Everyone is blessed with different strengths and weakness . What takes people 1 day to do may take you 1 month to do. As a student, I know students can obtain better grades for their exams if they put in the effort. But in the long run, I know it’s wiser for students to focus on their strengths, instead of their weaknesses.
Just because you can do what someone else is doing, doesn’t mean you have to what they are doing.
Not everyone wants to climb a corporate ladder. Not everyone wants to be an entrepreneur or an artist. Some people prefer to live in a penthouse with a beautiful city view, while others prefer to live in a small cottage in a peaceful countryside.
It’s pointless to compare apples with oranges. So don’t compares yourself with other and you will have less high expectations for yourself.
1. Focus on process goals instead of outcome goals.
There are two types of goals. One which focuses on the outcome and the other focuses on the process.
If you are a writer, outcome goals would be to finish your book or your blog post by a certain date. At that date, you want to see the book or your blog post complete. It’s fine having outcome goals, but people tend to attach expectations to their outcome goals.
Process goals, on the other hand, would be like writing daily for at least an hour. They are more like habit which you develop over time. Process goals are less stressful because they aren’t based on your progress or your abilities. It’s based on your commitment. You set aside a time for writing and you write. It doesn’t matter how fast you write or how much you write. As long as you schedule a time for writing and you follow through, you reach your goals.
Having no expectations doesn’t mean you have no standards.
Some of us confuse expectations with standards. You don’t expect everyone to treat you well.You may not have any control over the outcome of your work. You don’t expect hard work would guarantee success. But you can still show up daily and do your work because it’s part of your standard.
Process goals are about standard and boundaries.When you let go of the outcome and put more of your attention on your action, you would expect less from yourself.
2. Be open to changes and possibilities.
Never be fixated on the outcome, your plan, your goals and etc. Anytime you are fixated on something or someone, expectations are bound to be there. Because you limit yourself when you can’t live without something or someone.
Plans often fail.
It’s not about having the perfect plan. It’s about reflecting and changing your actions along the way. Entrepreneurs don’t become successful because they have the perfect plan right at the start. They put their ideas out there. If it doesn’t work, they understand why and makes changes to their ideas and then execute their ideas again. It’s an iterative process.
A plan is supposed to be a plan. It’s not the real thing. When new information comes in, you are allowed to change your direction.
And a plan is made in the past.If something needs change right now, change it. Be open to the possibilities. Don’t lock yourself with some expectations you formed in the past.
3. Allow others to manage their expectations of you.
You may have no expectations for other people or situations. But other people may have expectations of you.
- Parents expects you to be a doctor, lawyer or accountant.
- Your partner expects you to spend time together.
- Your children expect you to be there for all their soccer matches or dance rehearsals.
- The society expects you to go to college, get married and have kids.
- Your peers expect you to be at their level in terms of wealth, status and relationship.
Most of us may have gotten our expectations from someone else. We are pressured to do something because someone else wants us to do it. But most of the time, we do have a choice.