How to Achieve Your Personal Best
A personal best is much more than just an arbitrary record that you set for yourself. Pushing yourself past a new boundary builds confidence and provides a proof that you can continue to improve yourself in whatever you do. If you are looking to refresh your confidence and positively affect your life, follow these steps to achieve a personal best.
Does talent really matter? Do innate abilities dictate what we can and can’t do? Read this to find out how the best of the best in every field achieve personal growth.
Is there something you are continually drawn to; something you have always wanted to do, but haven’t had the nerve? Maybe you thought you shouldn’t change careers and follow your lifelong desire to be a history teacher, because you didn’t know if you’d be any good at it. Maybe you thought you weren’t really talented enough to be a musician, or smart enough to be a lawyer, even though that is what your heart was –and still is – calling you to do.
Personal Growth is Always Possible
It seems that most people believe that to be great you have to be born great. Either you have it or you don’t.
Identify the most suitable area for your personal best. Even though a personal best is an admirable thing to achieve in any area of your life, you might as well make it useful if you’re going to do it. Think about parts of your life that are challenging and helpful toward improving yourself as a person, whether it’s your career, romantic life, fitness level or something else.
I Can Succeed if I Try: Good News or Bad News?
If the idea of working at something to achieve your personal best at it makes you want to curl up in your jammies with the remote control and a bag of chips, you might want to ask yourself whether or not it’s time for a change. Are you pursuing something that really doesn’t interest you, that really doesn’t captivate your heart and soul?
On the other hand, if you’re excited by the idea of pursuing personal growth in a certain endeavor, or there’s something that you feel drawn to, but all those doubts have stood in your way, it may be time to take action now. Your fears may be totally groundless.
Regarding Michael Jordan, the fact is that he was actually cut from his high school basketball team. According to Scott Miller et al. in the December, 2007 Psychotherapy Networker article “Supershrinks,” the image of the team roster posted in the locker room without his name on it was so unacceptable to him that it actually drove him to practice for hours each day just to improve his weak points. You know the rest of the story.
Don’t Clock Time, Stretch Yourself to Improve Your Skills
But let’s be clear: the research doesn’t indicate that simply spending more time at something enhances personal growth or leads to achievement. In fact, many people gain confidence over time in their pursuits and feel as if they are more effective, when the fact is that they have simply become more comfortable, not more effective.
For the time spent practicing to really matter, the effort has to be a deliberate practice to stretch oneself beyond where one is yet able to go; to bring one’s skills to the next level that is just out of reach. This is the factor that makes the great ones great.
There are implications here, even for people who don’t desire to be the greatest or the best. What this research uncovers is that people can be what they want to be. Whatever limitations people are born with in the talent department, those limitations do not define them. Working to improve will lead to improvement. Continually working to improve can lead to greatness. Are there any more reasons not to try?
Map out the journey to your personal best. You can’t simply go out and achieve your personal best in one day, and if you can then you should be setting a more difficult challenge. Make a road map for yourself that benchmarks smaller goals that will help you get to your personal best. Achieving these smaller goals will let you pace yourself and give you encouragement as you achieve them.