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Setting realistic expectations for personal growth May 12, 2014

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in Concept of personal growth, Goal Setting and Realization.
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One of the troubling and irritating tendencies we see with some personal growth writers and self-improvement philosophers is the idea that the only restrictions on our personal development potential are the limits that we impose on ourselves.

This theory is fine as long as it is meant to encourage us to set ambitious goals, to seek ideals, to do everything in our power to maximize our improvement efforts.

But the idea that there are absolutely no limits is flawed.

To tell people that anything is possible as long we set our hearts on it, work hard, and have faith, is to essentially be promoting an alternate universe of non-reality.

If taken to heart the “no limits” theory could damage our self-esteem and jeopardize our entire personal growth program.

We can have strong self-esteem and confidence in our ability to overcome obstacles, but if our goals are not realistic we are opening ourselves up to discouragement and eventual failure with our program.

Realistic goals + hard work = success and encouragement to do more

Unrealistic goals + hard work = failure and discouragement of further effort

The take-away

It’s not always that something is absolutely impossible.

It’s just that it might not be possible for us in our particular circumstances.

To be able to recognize the difference is an important part of progress in our personal growth efforts.

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