No personal development program worth its salt fails to discuss
goals and their importance. As the saying goes, “If you don’t
know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” You can’t
get anywhere without knowing the address. It’s true that the
world’s most capable computer sits between your ears, but if
you don’t give it clear instructions, it can’t deliver.
Or, to use another analogy, the first step in building a new
house is to create an idea of what the end product will look
like. Then you can work the details of what you want to have
in it. Based on that, you can develop the blueprint. Once you
have the blueprint, you can create a plan for actually building
The first step in achieving the life you deserve and desire is
having a vision or a goal. You need to know what you’re looking
to create in your life. Goals need to be developed in every area
of your life, whether financial, spiritual, relational, or personal.
The clearer the goal, the better your brain can utilize its ability
to shift it from idea to reality.
Don’t underestimate your capability when developing your
goals. You can attain any goal you wish, regardless of the fact
that you do not know how to achieve it.
The universe has no limitations and has an enormous abundance
for you to tap in to by using the rules that work. There
are more than enough resources available for the taking. Your
goals are available to you, but there are rules in the universe
that you need to follow. These rules are the secret of how all
the people who live the lives of their dreams have successfully
accomplished their feat. Once you understand and apply them,
you will own the power to create what you dream and desire
and bring it to fruition.
The Difference Between Goals and Expectations
Before we work on these goals, let’s look at the difference
between goals and expectations. The importance of this distinction
cannot be underestimated. Confusing these two concepts
can be the difference between success and failure – whether
you live your dream life or not.
What is the difference? It is one thing to set a goal towards
achieving an outcome, which, as discussed earlier, most likely
will require you to work through a fair bit of pain. It is quite
another to simply expect an outcome, as if it will happen just
because you want it to, with little work involved and certainly
A goal pulls you in the direction you choose to move
towards. It is your guiding light. It gives you direction and drive
so you will continue working towards your desired outcome.
As you make progress and get closer to your goal, then you
celebrate and fuel the success cycle. That gives you a renewed
and powerful momentum, enabling you to move towards the
outcome with greater precision and vigor.
A positive self-image is essential for physical and psychological
If, in the course of bolstering your confidence, you set unrealistic
expectations, you’re setting the stage for a bout of anxiety
and depression. Life is not perfect – accept it.
Exemplary performance – on the job or at home – is one way
to make yourself feel good. It’s commendable to work towards
a goal and succeed. But what happens if you don’t function up
to par? You must learn to distinguish between excellence and
perfection. Excellence is an acceptable goal. Allow room for
growth and room for occasional error.
Consider these unrealistic expectations:
• “I should always be an amazing person…parent…spouse.”
• “I should always be happy.”
• “People should always treat me as I treat them.”
• “I should always be more outgoing.”
Be honest with yourself – these are unrealistic expectations,
which are difficult, if not impossible, to achieve.
How about this scenario:
• “I expect to overcome my anxiety completely, now.”
This is also not realistic. Your anxiety and depression did
not appear in one second, so how can they be expected to
vanish in one second?
So what happens? Your anxiety remains, and you get irritated
and frustrated. You feel like a loser. You lose hope. You
How about this one?
• “I expect to see a noticeable improvement in my anxiety
This is realistic. You will feel like a winner even when you’ve
achieved only a modicum of improvement. Your hope is reinforced,
and your self-esteem is strengthened. You’re motivated
to continue working on recovery. You feel satisfied and content.
Set standards that reflect your values and that are within
your grasp. When you reach them, you’ll be thrilled and feel
great; you’ll be motivated to move ahead.
You need to review your expectations and adjust them
Why do you make unrealistic expectations that are destined
to disillusion you? The truth is, many of your expectations
are impressed on you by others. They impose their desires
and expect you to deliver. You need to rework your expectations
so they’re realistic – so you don’t fall into the throes of
Make realistic expectations for yourself and for others. Start
achieving them and enjoy the process of success!
When expectations are misunderstood and mis-utilized,
the results can be detrimental. For example, if you expect to
make a million dollars, earning “only” nine hundred thousand
will upset you. Even though you have achieved a major success
in moving towards your goal, you will be frustrated that you fell
short of your expectations.
Frustration is a negative emotion that kills your drive in
achieving your goals. It is the feeling of not being in control, the
feeling of being out of power and being defeated. Feeling that
you’re not in control destroys your momentum. Your feeling
of failure will hamper you from moving ahead with full force
towards your goals.
Imagine that you attained 90% of your expectations. You
would feel unstoppable and in control. This would empower
you to have the confidence to utilize a larger portion of your
personal power and supercharge yourself to get what you want.
The best thing you can do is dispose of your dysfunctional
expectations, ones that you know you will probably never
deliver on. Hanging on to them will only break your momentum
and rob you of confidence and feelings of empowerment.
The two major perpetrators in this regard are unrealistic
expectations and high expectations.
Unrealistic expectations are ones that will never happen, yet
you expect them to, setting yourself up for failure. When you
fail, this diminishes your momentum and self-confidence.
High expectations could happen, but they also set you up for
possible failure because of how difficult they are to attain.
Don’t set expectations too high. Remember, your goal is to
meet your expectations 90% of the time. That will increase your
momentum and build your self-confidence.
There are three categories of expectations that have great
control over you:
1. Expectations you have of yourself.
2. Expectations others have of you.
3. Expectations you have of others.
These expectations must be recognized so you can successfully
mitigate them and free yourself from their trap. Doing so
will substantially increase the power you need to move towards