Aiming so High is Keeping you from Success

You’re a high achiever.

You’ve accomplished a lot in your life, and you’re damn proud of it.  You set goals and make them happen - well, usually.

As a go-getter, in spite of all the goals you have accomplished over the years, I bet you’ve had your fair share that you failed to achieve because you aimed too high.

Am I right?

Sometimes when you aim too high, you keep yourself from being successful.  

When you aim too high and fail, it’s because you were working towards something that was out of your reach at that stage of your life.

That doesn’t mean it’s a bad objective, but when you set goals that are too high, you’re putting yourself on a path of disappointment and negative self-talk.

These tendencies, over time, will erode your confidence and get in the way of your ability to experience success that moves you forward.


You’re Aiming Too High

I’m the first to encourage people to aim high.  

We have to challenge ourselves, so don’t mistake what I’m saying as playing it safe when setting your goals.  

I’m also the first to say that it’s good to fail.

Not succeeding, from time to time, helps you refine your process and learn.  It makes you push harder.  

So, I have no problem with setting goals that are just out of your reach that challenge you and you might not achieve.  This is a good type of failure because it will allow you to assess what went wrong, change your course, try again, and make it happen.

This is how you learn and grow.

But, when you aim too high, you end up putting undue pressure on yourself to try to achieve something that is outside your reach at that time.

The thing is - you know it.  You know deep down when your goal is outside your reach and that’s part of what causes the negative vibes within yourself.

On the flip side, you also know when something is a reach, but do-able.  “Do-able” may mean a lot of work and hustling and you know you might not reach it, but you also know it’s within your grasp.

When you aim too high too soon, you’re allowing your Inner Bully the perfect opportunity to swoop in and kill your drive and motivation.

The problem with setting your expectations beyond what you can do is that you can’t fully learn from the failure because the lesson is beyond where you currently are.

Think of it like this - you wouldn’t expect a second-grade student to ace the exams of a fourth grader (barring any child geniuses in this analogy!).  The student might be able to pass a third-grade exam.  If they try it and fail, it’s closer to where they are so they will learn from that failure.  If, however, they fail at a fourth-grade exam, the concepts they neglected to achieve are still too far ahead of them for them to even learn from the failure.

So, how do you dial it back and not aim too high?


Be Realistic in your Goals

Again, I’m not saying not to challenge yourself.  In fact, I want you to challenge yourself!

When you push yourself, you get the chance to witness your strength, determination, and drive.  It also makes the victory of success that much sweeter.

But, you have to be realistic about where you are and then set the bar one or two steps ahead of that - NOT five or ten steps ahead.

It’s great to dream big, and I encourage you to do that, but you have to be aware that the big dream isn't where you aim first.

When you set unrealistic goals, you set yourself up to work hard towards something, never achieve it.  In the end, you're left feeling like what you ultimately want is never going to happen because you aren’t good enough.

Don’t do that to yourself.  

Give yourself the chance to move forward and succeed by being realistic in where you are so you can set challenging, yet achievable goals.



To wrap up, remember, I’m not suggesting you limit yourself to easy goals or never push yourself.

Keep challenging yourself, set goals that make you uncomfortable, but make sure the target is only a couple of steps beyond what you think is possible.

If you know the goal you want to achieve is out of reach, that’s okay!  Make it a two step or three step goal.

You’ll be much more likely to achieve the ultimate objective if you aim within your reach.