Unlocking Potential – Keeping The Lion In The Cage

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We are all filled with the most precious resource in the world. This resource is capable of extraordinary things, its power is limitless and its application immeasurable. What am I talking about here? Unlocking potential.

Unlocking Potential – Keeping The Lion In The Cage


For me struggling with anxiety meant that any potential I possessed was suppressed. For years my condition did not allow me to access it. Why? Because potential would have meant exposing myself to all the things that anxiety held me back from. By using my potential I would have been vulnerable.

My potential was held back by a combination of fear and lack of confidence. A lack of confidence fuelled by a brutal reaction to any dalliance with being the person I could be. Stepping out of line in this sense resulted in a panic attack, nausea or vomiting. So unpleasant was it that I soon learned my lesson. I knew my place and stayed there. 

Back to square one

Bringing my anxiety under control allowed me to do so much more. I could finally start living a life. In many ways it allowed me to really start to unlock some of that potential I had been sitting for many years.

When I look back, yes I have done so much, especially when I consider where I have come from mentally. Yet for me, mining that potential, exposing it and bringing to light has been and continues to be such a difficult process. 

All those years of suppression have left it buried so deep within me. And that is what makes it so difficult. The thing is, I know it’s value, I know just what it, and I am capable of when it is accessed. In those rare instances where I do have access to it, I am truly amazed.

But that is it, it is rare, it not my default position. Seemingly I never build up that momentum, that head of steam to really get the potential rolling. It appears in a flash of brilliance and then splutters and coughs until it comes to a halt. Then for me it is back to square one. 

Unlocking potential from ‘what if?’ to ‘why not?’

For so long I have asked myself ‘what if’? But only recently come to the realisation that the question I need to ask myself is ‘why not’?  For me asking this new question is a massive first step and surprisingly a big revelation. By coming to it I have been able to almost look outside myself, hence this idea of a lion in a cage.

An old and well used cliché I know, but one I have never really applied to myself with any real intent. But now I see it. I have become acutely aware of the cage of which I have made and which I have surrounded myself. Since coming to terms with my anxiety it has changed from one made of cast iron to one that has become gossamer thin and almost impossible to see. Yet it has been there, it bonds as powerful as ever.   

Breaking free

Now I see it. I can start by slow breaking those bonds. Bonds forged by long years of fear and uncertainty. I have no doubt this will take time but once broken gaining access to my potential with become easier, I will be able to build that momentum needed to get things moving in a positive direction. I will do that by keep on asking that question of ‘why not’? If the answer is fear, then with compassion and selfcare I can challenge that fear and with luck dispel it. Each time I do a bond will break and a little potential unlocked.

No one else is responsible for making the cage and I am the only one who can allow myself to break free from it. Recognising has given me that choice now and it is up to me how I go about it. 

So many of us a trapped in these cages. Some are aware, others not. What makes up the cage will vary from person to person. Yet one thing that is true of all is that they stop us from accessing such great things in the form of potential. Do you have a cage? What is it made of? If you do is it time to look at ways of breaking out of it?   

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