minds are like those 27-gear bicycles. We have a wide variety of choices, but we typically just use two or three gears. We are creatures of habit. We stick to what we know, since we inherently equate this with security.

What if that “gold mine” of long term security is lying dormant, just waiting to be ignited? One magical tool that I’ve consistently used to drive results in reaching one’s full potential is simply asking provocative questions.

Below is a taste of “The Art of Provoking” and how to get on the right track to that gold mine of potential:

1.    What’s keeping you awake at night?
It’s important to be aware of what issues are top of mind that are causing you any current stress. Many times one area of worry may produce energy leaks in other areas of your life. Identify the situations that are occupying your thoughts and resulting in stress, and deal with them as soon as possible. These are serious energy leaks, which could be using up some of your horse power in moving forward toward your gold mine potential.

2.    What is holding you back from changing the situation?
Be painfully honest with yourself to uncover the core of this answer. Stir up the pain in order to acknowledge it, see it, and then change it.

3.    In what situations do you seem to have unlimited drive and energy?
There are certain activities and situations which come naturally; you get results easily with minimal effort. When you can identify these, you have tapped into your natural tendencies, your default talents, which are organically part of you.

If you easily facilitate groups of people and teams, for example, you can then incorporate this skill to actually boost your drive and productivity. It’s much more empowering to build on our strengths and magnify those into a variety of our activities rather than focus on our weaknesses.

Tip: for help in identifying and developing your own strengths, I highly recommend Tom Rath’s book Strengths Finder. There is an online self-assessment version which is astonishingly accurate, and many of the Fortune 500 companies I work with use it with great results.

4.    What is the one area that would cause the most impact to drive you toward your goal?
When we are in a mode of transition and are truly ready to make permanent changes, we need motivation along the way. When you ask yourself this question, direct the action with focused intention in one specific key area which will act as a catalyst to impact your future success.

The moment you pinpoint one key area which will make the most significant immediate difference, the game plan becomes clear. It’s like putting in the exact address in your GPS…once it’s entered, you can relax and you know where you’re going, so you get there faster.

5.    What is your first step, and when will you take it?
Life rewards action. So no matter how small your first action step is, just start! Stop analyzing it, stop second guessing, stop asking everybody else what their opinion is – just get on with it.

Remember, a dream is a goal without a deadline. So set a specific date when you’ll take your first action step. Do whatever you need to do to hold yourself accountable. If you don’t start, you’ll never know if it was the right step or not.

Erica Jong said it well, “The trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.” I say start with intention, but action is what gets you results, and it’s what will put you on a path to reaching your full potential.



About Sandra Saenz:

Sandra Saenz is an international trainer, published author, and former business executive with 20+ years globally. With a background in international advertising, she served as Regional Management Supervisor in Vienna for the CEE Region, supervising 8 countries before founding her own consulting firm. She has been called a “Provocational Speaker”, provoking people to their best. She is the founder of Dream Team Communications, providing training and coaching in 32 countries; she is a certified Dale Carnegie Trainer, serving on the prestigious Global Team; has been named Top Business Trainer for the 4th consecutive year; and in her spare time acts as the Up Close & Personal Director of Platform Scottsdale, a non-profit organization dedicated to giving women a platform to meet, mentor and connect with like-minded women. For more information visit www.dreamteamcommunications.com and www.platformscottsdale.com.