Thursday, August 15, 2013

Setting Goals

The people who took the Leaving Cert last June got their results yesterday, and, as always, some are fine with what they got, some are extremely happy, and of course some are extremely disappointed. Happens every year. I'm going to sit my exam two years from now, and I really want to be happy with whatever I get. I realise that being me, that means getting an A in almost everything, which is damn near impossible.

I'm a sucker for goals. I love them. I love setting them for myself, I love when I could feel the process of reaching that goal molding me into becoming better at whatever I want myself to become better at, and of course I love the feeling of achieving that goal, of finally reaching the top of the mountain I was trying to climb. Of course there's also the other side of that situation, when I fail at reaching the goal that I'm trying to get to, and I would spend more than I probably should wallowing and feeling sorry for myself and feeling disappointed and sometimes quitting altogether.

The problem is I nearly always set goals that are too hard to reach or too advanced for my skill, which I guess is good because I always have something to strive for, but at the same time I take it too hard on myself when I fail at reaching that goal, even though I know that it was too difficult for me. Growing up I was taught to always strive for perfection, to be the best at whatever it is I'm doing. My parents didn't appreciate mistakes. they still don't. They don't see how valuable mistakes can be, how one can learn from it so s/he wouldn't make the same mistake again. And so I grew up inheriting that kind of mindset, that I always have to do things perfectly and I should always come out the best at whatever field it is. I have learned what is wrong with that mindset now and that I should strive for the best that I myself can do and not compare myself to other people. But I guess the problem now, that I think stemmed from how I was raised, is setting unrealistic goals for me and not fully recognizing what I am and I'm not capable of.

And so that's what I'm trying to change this year. For the next two years I'm going to try and analyse myself properly, to accept that I can't be really good at everything and to lower my unrealistic expectations and yet still have something to strive for. When I get my results and I don't have an A in, say, Chemistry, I want to be able to not look down on myself and to recognise that that was the best that I could do in that subject, and there was no way that I could've done better.

-Danielle.

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