It is a common human trait that we overestimate our knowledge and abilities in any area we feel comfortable. At some point in our lives, we have experienced that overconfidence, be it in school, at office, in your business, in a relationship or any other part of our life. We set unrealistic goals in our lives and boost about how you are talented enough to achieve them. We forget that, we are, in fact, humans and not machines. To think we can get everything right all the time because we have great abilities is just being dense.
You have a math test and you think to yourself that you don’t need any preparation; you are definitely going to get an A grade. You put it off till the last minute, ending up with a B grade. You make an investment for your business, even though many advised you against it. You aim to lose 20 pounds in a month – you end up feeling miserable, weak and possibly even gained more weight. You have been a businessman for years, others don’t know anything about making investments – you end up losing a large sum of your money. Such incidents happen in everyone’s life.
Confidence is one of the key traits for success. Through confidence, we get past our fears and doubts, ending up accomplishing what we aimed for. However, overconfidence and overestimation of our abilities can lead us to added stress, failure and loss, because of which we feel humiliated, depressed and miserable. When a person tends to overestimate his/her abilities, they set up unrealistic goals and end up experiencing failure. As a result, they start doubting their selves and even start to lose faith. This is how the danger of overestimation and overconfidence can become an intimidating threat for us.
It is essential that we keep ourselves in check and feel content inside. Most importantly, we have to understand and admit that we do overestimate our abilities, set unrealistic goals and become overconfident. When we come to this realization, it will become better for us to alter and better ourselves in order to enlighten our path towards success. Our approach towards everything should be realistic. We must resolve to better understand our skills and abilities and utilize them in a more effective and progressive manner.
Here are a few useful strategies to help you to have a realistic approach and goals towards all the aspects of our lives:
Making a ‘Goals to Achieve’ Board
- Writing down your goals and aims are an excellent way to keep them in check. It is even better if you create a board and hang it up in your room or your work station to remind yourself about your goals and how you will achieve them.
- Includes statements like ‘don’t rush into things’, ‘relax and take a breath’ or ‘everyone knows you can do it, don’t stress yourself’ as these will remind you that even though you have all the abilities and confidence, it is better to keep yourself grounded.
- Include your aims and a few bullet points on how to accomplish them. State how much time you are giving yourself to achieve that specific target, steps to follow in order to accomplish them.
Setting Short Term Goals
- If you feel you will make unrealistic goals or leave them for the last minute as they are way too easy to spend time on, try breaking them into shorter goals. These can be your short term goal. This way you will have mini goals to accomplish to reach the long term goal.
- Keeping short term goals makes the task manageable and systematic. You will realize it is not as easy as it seems when you look at the many short goals you have to achieve to fulfill the ultimate goal.
Start Specifying Your Aims
- Make your aims and goals more specific so that they seem realistic. For example, your aim is to lose weight. Specify how much? What steps to take? And till when? Lose weight to become more fit by spending 2 hours exercising daily – this seems like a more manageable and realist goal to achieve as you made it more specific.
- Vague goals lead to underestimation of the time and effort it will take to accomplish them as they don’t have a clear end.
- Specify the timeline and schedule you will opt for when aim to lose weight. This will make it even more specific and manageable.
Start Measuring Your Actions and Feelings
- When you are aiming for something, measure your actions and feelings towards it. Are you taking it very lightly as it seems easy? Are you challenging yourself way more then you should in order to accomplish more?
- It is a good strategy to set aggressive goals but overestimating yourself by setting unrealistic goals, pressurizing and stressing yourself to achieve them can lead to a complete opposite result that you are hoping for.
- Keep your feelings in check. When you start thinking clearly, you will realize you are being overconfident.
- Get feedback from others. Ask your loved ones whether your goals are unachievable or if you are procrastinating just because you are over confident. You will be surprised how much a good a feedback will do to understand where you are going wrong.
Practice With One Goal
- Start with a one single goal in mind. Focus on it instead of trying to accomplish many goals at once.
- Doing too many things will only add to your stress and you will end up miserable and dejected.
- Realistic goals will keep you on the right path which will lead you towards the success you are looking for. Trying to aim for many things all at once is a surefire recipe for disaster.
- Start with one goal and learn to master it without feeling overconfident or being unrealistic. Once you get it under control, start adding more goals gradually.
Being confident about yourself; setting realistic goals and accomplishing them in a proper way leads to inner contentment and happiness. Once you learn the art of utilizing your abilities without overestimating them, you will understand how much better and victorious this enlightened path is.