Living Up To Your Own Expectations

Goodbye 2015. Hello to another chance.

I have irrational optimism. Because of this, I have really high expectations for myself. And, if I’m honest, my expectations of myself are also, well, irrational.

Depending who you ask, this is either a blessing or a curse.

One one hand I believe I am always capable of more. I set big goals for myself, and I always expect myself to hit them quickly. The problem is that it always takes me longer and it’s always harder than I believe it will be. I used to get embarrassed about this. I’m fiercely competitive so failing feels like losing, and I hate losing.

Now, I am starting to see a pattern develop that I can leverage going forward.

In 2015, I set bigger goals and pushed myself harder than I ever have. I accomplished a lot.

My life, health, family, and business are better than they were at the end of 2014.

Still, I fell very short on some significant goals I wanted to reach. It’s really easy to feel low when I think about my failures. Especially because I feel like I let some people down because of them.

This tension used heavily weigh on me and bring me down. But, I have made some realizations that I want to share.

First, I have a little thought exercise I do whenever I feel low or overwhelmed. I simply ask myself, “If someone told you 5 years ago that you would be where you are today, would you be happy about it?”

It’s so easy to look at my current situation and forget about the context that is my whole life. The truth is every season of my life has had difficulties. Progress doesn’t eliminate difficulty. If anything it brings on more because progress is in itself difficult.

If my answer to this question is ever, “No,” I will need to seriously consider making some changes.

Second, I have learned to leverage my irrational optimism. I believe it can always get better and I can always do more. Failure won’t deter me from that. If anything the goals should grow more. Eventually experience will catch up, the people around me will grow, and progress will happen faster than it is happening now.

As long as I am pushing towards big goals, I will be better off tomorrow than I an today. 2016 is just another shot at actually pulling off my goals.

I will end this by saying that everything I have accomplished is because of God. This can all go away at any time. That would be tough, but it would be alright. In the end, my irrational optimism is because of God.