It is good to have high expectations for both yourself and others around you. This helps you by having something to aim for and encourages you to do well.
But is there a time when high expectations can prove to be more of a hindrance than a help? I think it depends on the character of the person. Some people find high expectations to be too overwhelming and so they give up before they have even tried. For years I believed others were more capable than me and I would never reach their level of expertise in any area so I gave up. This was detrimental to me reaching any goals.
Sometimes you have to realise that you won’t have the impetus to move forward. This could be for a number of reasons. Maybe you are not ready to make the changes to reach your full potential or it could simply be that you are satisfied with where you are right now or something else entirely. If you want to change, looking at why you are not could be a perfect thing to do.
For me, I have a long term goal that we are aiming for as a family. I had thought the goal would just happen somehow someway and everything would work out. However, life is simply not like that. If you have a goal, vision or dream you need to work towards it. Maybe you need training, maybe you need to do something you have never done before.
You don’t reach a point of competence or expertise by doing nothing to get where you want to go. You have to change and develop and grow. If you don’t have high expectations of yourself and take the time to find out the steps you need to take to get where you want to go, you’ll never reach it.
Let me give you an example – if your goal is to be fit enough to run a marathon, you don’t go out and get a pair of running shoes and the next day go run one. Running marathons wearing the correct outfit is part of completing it but you also have to take time and preparation to get there. Yes, have the high expectation of yourself that you can do it, but be realistic and accept you won’t be running a marathon tomorrow.
There will be times you want to give up on your end goal. Knowing WHY you want to do something at this point will really help you. Also, you will need to look at your life and see if you are truly practicing the self-care that will support you in your aims to reach the goal. I have realised that not every form of self-care is appropriate for the stage of life you are at. For example, when I was really poorly, just having the television on and allowing programmes to wash over me without doing anything was ideal, but now I am doing better, things like journalling and getting out of the house is more important and what I need.
If you find it hard to take the steps to make your goals happen, one thing that might help is someone you are accountable to. There are lots of ways to do this. Some people have the drive to do things themselves and if that’s you, set the goals and go for it! Whatever way you pick, you need to know that it will work for you.
High expectations and acceptance run side by side. You just need to be careful or aware of where you have high expectations and plan ahead to get there. Being realistic in your abilities while expecting you can improve and develop and grow them is the wisest thing. Circumstances can come up that are unplanned for so make sure whatever steps you take, this is accounted for, too and don’t be afraid to move deadlines if that becomes necessary.