I expect a lot of myself. If you don’t believe me, read my handprint list. I’ve always had big dreams, big ambitions and lofty goals that haven’t faded with maturity. Writing, traveling, making art, having a family, doing great things, being great things.
The problem is, having high expectations for myself means I tend to bite off more than I can chew. Sometimes I actually chew it and end up stressed and frazzled into oblivion, but the times that I can’t chew it I feel like a loser, a failure and that I don’t measure up to that ideal I’ve created for myself. I spend a lot of time writing down goals, planning my steps to get there, falling short and rebuking myself. I used to do this a lot with dieting, but now it’s money, my writing career, my fitness goals.
Have I set the bar too high? I have to remind myself, I’m only human and I’ve done a lot with my 22 years and I have another (hopefully) fifty at least ahead of me. No point in burning myself out now. I made the handprint list not as a list of dreams, but of goals. I look at it sometimes and think “How will I do it all?” but I forget that it’s a list to last my whole life, not the next five years. Even if I don’t complete them all, it doesn’t mean my life is wasted. Even if I don’t get to travel or if I never make it as a writer, I’m still McKella and that’s ok. If I never publish a book, get the hang of intuitive eating, sell a piece of art, or if I use the word “I” in a paragraph over twenty times (sorry) I’m still ok. The value of life isn’t measured by stamps on a passport or titles on a shelf, but by the way you lived and what you stood for. The best you can do is the best you can do. Come to terms with it so you don’t spend half your time stressing out about it.
Do you have high expectations for yourself or do you cut yourself some slack?