The scientific secret to unlocking your potential is found in a phenomenon known as the Pygmalion effect (a.k.a the Rosenthal effect) As science goes, it's one of the most straight forward formulas out there; higher expectations lead to better performance.
So, why don't we unlock our potential more?
The forumla is so simple! So, why don't we expect more from ourselves? The answer is fear. More specifically, fear of disappointment. We limited our expectations so that we limit our disappointments - he or she who expects nothing, is never disappointed - it stands as a self-protective mechanism, built in by us, that actively hinders our potential.
How to habitually unlock your potential
Instead of figuring out how to work at our best, after a bad outcome, we should embed potential unlocking habits into our daily routines. The absolute key to our development is a shift in mindset surrounding disapointment. We need to start embracing risks of disappointment or failure because avoiding them and as such aiming lower, is not "saving face", it's just a way to never face our fears. Disappointment in itself is not a bad thing but instead proof that we aim high, that we respect who we are and have confidence in our own potential.
The Potential Principle
"The Potential Principle" by author Mark Sanborn is about unlocking your imagination to pursue more of your potential. It has been dubbed as the "infallible system to close the gap between how good you are and good you could be." What this book tells us (much like all the other research on success) is that the only thing preventing one person over another, is mindset. The limit is quite literally our imaginations (and science) and as cheesy as it sounds, if anything is going to stop you from reaching your potential, don't let it be you.