Perhaps my goal is too big…maybe I should make it more realistic. I mean…I’m good and everything, but I haven’t been able to achieve this goal, it shows up on my list every year and there it sits undone again. It would be so awesome to cross that off my list, and even more awesome to feel the benefits from getting there…but I haven’t so maybe it’s not “in the cards” for me, maybe I should just give up and move on.
Have you ever had a thought like that? Who or what decided what is realistic for me, and when did that happen? Was it someone from my past that told me I wasn’t good enough, like when my 3rd grade teacher told me I wasn’t a great reader; was it something in the past that I tried and it didn’t work out, like when I tried pitching in little league ? It turns out my goals aren’t too big, I’ve just learned to play small with some things.
We have all developed limiting beliefs around who we are and what we’re capable of. Because I haven’t succeeded in the past, I believe I won’t succeed in the future. As a result, out of my fear of pain, I begin to constantly focus on being “realistic”. I’ve realized that when I say “let’s be realistic” I’m really just living in fear, deathly afraid of being disappointed again. Out of that fear, I develop beliefs that cause me to hesitate, to not give my all – consequently I get limited results. And I’ve realized I’m not alone.
So, now I practice being less “realistic”, at least by other people’s standards. Which is not to say I live in “La la land”, it means I make a practice of challenging myself to continuously improve by consciously taking a moment to analyse my own thoughts. If I’m going to make an error in life, I’ll err on the side of overestimating my own capability.
Next time you catch yourself giving up or procrastinating on getting a result that’s important to you, ask yourself “How is my thinking getting in my way?”
Clint Best is a business coach and the founder of Kaizen Business Coaching in Kelowna, BC. Clint has been guiding forward thinking business owners through change and growth since 2002.