It’s already familiar to us that real progress happens when we are prone to leaving our comfort zone. And challenging yourself to do that has become something of a set rule. Wanting to believe this, we are getting in terms that it must be done (do what you have to do). But it’s not being out of your comfort zone that gives the results, it’s the length of the stretch you are about to make when out of it. And it soon becomes clear that only by challenging yourself, and making that stretch far and wide, can you achieve real success no matter what aspect of life involved. Successful people always go for the next challenge, setting the bar higher than the one before. Many of them realized that it’s the only way to step out and make progress. And the thing that I just recently realized is that this behavior didn’t happen overnight. It’s rather an act of persistence and habit.
Challenging yourself only within the frame of what is achievable at this moment, will never make you change; for better or for worse. What is real to you now in terms of goal setting, is only equivalent to your present capabilities. And setting your goals depending on present capabilities, means that you don’t intend to change, to improve. Therefore, your challenges must by way out there, seemingly unrealistic at the time being. Only then you will step out of your comfort zone in a resolute manner, reaching further than you were used too.
So How Should We Challenge Ourselves?
This one is simple really. You just need to set the bar higher than what you usually prefer. Then we are talking about real progress. I for example like to set goals for myself that seem pretty much unrealistic, as others would say. But then, knowing that “being realistic” is what gives birth to mediocrity, this shouldn’t bother you. It doesn’t bother me, at least.
My point is, that challenging yourself to do more, you are only setting the bar higher – and the higher the bar, the wider the stretch. Therefore, bigger the improvement you get. Setting higher standards means that you will push yourself more. Challenging yourself more will only reveal to you qualities you didn’t know you had. Let the others be realistic, and you aim for what you think is the best for you, and see how things will turn out. The good thing is that you will never be satisfied with mediocrity any more. And that alone is a huge success. It’s a shift of mindset, if you will, that changes everything, the whole game in fact.
Another thing that will radically change is your perception. Challenging yourself for more, will change the picture you have about yourself, and you will start to see yourself already there, already changed, for way better. This will also give your self-esteem an injection similar to nothing before. Convincing yourself that you will conquer the challenge, will indeed make you believe it. And then your self-esteem and self-confidence will go through the roof. We constantly challenge ourselves in everyday situations. But, it’s knowing where to set the bar that will improve our capacities. Challenging yourself in what other people would consider unrealistic, will make you stretch more, making your way to better results.
First of all ask yourself WHY?