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Does Setting the Bar High Lead to Underachieving?

Yesterday I watched two guys playing chess and found myself thinking, “That looks fun, but I’m not good enough to know how to play optimally, so why bother?” As I kept watching I noticed myself having fun just thinking about the moves I would make if I was playing, and I thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if I could play just for fun and not be invested in winning or losing?”

That got me thinking. If I’m setting the bar this high for a game I don’t even play, and it’s preventing me from even starting, what is this line of thinking doing to things I genuinely want to accomplish?

When I set the bar too high on my writing, I stop writing. When I set the bar higher than I believe I can achieve, I stop believing. And when I stop enough of my momentum often enough, I unnecessarily delay myself from experiencing all the desires I’d otherwise be more than ready for. I’m chronically setting the bar high and consistently underachieving — and up until now I never saw the connection between the two!

Does setting the bar too high seem to stop you before you even try things, too? It’s like telling yourself, “I can’t go on the freeway because I’m not traveling 70 mph,” so you take your foot off the accelerator and drive somewhere you can coast to instead. Somehow we’ve convinced ourselves that setting the bar high leads to greater success, ignoring the fact that setting it too high only leads to giving up.

It’s time to lower that bar and start having fun! That’s the thought that empowered me to start writing this post. And that’s the thought that grew from a simple story into a powerful insight. If I’d tried to make this article “good enough” from the get-go I never would have gotten it off the ground because, “Nobody cares that I watched two guys play chess.” But because I let myself start building momentum for the fun of it, it grew from something I believed didn’t really deserve to see the light of day into something that I’m genuinely proud of!

Wahoo! Go momentum, go!

From now on I’m putting fun first and investing in the ingredients that can grow into something more, instead of beating myself up for not having what it takes to create what I want!

Who’s with me?

What unnecessarily high bar is preventing you from trying something that you would thoroughly enjoy if only you gave yourself the space to start having fun with it? Liberate yourself from those high expectations and let the joy of playful expansion carry you from stagnated to unstoppable! Comment below to let me know what new experience you’ll be allowing yourself now that you’re ready to get out of your own way and start having fun again!

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