Should You Lower The Bar Instead of Raising It?
By Noah St. John
We often hear that we must “raise the bar” in order to improve our performance and be more successful. That term “Raise the bar” is a metaphor borrowed from the sports world, meaning to constantly strive for better, farther, faster.
While it’s a great aim to have, is it the way life really works?
For example, let’s say you want to be a champion high jumper, so you hire someone to coach you. On the first day of training, you run onto the practice field, all motivated and ready to go.
As you’re getting yourself psyched, the coach sets the bar at 7 feet high, because that’s where the world’s best high jumpers perform at. So you’re standing there looking at the bar waaaaaay up there.
The coach yells, “Come on, you can do it! Think positive! Get motivated!”
You, being the trooper you are, and not wanting to disappoint the coach, take a few steps back, then run as fast as you can, jump up with all your might… smack!
Not even close. You miss the bar by a mile.
“That’s okay!” the coach says. “You’ll do better next time.”
You gamely try again and again. The coach tries to keep you “motivated” through affirmations, visualization and positive reinforcement. But you miss that stupid bar every single time.
Will this method ever work? Of course not.
Yet, how many of us are doing this to ourselves every single day?
For instance, let’s say you have a goal of making a million dollars a year in your business. What if you only made a lousy half million this year? Would you feel like you had a bad year… like you had failed?
Many people set themselves up to fail because their internal bar of success is set too high. Sometimes, our bar is so high that even when we DO accomplish something meaningful or significant, it never feels “good enough”.
But the great news is that all of this is within your conscious control. No one is setting the bar but YOU. No one is telling you “It’s not good enough” but YOU. And no one needs to change their mind but you.
Keep Reading for how YOU can harness this power for your benefit NOW…
|Did You Know That Asking
A New Kind of Question
Can Change Your Life?
For example, one of my clients called me because she was reading my Afformations book, with her daughter-in-law. My client had earned millions of dollars and was highly respected in her industry. She told me that at one point in the book, she started to cry because it was so emotional for her.
I asked her what part made her cry. She said, “When I read the part about being enough!'”
Here was this highly successful person—someone others looked up to, even envied because of her success. Yet she herself didn’t feel good enough, even with all that outer success. Her bar really needed adjusting.
That’s why I often advise my coaching clients to LOWER the bar. Here are some examples of what I mean by raising the bar:
- “I need to close more sales.”
- “I need to write this article for my blog.”
- “I need to make a million dollars by the end of the year.”
- “I need to lose 20 pounds.”
- “I can’t make a mistake.”
Sure, these are all fine things to shoot for. But what happens if you DON’T meet them? And what is your PLAN to achieve them in the first place?
Without a plan, all you have are more excuses to beat yourself up. So, here are some examples I give my clients to LOWER the bar:
- LISTEN to your prospects more than you talk AT them. This will naturally increase their trust in you, which over time will lead to more sales.
- Write the first 100 words of your article. Then, write the next 100. Then the next. Pretty soon, you’ll be finished.
- Take a course or talk to a financial advisor on smart ways to invest your money. Then, follow a strategic plan to grow your money.
- Exercise for 15 minutes a day, every day.
- Give yourself permission to make mistakes and learn better ways of doing things.
Take Action Challenge: List 5 things you can do today, this week, and this month to lower the bar.
Noah’s Note: Giving yourself permission to lower the bar gives you permission to be human, and permission to succeed.
“Dear Kristen — I am a listener to your wonderful recordings. I wanted to THANK YOU for the quality and the depth of your choices. I have enjoyed tremendously what your guests have to say and even signed up for a few of the offers.
YES, I am such a fan of using “mini-wins” to gain you massive momentum. And one of the best ways to do that is to make sure you are actually celebrating the mini-wins.
Personally, I have time set aside each night to look back on the day and look for ALL of the mini-wins and then celebrate them!
I don’t use this time to think about what I wish I had done that I didn’t, and I don’t use it to discover how I can do better the next time – nope – I use it for one thing and one thing only…
To discover and celebrate ALL of the mini-wins I had that day.
Do the same and you will be setting yourself into an unstoppable momentum that is filled with JOY! How does it get any better than that?!