Think small and you’ll get small things. Think big and you’ll have big successes, big experiences, and big achievements.
You may read that and wonder why you haven’t realized your career dreams. After all, you’ve been thinking big and dreaming big about your career, so why aren’t you where you want to be?
Is it possible that even though you think you are dreaming big, you are actually dreaming small and don’t realize it?
Does this sound familiar to you?
You’ve dared to dream big career dreams. You shot for the moon. A great deal of time and preparation, planning, and sweat equity went into a big effort.
Then your plans failed. And it was very discouraging.
So now you avoid taking chances. Instead of stretching and really shooting for your career dreams, you keep your dreams small and safe. After all, the one time you really tried to achieve your highest career dreams, you failed miserably.
Or, maybe for you, it is something different. Maybe you live in a world where your friends and family are all holding down jobs that pay the bills but have nothing to do with their dreams. Maybe they are happy with that, or maybe they aren’t, but you may not realize that it can be any different either way.
Whatever it was that led you to think too small about your career dreams, the problem is that mindset can cause you lots of problems. Playing it safe and aiming for small results can be dangerously limiting to your career.
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” – Harriet Tubman
Thinking small things occupies your mind. Because it’s busy, your mind doesn’t have time to imagine bigger results.
This is dangerous because those small thoughts lead to feelings and emotions that also lead to the way you act—in other words, the things you do. Taken a step further, the things you do create your successes and failures and the life you ultimately lead.
You may be very successful when you set out for a small career achievement. The problem is that focusing on this almost always guarantees a big achievement is impossible.
Here’s an example.
Imagine you’ve never made more than $55,000 per year. You are currently right at that number. You decide to expect more of yourself. You formulate a plan to get your earnings up to $65,000 per year.
There’s nothing wrong with that ambition. You’re planning on making just under 20% more than you are right now.
So good for you and your plan to earn more. You begin to put your plan into action. You learn new skills that are required for advancement. You volunteer for overtime. You apply for every new step up the corporate ladder when it becomes available.
The problem here is that you can only focus on one thought at a time. You thought small and small was what you got.
Thinking small (having limiting beliefs that you can’t make much more than you ever have in your life) was successful, but it was a very small success.
Achieving big things means doing things differently than if you aim for a small success. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean working harder. It just means working differently.
Remember that thinking small seldom leads to big career dream results.