Why Believing in Someone’s Potential Can Be a Toxic Mindset To Nurture

It is yourself that you are assessing.

A person holding a lit candle (on a stand) on their palm.
Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash

Whether it’s been us who have believed in someone and their potential, or others who have believed in us and ours’ — either way, there is more to it than appears on the surface.

There is a thin (and very blurry) line between believing in others, and believing in what they can do;

When we focus our understanding on what others are capable of doing — we are doing nothing but exploring our own capacity to do the same things.

In order to free ourselves and others from the toxicity associated with believing in them, we must understand why it is toxic in the first place.

What Is Not Okay To Place Your Beliefs On:

It is not okay project our expectations from others onto what they ought to be doing.

We may label it as fancy as we choose –

“I believe in your potential.”

But what it really means is this:

“I believe that if I was in your shoes, I would be able to do this.”

Many a times, the people on the receiving end of this, may not even realize that they are being given expectations (which they may choose/choose not to fulfill);

But also, the people on the giving end of this, are equally unaware of the weight of this sentiment;

And it is because of being unaware (on the receiving and giving end), that we need to reflect on this — to make a conscious attempt to be aware.

You see, everyone is a driver of their lives — they get to choose what they do/do not, with the resources they have at their disposal, wherever they are at any given point;

Yes, if you were in that situation, you might do it differently — but again, that is you — not them;

Also, just because you would choose to do it differently, doesn’t make it universally right — it just makes it right for you — not necessarily (or at all) for them.

And that is why, if you truly want to believe — believe in this:

What Is Okay To Place Your Beliefs On:

Believe in the person.

Believe in others.

There. That’s it.

Believe in them, irrespective of what they choose to do/not do.

Potential is a spectrum — it is subject to so many variables that are uniquely built for each of us, and are constantly interplaying with each other to create one-of-a-kind situations for each of us;

For ourselves, and not for all of us universally.

When you believe in others, you believe in their ability to navigate — to do well for themselves;

Not what you define “well’ for yourself.

When you believe in others, you believe in who they are — irrespective of what you expect they can/cannot do.

When you believe in them, you believe in everything they choose/choose not to do.

And that’s how you drive the toxicity away — from yourself and them.

Questioning what we believe in when it comes to others, is key in creating healthy relationships (of any kind — friendship, romantic, family, professional, etc.)

At the end of the day, the least we can do is offer unconditional support and understanding — and it’s not even that hard to do if we really look at things the way they are (as opposed to how we want them to be).

When you believe in someone else’s potential — you’re really believing in your own;

Believe in them just as they are — in a way that has nothing to do with yourself.

When we believe in others, and simply believe in them — it is only then that we truly accept them.

And a little acceptance is all that we really look for, isn’t it?

So, make conscious efforts to be someone who does it first — and nurture a healthy mindset that serves as your guiding light.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store