“Being realistic is the most common path to mediocrity.” – Will Smith
We all know that if we are to achieve anything worth while then we have to hold ourselves to higher expectations. When we settle for what we have we are conceding our dreams and our goals. Being content in my opinion is the #2 destroyer of all accomplishment. We take what we are given as though it is all we deserve. In reality you get what you settle for. On the other hand, I have found that the standards and expectations I hold myself to hinder my progress more than anything.
My #1 block to achievement – destroying my own confidence with the expectations I create.
I have goals that when I sit down and tell them to my friends and family, the look at me like I have a tail. It is a problem that many entrepreneurs, creators, visionaries, and leaders have. We want EVERYTHING!!!
I have a notebook of business, philanthropy, and artistic ideas that is over 50 pages long. It would take me 3 lifetimes to accomplish all of the things in that book at my current level of achievement. I want to start a high school, build homes for the less fortunate, give young adult opportunities to see the world and grow, help in my local community, raise a family, learn new skills, the list goes on and on and on and…..you get it.
When I create these lists and am unable to do everything on them, my confidence suffers. I tell myself I am not worthy, or incapable, or not smart enough, or I suck. So I quit things that I have started because I lose confidence in myself.
For me, this is my biggest barrier to creating the life I want. I start one thing and start seeing a little bit of success then I jump to the next. Take this blog for instance.
Since starting the blog 6 months ago I have changed what MSH! does probably a dozen times. I have flirted with goals setting/achievement, confidence building, working with college students, working with executives, organizational development, yada yada yada. I have struggled with an identity because I want to work with, help and DO everything for everyone. So you know what I have done in the last 2 months?
I have not posted, written, created a video, called potential customers, read a book on my topic even. As far as my business goes, I have made zero (0) progress in the last 6-10 weeks towards anything.
How is that for living up to expectations?
I have overwhelmed myself with wanting to do so many things that I have done none of them.
For me this doesn’t come in the form of giving up on a goal or a dream and letting it die. For me it comes in small moments of weakness where a decision needs to be made. That moment when you get home from a long day at work. You are tired. You need to run, clean the house, make some business calls, do some research, write a post, make dinner, you know the routine. So you know what I do? instead of checking a couple of boxes off the list, I take a nap. I am so overwhelmed with how much needs to be done with my business and still maintain your daily life, you decide it’s better to just avoid all of it.
This week though I had a personal break through. It came at work. I had a lot to get done, was feeling overwhelmed because I have high expectations for myself and the work I do. I have over extended myself by taking on to many projects. so instead of working towards them, I wasted time on YouTube “researching” personal development videos. I realized that there are no expectations of me except in my relationships. When it comes to business and my career, all of the pressure is self-inflicted.
I beat myself up, I talk myself down, I tell myself I have to do all these things or my life was a waste. No one close to me is saying these things. On the contrary. My family and friends tell me that I am already doing great things. That I have already achieved more than most. But I for chose not to hear the love and support. Instead I hear, “we expect more, you have potential to do so much, do more.”
It is a self-destructive behavior. So here is what I have done to get back on track.
- Forgive yourself. Tell yourself it is okay you got off track. That you don’t have to be everything to everyone. You don’t have to cure cancer, solve global warming and save all of the children. You are doing a great job and making progress.
- Focus on the people. All of you accomplishment mean nothing if you have no one around to share it with. Why do you want to be a millionaire anyway? Probably so you have the time and resources to spend more time with those you love. So start spending that time and effort with them now. Make them the priority.
- See something through. You only have to start over if you quit. Quit Quitting. Work hard on what you are working and be great at it. Once you reach a certain level of success, you will find yourself with more resources, time, and money to start one of your other projects. But until then, STAY THE COURSE.
- Reward yourself. Do things you enjoy. If you like to ski and haven’t gone in a few years, buy a season pass this year and use it. Get away, enjoy your life. That’s what its all about. That’s why you are working so hard and are so tough on yourself anyway. You want to get to a place where you can do the things you enjoy. Start doing them now! Don’t wait because they may never happen.
- Don’t feel guilty about it either. You are moving backwards if you reward yourself then are made because you should have been doing something else. NO. You should be living and loving life. The other stuff is details. Work is a tool that allows you to live the life you want.
This last month I have been almost in a depression when it comes to my work and the lack of progress I have made. So I decided that I am going to focus my career around 2 things.
Currently my work at the State. I have opportunity to do great things and help organizations grow. I am going to focus on being great at my job. I know it is not what I want to do with the rest of my life, but it is a great opportunity and when I am not complaining and being a little wuss, it is rewarding. When I put in a hard days work, I am going to reward myself. I will allow myself downtime. I will not belittle myself when I do not come home and work more. I know that my efforts are going to something worth while.
The second focus is my mentoring. I enjoy working with young adults, giving them opportunities and experiences that they may not have otherwise. Because I enjoy this I will do it as a hobby. I will not give myself crazy expectations that overwhelm stress me out. I will write about it, do research, and update my blog regularly. Eventually I would love to do it as a career. I will not let it get me down, or get in the way of me living and loving my life as I have in the past.
Focus on living your life. Work is not meant to be stressful. It is a tool that allows you to live your life. If it is not allowing you to do so, why? What do you need to do different? Are you creating a false sense of urgency through the expectations you set for yourself?
So you know my focus and my goals. I would love to hear yours! shoot me an email or shout at me on social medial.
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