I’ve always believed in setting ambitious goals, in reaching for the stars.

Setting the bar so high forces me to stretch and grow and break through boundaries in order to expand my capabilities.

If I expect anything less of myself, the less I’ll accomplish.

Of course, there’s also a pressure that comes with this mindset.

And too often that pressure has scared me away, stopping me before I ever got started.

When I committed to writing 100 words for 100 straight days, I felt both capable and daunted.

While the 100 consecutive days were intimidating, the 100 words were not. That’s a few paragraphs, a handful of run-on sentences. I could do that, I thought.

Then a funny thing happened when I wrote that first article:

I wrote 265 words. With ease.

Now, had you told me beforehand I had to write 265 words, I would’ve been more anxious.

I would’ve stressed more beneath the burden, and I would’ve conducted a word count after every phrase, counting down to the finish line while questioning if I could make it across.

But by giving myself a molehill to climb instead of a mountain, I was freed up to do what I needed to do — and then some — without the weight of overwhelming expectations.

That said, I’m not giving up on reaching for the stars. I believe there’s value in dreaming big and aspiring to the impossible.

I just might go about getting there in a different way.

Like, say, taking one step at a time.

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This article originally appeared on 100 Naked Words.

Originally published at medium.com