Not those of others but your own.
I think a lot of people have expectations for what they want out of life. And despite the popular phrase that goes something like ‘If you’re dreams don’t scare you they’re not big enough’, high expectations can be overwhelming.
But something that I’ve learnt is that you have to be committed and pace yourself. If you truly want to achieve something it shouldn’t be conditional, you should be dedicated to it.
I’ve also found it useful to check in and like to refer back to something Seth Godin once said about how you’re either talking to the wring people or you’re not making good enough stuff.
And I’m at a point where I can see that just because I’m trying hard doesn’t mean what I’m producing is good enough for the outcome that I want.
When that happens I take a step back and re-group. I think about what I’m doing that is good and how I can make it better.
My expectations of myself are quite frankly ridiculous which is why I find them overwhelming. Plus I often make the mistake of focusing on too much on the end goal instead of simply just doing the work.
I don’t have a roundup or a takeaway as I’m still learning how to manage the expectations I have of myself.
However, what I will share is that if you find yourself getting overwhelmed or frustrated you probably need to change what you’re doing or the way you’re thinking.
Time flies when you’re daily blogging.
I’ve written over 300 posts for this site and I’ve manged to not run out of ideas.
If you’d have asked me 300 days ago what I’d be writing about towards the end of 2019 I’d have said ‘I’m not sure’. But something I’ve realised is that each blog post is simply the expansion of a thought and humans have tens of thousands of thoughts a day so I’ll never need to worry about running out of ideas.
And I find that the more I experience, grow and explore the more my perspective shifts and I’m able to expand on things I wrote previously or write them with a more developed mindset.
I also find that because I write each day I’m not so focused on the stats. However, what I do notice is familiar usernames that regularly read my posts and that is something I truly appreciate.
You can always go back.
One of the things that I don’t think is often considered is that when you leave your comfort zone you can always go back if things don’t work out.
For example if you make music and usually just keep it to yourself, try putting it out there for people to hear. Sure you might be nervous and it’ll take a bit of courage but if it doesn’t go well you haven’t lost out on anything.
And if you lose that feeling of courage you can always go back to keeping your stuff to yourself again, you can always go back to your comfort zone.
However, on the flip-side you can keep trying because good things take time and it’s like Ziglar once said ‘Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until you can learn to do it well‘.
Just because someone is older than you doesn’t mean they’re the best person to seek advice from.
I think there’s a level of vulnerability that comes with asking for advice, to be open and honest enough to say ‘Hey, so I’m going through xyz and I just wanted to get some advice from you as I’m not really sure how to move forward.’
Something I’ve learnt is that when I have a difficult decision to make it helps to view the situation from a different perspective and sometimes that happens quickest when you talk to someone.
However, it’s important to make sure that you’re talking to the right person.
For me that would be:
Someone I trust.
Someone I look up to.
Someone I admire.
Someone who has my best interests at heart.
Someone who will give impartial advice.
Someone with experience.
When you feel stuck and want some advice you probably want it from someone who can help steer you in the right direction rather than someone who leaves you feeling stressed or further fuels your indecision.
Whilst recently asking for advice I realised that often the main thing I want is someone who can shift my perspective.
Perhaps to not even advise on my specific situation but to remind me that I’m capable of making the ‘right’ decision.
Apparently, to quote TLC ‘This is how it should be done’.
People often say that your twenties are the best time to take risks and explore life.
You’re young, for many you don’t have as many responsibilities like a mortgage, home repairs and children, you might still live at home so you have a lot of expendable cash etc.
People say that your twenties are the time to do things like travel, try different jobs, move to a new city, start a business, basically just go out, find yourself and figure out who you want to be and how you wan to live.
In some ways it’s a lot of pressure and being in that age group, I ended up taking the opposite approach.
I’m almost half way into my twenties and so far I’ve been focused on things beginning with the letter S like saving, structure and stability.
In a lot of ways that’s great but on the flip-side it’s meant that I don’t often have room to take risks and explore.
But I’ve noticed my desire for those things growing and so the balancing act begins.
Or at least trying to be.
I remember being around 16 or 17 telling a classmate about my writing hobby and that I had thought of doing it as a career. At the time I was pretty lost with regard to career plans and my civil engineering dream was becoming less and less likely.
My classmate on the other hand was an excellent academic – who went on to study medicine.
He told me (in a roundabout way) that sometimes when you try to turn your hobby into your career it ruins it.
At the time I think I said something like yeah you’re right. But in my head I thought but I wanna be a writer and over half a decade later I still think that.
However, despite wanting to be a writer, I’m now 2 years into a career in transport. For the most part, I’m pretty happy with where I’m at and that has made me realise that more than wanting to be a writer what I really want is to write.
And I do write.
It’s more than just comfort and familiarity but it’s both of those things too.
When you move on from something and you haven’t reached the place you moved on to, it’s totally normal to look back at what you left or let go of.
And when you’re in a place of limbo, perhaps feeling a little dissatisfied with where you’re at, you might find yourself looking back from a place of lack.
Then suddenly that thing you chose to leave looks golden and bright. You find yourself wondering why you even moved on in the first place.
But deep down you don’t really want that thing, you just crave certainty. It’s much easier to take a step back to the familiarity of what you know than it is to keep going and venture on into the unknown.