We all hold to the belief that we must achieve something great in life. And honestly, we should. Life would be worthless if we sat around doing nothing at all to make a difference in the place we have been blessed to occupy.
But sometimes, in our attempt to achieve, we place too many expectations on ourselves and fail in our pursuit. We allow our expectations to set us up for disappointment.
Most of these expectations are self-imposed, thus leaving us with the choice to carry them as weights or release ourselves from their chains.
Imagination can be a dangerous thing. When we stop imagining ourselves to be who we are not, we make room to learn, grow and achieve.
Here are six things to stop expecting from yourself so you can make progress in life:
1. Stop expecting yourself to be perfect.
Perfection — the perfect house, the perfect marriage, the perfect career, the perfect school, the perfect exercise routine, the perfect meals, the perfect weight, the perfect cause and the perfect you — it seriously does not exist.
You are the way you are for a reason. While you should improve in areas you have control over, there are just some things you cannot change. The pressure to be perfect destroys self-esteem and ruins confidence.
2. Stop expecting yourself to run the world.
No matter how great you think you are, you will never be able to be in charge of the universe. Beyoncé might be a queen who can run her own kingdom, but even she can't run the whole world.
You are responsible for the life you live, not how other people choose to live their lives. Running one's self and one's own micro world is enough work to keep anybody busy.
3. Stop expecting brilliant behavior from other people.
But let's just be honest: Normally, this isn't how people behave. And when they don't, it is our responsibility to not let our disappointment and anger get the best of us.
You cannot control the behavior of other people. You can only control the behavior you choose to display.
4. Stop expecting success the first time around.
We have morphed into a society of impatient and vacated souls who quit the first time something doesn't go well. The key to mastering anything is to fail at it dozens of times before getting it right.
Stop thinking everything you touch will magically turn into gold. It may turn into dust first, and then, after several tries, out pops gold.
If things worked out the first time around, nobody would have any problems and all of the world's problems would be solved. But they don't, so you must keep trying.
5. Stop expecting excuses to save your life.
You know, we can give some really great, legitimate excuses when we want to. And some people will actually believe us and even sympathize with us. But here's the deal: Excuses will never save your life.
Most times — in fact, all the time — if you don't do the work, nothing is going to happen.
6. Stop expecting yourself to be powerful.
We all want to be supermen and superwomen, juggling a thousand different things perfectly in our brains without breaking a sweat. We're the best at everything, and we always make things happen. That's the dream.
Well, that dream is not true.
You are sometimes weak and faulty, not because you're a bad person, but because you're human. Stop trying to impress yourself, and certainly forget about impressing other people. Do the best you can, and it will all work out.
A version of this post was previously published on the author's personal blog.