I was interviewed recently for an article on the topic ofgoal setting. I was asked how to help people set realistic goals. In a prior blog (In Defiance of Doubt: The Wrongness of Naysayers) I talked about how naysayers have a false claim on reality. They’re always happy to tell us what’s realistic.
In this instance, the writer of the article was a parent who admitted she discourages her kids from goals that might be too ambitious. I’m aparent, and I can sympathize with her. I hate seeing my kids fail. Their disappointment breaks my heart.
As a motivational speaker, however, I recognize the importance of letting people fail. Dreaming and pushing yourself as close tothis dream as you can is the only way to find out what’s possible. And usuallyit’s more than you think.
But failing itself is an important experience for kids. Ithelps them grow and mature. It prepares them for a tough world. Learning tobounce back at a young age is vital. The only way to learn this is to first get knocked down. Kids need to lose, to have their hearts broken, to experience injustice. They need to feel embarrassment and disappointment. They need towork hard to achieve a goal and then fail. It’s painful to experience, and even harder for a parent to watch. But that’show we build character and become resilient.
So how to do you help people set realistic goals? Encourage them to dream big. Feed their fire. Since most of us don’t know how good wereally are, the dream is probably closer to reality anyway. Even if they fail, they’re learning to succeed.