Tonight we are watching the Biggest Loser and I am just thinking about some of the ways that we have been held back in the past and how we short change ourselves by not shooting for what we want because we just don’t think we can do it.
I do this myself, sometimes I set low expectations sometimes so that I won’t be disappointed. Trouble is that if you are going to work for something small you won’t go through with it. Instead you have to set huge giant expectations and goals for yourself so that you would be disappointed not to get them but excited to work through it.
Do You Know How Big Your Goals Are?
When I am working with my kids on a homework project I see this in them often. Kids are crazy because they often think that they can do anything, my son in learning to program in Java and he is only 9 but when he has a school project that will take an hour he thinks it is just way to big. I have to laugh because in this case the project is easy and well defined and we can have easy steps, still there are tears and he thinks it is just too hard.
I was thinking about this yesterday because my daughter also had a project that went in fits and starts this weekend but in the end they both got their projects finished and both turned out better than I had originally expected.
Let Yourself Fail if Needed
So why don’t we do this for ourselves? Why do we set half ass plans and goals? I want a lot in a lot of areas in my life and sure I have been disappointed in the past and I am sure I will be in the future but if we don’t even take a shot at some big, giant goals and fail and allow ourselves to be disappointed then how do we even know what we are capable of?
One reason that I think we hold back sometimes is just to protect our own ego. Failure will make us feel less of ourselves, at least that is what we think, so we avoid failure at all costs in some parts of our lives. Really though our own bruised ego is a lot easier to handle when we are making big bets on ourselves and achieving things we didn’t think we could really do.
Not Perfection, Just the Next Step
Another problem is that we are worried that our plan may not be perfect. That is bad thinking. Really even the best plans that we can make will get derailed by things that are either our of our control or events that we did not foresee, Don’t worry about perfect plans just worry about the next step in the journey.
Zig Zigler, the greatest business coach and motivational expert probably in the last 50 years once said that a plane going from New York to Dallas on a windy day will go off course 5 minutes after it takes off because of that wind and then will correct it’s heading. 5 minutes later that plane will be off course again and will have to recorrect again. Eventually the plane will make it Dallas as expected but the course taken will be different than the one originally planned as it taxied down the runway in New York to take off.
I think this is another reason to have a gratitude journal, even any journal, just to see what we have failed at and succeeded at and allow ourselves to change course just a bit to see if we can reach higher and do better. We have to know that we have had past successes that we never really expected and failures that were “oh so close” to great victories in our lives