I had to come back and add this as it was eating at me, another one of those blanket a$$'s stories if you will:
When I was in grade school (5th grade) I was part of the schools track and field team. I was ok in most events, but really good at the long jump and relay.
In any case we were about to do our yearly qualifications for the long jump, and we had a new coach. This coach came out there and put the qualification line three feet from the jump line - no joke, 3 feet - and said qualifications will now begin. Needless to say every single person qualified as most of us could step over those two lines. The coach said ok, 2nd round qualifications will now begin. She then set the qualification line a good 75 feet from the jump line. We screamed and hollered and complained etc..etc.. until she finally agreed to set it back to the normal 12 or 15 feet we had every year. Before we jumped however she told us one simple rule, as long as we aim to only qualify (the 3 feet line) we will never jump as far as we could. Those of us that did qualify asked her to remove the line completely that year, I came in 2nd (because I fell back) but even then I jumped further than I ever had before. Durring practice that year the coach kept a line at the olympic world record as our goal, we never reached it (I didn't even come close). At the All City event that year, our school won the long jump. Last years winner (A smug little rich brat) jumped about as far as he did the year before, Mark (our #1 guy) beat him by almost two feet. I came in 4th or 5th, but I can still remember my final jump, the only thing I could see was that world record goal, not Mark's jump or anyone elses. Oh, and the year before that I didn't make the top 10.
I don't know how old you are, and I really don't think that matters a lot, but I do know over the last 45 years I have learned a lot of truth from those old stories - they stay around because you will realize some day that they are cold hard facts (irrelivant of age). Giving yourself a known and reachable goal will make sure you qualify 4th or 5th for sure, setting those goals much higher than you know you can reach will move you up a few notches, you just may win - but you will set the goal higher for the next that tries in the least.