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Setting goals and striving for personal improvement is a common pursuit for many individuals. However, the approach to goal-setting can greatly impact one’s motivation, performance, and overall satisfaction. In this blog post, we will explore the concept of self-setting a bar low enough to set one’s personal best better than before. We will discuss the benefits of this approach, how to implement it effectively, and why it can lead to long-term success.

The Problem with Unrealistic Expectations

When it comes to setting goals, it’s easy to fall into the trap of setting unrealistic expectations. While aiming high can be admirable, setting the bar too high can lead to frustration, burnout, and a sense of failure. When we constantly strive for perfection or set goals that are beyond our current capabilities, we set ourselves up for disappointment.

On the other hand, setting the bar too low can also be detrimental. It may lead to complacency, lack of motivation, and a lack of personal growth. So, how can we strike a balance between setting achievable goals and pushing ourselves to improve?

The Power of Incremental Progress

One effective approach is to set a bar that is slightly lower than what we believe we can achieve. By doing so, we create a sense of confidence and momentum. When we consistently surpass our own expectations, it boosts our self-esteem and motivates us to continue pushing forward.

Setting a lower bar doesn’t mean lowering our standards or settling for mediocrity. It simply means acknowledging our starting point and giving ourselves room to grow. By focusing on incremental progress, we can build a solid foundation for long-term success.

Benefits of Setting a Lower Bar

1. Increased Motivation: When we set achievable goals, we are more likely to stay motivated throughout the process. Each small victory builds momentum and fuels our desire to keep going.

2. Enhanced Learning: By setting a lower bar, we create opportunities for learning and skill development. We can experiment, make mistakes, and learn from them without the fear of failure.

3. Sustainable Progress: Setting realistic goals allows us to maintain a steady pace of progress. It prevents burnout and ensures that we can sustain our efforts over the long term.

4. Improved Self-Confidence: Exceeding our own expectations boosts our self-confidence and belief in our abilities. This positive mindset can have a ripple effect on other areas of our lives.

Implementing the Approach

1. Assess Your Starting Point: Take an honest look at your current abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. This self-awareness will help you set a realistic baseline from which to start.

2. Set Incremental Goals: Break down your larger goals into smaller, achievable milestones. Each milestone should be challenging but within reach. Celebrate your progress along the way.

3. Embrace Failure as a Learning Opportunity: Understand that setbacks and failures are part of the growth process. Instead of viewing them as roadblocks, see them as opportunities to learn, adapt, and improve.

4. Adjust and Raise the Bar: As you consistently meet and surpass your goals, gradually raise the bar. This allows for continuous growth and prevents stagnation.


Self-setting a bar low enough to set one’s personal best better than before is a powerful approach to goal-setting. By setting achievable goals and focusing on incremental progress, we can maintain motivation, enhance learning, and achieve sustainable success. Remember, it’s not about setting the highest bar, but about consistently surpassing our own expectations and striving for continuous improvement.