Have you ever said to yourself that you’re going to try and do it all? Whether it’s changing your job, losing 10 pounds, running a half marathon, writing a book, volunteering and… whatever it might be. And, all at the same time?! Or perhaps it’s one big thing like losing weight. But your plan is to cut out sugar, wheat, dairy, caffeine and alcohol, and exercise every day, and all this from a place of having not done much exercise and eating what you want, when you want.
I totally have. There was a time when I wanted to start my own business, lose a certain amount of weight by following a strict paleo diet, start a supper club, write a book, fall in love, and I wanted it all to happen within the next month.
Throughout a lot of my adult life I’ve gone through phases like this – where if I was going to do something, I had to do it all at once or there wasn’t any point in doing it. I believed it was purely down to sheer willpower and I just had to keep strong, stick to my ‘perfect’ plan, and everything would happen according to how I wanted.
Now, I am all for having dreams and goals and setting the bar high for what you want in life – I truly do believe that anything is possible. But, looking back at my plans for how I wanted to achieve these things, I have tended to be a bit unrealistic in my expectations on myself.
It’s natural as humans to want change to happen overnight. We live in a society which favours things moving at lightning speed and if anything takes too long, we’re not interested any more. We also think that all it takes is a ‘can do’ attitude and ‘to do’ list the size of your arm, to get anything done. But often we don’t take into consideration that life is stressful and busy and that we are human, yes, we are human! We have ‘on’ days and ‘off’ days and can’t always predict what might come up. Also, if we are trying to live from one extreme to another and expecting a lot, we are naturally going to get tired and possibly burned out leading to the opposite of what we want happening.
Slowing down and dealing with one thing at a time rather than having these high expectations and radical changes to implement is so much more manageable and hence achievable! Less really is more.
Where do you set unrealistic expectations on yourself?
This blog is an excerpt from my book, Emboided. You can get your own copy here or anywhere you buy your books online.
Photo by Yoksel Zok on Unsplash.