3 Reasons Why You Should Not Be Realistic
The following is a guest post from Theresa Ho.
“Being realistic is the most common path to mediocrity.” – Will Smith.
Have you ever caught yourself saying, “I’m just trying to be realistic” because everyone around you is telling you to be more realistic.
Well what if you weren’t trying to be realistic? Where would you be now with your goals and dreams?
I’ll admit I used to say this phrase a lot. “I’m just trying to be realistic.”
Looking back, I’ve discovered I’d say it in the following 3 situations.
1. I Disliked Change
We are wired up to resist the one constant in our lives – change.
And I was no different.
For example, when I used to work at my office job, someone would suggest something super ambitious that involved big change and I would baulk.
I wasn’t exactly keen on putting more hours into work, because I saw little value in what it would bring to me or the organization.
The reality is, I was frightened of the change too.
2) It’s The Truth
In life we can only control our efforts and our attitude.
Once you’ve completed something to the best of your ability, and you send it off, all you can do is wait for the news.
To give you an example, when you send immigration paperwork to the government, there’s a specific timeframe they often post regarding processing time.
So as much as people try and push and say they need their passports back within 24hrs.
I have to say, sorry, but the processing time takes 7 business days, so I’m just trying to be realistic, to set realistic expectations.
3. I’m Scared Shitless
Yes I am keen, but I am also scared shitless.
This third scenario is what alerts my mind to say, ‘Hold on a minute. Let’s explore further to see if there’s a way to be cautiously optimistic or ‘patiently unrealistic’
Because we live in a fear-driven society, and the majority of us have been conditioned to play it safe.
So to protect others and ourselves from disappointment and failure, this statement often rolls off our tongue automatically from what we think is a place of good intentions.
However, little do we know it could do more harm then good for our spirits because it is a quick way to kill our creativity and our dreams.
The fact is what we see and believe as realistic may not be what others believe to be realistic.
Our Beliefs Aren’t Real
You see our beliefs and what we perceive as possible or practical is based on the experiences we have had.
It’s our perspective of reality.
As such, when it comes to your dreams, don’t let this phrase kill it. Because in order to live beyond mediocre, to tap into your limitless potential you need to as John P. Strelecky would say ‘be patiently unrealistic’.
Because after all, who’s reality is it?
So take appropriate action and think on it before writing it off completely.
Here are some other reasons why it’s good to be unrealistic.
1. You Can’t Predict The Future
Realistically, you don’t know what the possibilities are.
Yes. It’s a paradox.
We often find ourselves blowing things out of proportion as to what could go wrong and underestimating our ability to handle whatever outcomes that arises.
What if instead, we overestimate what could go right and have confidence that we will be able to handle any consequences that come with it, be it good or bad.
Isn’t this as realistic? When you change your thoughts, your perspective change, and your world starts to change.
2. You Become Risk Averse
There is a well known term in economics and social psychology called risk aversion.
It’s usually confined to people being reluctant to go for large uncertain gains when there are small sure gains to be had.
But we can also apply it to life when we deny ourselves the benefits of taking risks.
When you play it safe, nothing much changes. It keeps you status quo.
You place limits on yourself.
When you take risks, you build your confidence and adaptability skills as you maneuver your way through with unpredictability and change.
When things go wrong, you learn to be better, smarter and stronger. In addition, you get notice.
And be it good or bad, unforeseen opportunities are more likely to arise than if you didn’t take a chance.
As you keep pushing the limits of your comfort zone, you start to see what is possible, your perception shifts, and you grow.
One caveat – before you take a risk put some thought into it. It’s important to evaluate and acknowledge it.
If you decide it is worth taking the risk, then prepare and mitigate it so that the odds will be in your favor.
3. You Will Be At Peace
Regardless of the outcome, by following your intuition and going after what may seem like an unrealistic endeavor, you will have honored yourself in going after your dreams.
It will by no means be a skip in the park, as anything worthwhile takes time and effort.
But the fact you pursued your dreams, you are opening the doorway to realizing your personal potential, and in fulfilling your spirit.
Because along your journey you will grow as mentioned above. So no matter what happens, you will be winning.
You may beg to differ, but it all comes back down to perception and how you choose to live and look at things.
So if you have a goal or dream ask yourself, where will you be now with your life if you weren’t trying to be realistic?
What would it feel like if you were to achieve it. What would it feel like if you took one step today to get you closer to it? What would that step be?