Today’s memoir is a memoir that we can all resonate with. Either we do this or we know someone that is a frequent perpetrator. The person who continues falling in love with someone’s potential instead of falling in love with THEM as what they are at the moment & what they can offer you RIGHT NOW. Before I start, I understand that all relationships have their ups & downs. I also understand that many grown up relationships may consist of periods when one person has to pull the weight for a little while the other half gets it together. I also understand there are circumstances when both are meeting at the table with what they have to offer & are both striving equally to reach a goal. This memoir is not directed to those relationships or for those people.
This memoir is for the person just like myself. The person who instead of being realistic with what is being brought to us by a prospect, we get caught up in the potential of what they could be or what we could be together …if they could get it together. Major ERROR NUMBER 1. This as a result ends with us being completely disappointed & wondering what went wrong when we thought we finally had it right this time. Well I can tell you, because it is something I am still actively working on & though it took me a long time to realize it, the truth is –accepting someone because of their potential is just a nicer way of saying that — you are settling for less than what you are deserving of.
Now I understand that everyone may not have it all together right away, but the danger in potential is that we become oblivious to the clear-cut red flags waving at us to stay away. Quite frankly, when I reflect on some of my relationships or should I say my most hurtful situations, I wish I listened to my tribe member when she said, “Nick, when someone shows you their true colors, believe them.” I wish I would have understood the magnitude of what that meant when I heard it, but I was so blinded by potential that although I felt her statement made a good quote for a future meme, I felt it really did not apply to me. But if I tell you, IT DID!
It will serve of great value if we treat the dating process as employers treat the employment process. They compile a list of resumes of great characteristics, have an intense interview process & still hire people on a probationary period until they prove themselves. You see, you do not hear employers hiring anyone because of their potential. Instead, they review credentials, they speak to references, run background checks & confirm employment dates to ensure that they are not hiring someone who in turn fails to represent their brand, their investment & their sacrifice appropriately. We need to be just as thorough with our time & our choices.
As women going places, we do not always put value to the time we invest in people. We give our time away freely wanting to be Ms. Fixer-Upper taking on full projects to build up, remodel, & clean up people who show little to no signs that they are worth it. All because we see the potential of what they could be, how they could be or what we could be. As a result, our resources start running thin, our time starts being taken for granted & we get frustrated or disappointed when behaviors we enabled become expected with little reciprocation. We have to protect our time. The time we invest in someone is billable. We do not work for our employers for free just out of the kindness of our heart. We expect payment for the 8-10 hours we are there therefore we should not freely give up our resources, our time & our love without ensuring we give it to the right person, a deserving person, someone who can actively contribute to the cause. This mindset needs to be used in all relationships we encounter– family, friends, cohorts or love interests. Granted, I am not saying this is a pay & claim process, that you must expect something every time you do something nice for someone. I am saying potential has us wasting our time on people who do not fit the mold of our standards if we were not caught up in this illusion. In turn we get tired, regretful & go on hiatuses to get our minds right.
So many women end relationships knowing they should not have started them in the first place. Investing all our time & energy into someone who may or may not see the potential in themselves, wearing us thin. In turn we become tired. Tired of pulling all the weight, tired of not catching a break & tired of being disappointed because they never live up to what we believe they could be. We see & invest in the potential of someone else & neglect the potential in ourselves, we fail to nurture it & love into it. If we are to reach the highest threshold of our lives, all that extra energy we spend investing in others we must do for ourselves because whatever the outcome, whatever the cause, we are worth it.
With that, establish your bottom line so you can eliminate the possibility of disappointment. Give people time to show you that they are worthy before you invest in them entirely based on what you believe they can be. Disappointment lingers when you see the potential in them that they do not see in themselves. When the discrepancy becomes clear to them they will not correct you instead they thrive on the opportunity & feast on it. They will take what they can out of you while potential has you out here trippin’. Believe what people show you & do not store good deeds in your emotional bank for so long that you ignore the warning signs when they appear.
Conglomerate, you work hard and deserve the best life & you deserve to be surrounded by people who will contribute to it. Life can & will be full of ups & downs & learning experiences but for a change let us see what these experiences do for our own potential instead of using our lives to invest in the potential of someone else.
Until next time conglomerates, remember to live your best life while thriving in your own potential.