For those fortunate enough to have tapped the reservoir of innate potential, life is a rich and full experience. They’ve established the most natural of connections with self and with life. Innate potential exists inside each of us, whether utilized, or not. However, when a connection ...For those fortunate enough to have tapped the reservoir of innate potential, life is a rich and full experience. They’ve established the most natural of connections with self and with life. Innate potential exists inside each of us, whether utilized, or not. However, when a connection to this most special aspect of self is missing, life has its own special way of letting us know something is amiss.

When we least expect it, perhaps at the most inopportune times, that gnawing sense of “lack” comes upon us.

Scenario 1

"I am successful. I'm making things happen around me. My career is moving forward. And yet ... I gaze into my drinking glass of ice, watery rum and watery coke, in the midst of this Saturday evening celebration, and I feel a void that shouldn't be there."

Scenario 2

Everything is as it should be. My children are poised and of moral character. My home is immaculate and organized - a well-oiled machine. My husband is successful and very much content with the life we've built together. And yet, in the mornings, as I walk through my beautiful garden, at the very start of the day, the path I see before me disappears into mist with no definable, or foreseen destination in site."

What's happening in these two scenarios? These two people have mapped a course for their lives. They're meeting their expected goals. What's wrong?

Karen Campell, a columnist for The Christian Science Monitor, recounts Russian composer, Sofia Gubaidulina -a highly respected voice in the world of contemporary music- in her quest to break free from external constraints:

“For Gubaidulina, at the root of her quest as a composer was the fundamental issue of human freedom. "For an artist to be put in the position of restriction to what is 'correct' is terrible," she says vehemently. "For one to break free from those constraints and recognize one's own freedom is a fundamental goal in life."

Unmet, innate potential will bubble to the surface of our daily life experience even when our lives are exactly as we planned them to be. Frustration and discontent are prime indicators of this basic, and unmet urge to manifest self's potential.

The void and emptiness so many feel can be attributed to a missing connection with the innate self. A natural sense of grounding and purpose is lost. We find ourselves asking the questions, "how did I get here?" and "what is the point?" at the most unexpected times and places in our lives.

Our difficulty in reaching and unlocking innate potential has to do with an overwhelming need to focus on the physical, concrete aspects of our existence. Innate potential is born of Self-essence -of spirit- and requires a realignment of focus towards the more ethereal aspects of our self identity

Our dreams and passions serve as good examples of the ethereal aspects of self identity. They emanate from the deepest part of who we are, and they are genuinely personal in nature. And yet, the only way dreams and passions find expression is when the individual grabs a hold of the energy that sits inside the soul, and draws it out into this physical world.


Carl Jung, founder of analytical psychology, depicts innate potential as the driving force in our lives. Jung maintained that the ultimate goal of the human psyche is wholeness, and can only be obtained by maintaining balance and harmony in one's life.

Dr. Richard M. Gray from NLP and Addictions portrays Jung’s position as such:

“Jungian theory suggests that there exists in each individual a natural direction of personal development. Every life, from the moment it is born, seeks this potential and is naturally drawn to it. In its most basic form, it represents the full realization of our genetic, intellectual, and spiritual potential. Jung called the path towards realization of this potential individuation.

The word 'self' is often used by Jung in three different and seemingly contradictory ways. First, it represents the whole of the individual; body, soul, and spirit. Next, it is often used to represent the unconscious center of the individual and the archetype of wholeness. Third, it represents the goal of personal development; the fullest realization of personal potential as the end result of the process of individuation. I have called these the existential, archetypal, and teleological aspects of the self “(Gray, 1996)."

Jung depicted individuality and innate potential as a cause-effect progression, with true individuality being a direct result of expressed innate potential. So in a sense, the void and frustration and discontent we feel is the result of a vital missing piece to selfhood.

And yet, as elusive and abstract as this void and sense of discontent may be, we are still left with a semblance of innate potential’s presence. The seed of our innate potential rather lies inside this energy of discontent. And just like any other energy –love, hate, despair, passion- we have to invest in it in order for it to develop into something more than energy.

Fortunately, this energy is all we need to reconnect with this missing part of self.


The good news is this frustration, this knowing sense of discontent, is the beginning of a breadcrumb trail that leads right to self's innate potential. Picking up on this trail is a matter of honing in on the promptings and urgings that already reside within.

The following are three ways in which we can follow the trail that frustration, and/or discontent has left for us.

1. Whenever that state, or feeling of discontent surfaces, name it by the desire it
Examples :
"I really want to be sailing right now."
"I really want to be running my own business."
"I really want to go back to school."

Naming our discontent gives our innate potential an identity, in the place of the symptom (discontent) that it triggers. By identifying it, we are then able to acknowledge the existence of an innate potential.

Acknowledgement of this aspect of self is the first step towards connecting with the innate potential that lies within. It creates a bridge in our consciousness between everyday life and innate potential, and the beginning of a pathway for "potential's" expression.

2. Start to look for places in your daily routine where an aspect of this innate potential can be expressed.

A good indication of where these places lie is during those when we're wishing for something more. Like the housewife in the second scenario, mornings are times when she wonders, "what if." Whereas the man in the first scenario finds himself wondering "what if" when he finally gives himself permission to relax, and enjoy life.

Quiet, or non-stressful segments within our daily activities are the times where discontent, or lack of felt purpose, seems to gnaw at our consciousness.
Staying busy, or ignoring it won't make it go away because it's a part of us -like our voice is a part of us; like our style is part of us; like our fingerprints are a
part of us. And in a very real way, our innate potential lies at the heart of who we really are as individuals.

3. Give your potential form and substance by "fleshing out" an outline of what it is, what it stands for, and how it connects with who you are.

Innate potential is one of the few things each of us possesses that truly belongs to (and with) us. It's the root of who we are, and the hope of what we know ourselves to be.

It can be as simple as taking the time and energy to ask "it" questions. Questions like:

-What things do I do now that make me feel the most
alive and connected to life?
-What are the tings that I long to do?
-And why do I long to do them?
-What specific project, or task, or job would make me
jump out of bed with excitement every morning, looking
forward to the day at hand?

Asking questions like this not only gives our potential shape and form; it opens up our ability to accept said potential into our lives. It paves a way for expression.


Innate potential is very much like anything else in life that's raw, and undeveloped. It requires a caretaker; someone who takes it upon himself to refine and develop whatever this potential is meant to be.

The Russian composer, Sofia Gubaidulina sums it up well.

"In a free society, one feels absolute freedom as a danger. One has to establish one's own personal regulation to recognize innate potential. "

Perhaps this is half the battle in a nutshell. Taking a stand for something that only you can validate as real takes courage. Yet only one person is able to acknowledge -to take seriously- this potential that lies inside the soul. It can be a gift, or a curse, but all it really needs is a chance.

Author's Bio: 

Jacquelyn Jeanty specializes in the mental health field in the areas of healing and recovery. She has worked as a mental health counselor for 10 years, and is the host at Healing Self

Other specialty areas include :
- ghostwriting
- personal finance
- electronics
- gardening
- self help
- open to most other areas

She is the author of 3 ebooks :
- Easy Lovin' For Couples In Crisis
- The Poetry of Courage
- Webmaster PLR Pack - Personal Development