Can Setting The Bar Too High Backfire?

18 Feb

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell

I was supposed to run 6 miles today. I ran 2 and a half. There were a number of variables working against me: It was hot as hell today, I had been feeling a bit under the weather and I hadn’t run since last Wednesday. Despite all of this, I pushed myself to run 6 miles instead of easing back into my running routine. This was a colossal fail on my part. I had to cut the run short and by the time I got back home I felt terrible. Physically I was dehydrated and over-heated. Mentally I felt defeated and discouraged.

I’m sure you can relate: I had set an unrealistic goal for myself and when I failed to achieve it, I was left feeling worthless. As 20-somethings we often push ourselves to set a lofty and ambitious goal – which is great – but we are unrealistic as to how we can accomplish these goals – not so great. Either we set a timeline that is far too aggressive or we are not prepared actually achieve the goal. Perhaps we lack education or experience or basic know-how. A lot of the time we simply lack patience. It’s easy to say that you want to own a home in the next 6 months, but if you don’t take the time to properly research your decision, you could be left feeling discouraged when it doesn’t pan out. Worse, you could be stuck with a payment you can’t afford because you didn’t prepare for meeting your goal. Don’t get me wrong, we should all be setting ambitious goals for ourselves. It helps to push us to our limits and allows us to accomplish things we never thought possible. But it is absolutely crucial to prepare ourselves sufficiently for what we are about to undertake. More importantly we need to be patient and realistic with our timelines.

So instead of feeling discouraged by my failed run this afternoon, I’m going to evaluate what went wrong and correct it so I can have a successful run tomorrow.

Until Next Time,



2 Responses to “Can Setting The Bar Too High Backfire?”

  1. Stephanie February 24, 2010 at 4:03 pm #

    I know the feeling. You have to know when to push yourself and when to give yourself a break.

  2. Nailah March 4, 2010 at 6:37 am #

    @Stephanie Yep, it’s definitely important to know when to just push through the burn-out. It’s similar to physical exercise. Sometimes you can push yourself and other times you just need to rest.N-

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