From a young age, the expectation to ‘be good’ is something we have drummed into us. But sometimes our expectations of ourselves are simply too high. We’re perfectionists.
Perfectionism: Perfectionism means setting our goals too high and having unrealistic expectations. Being allergic to failure is often driven by an underlying sense of shame. If we can achieve some lofty goal and be perfectly successful, then no one can shame us. Failure is often a prerequisite for success.
Sometimes these high expectations of ourselves and want to ‘do good’ can stop us from getting properly stuck into life. I have learnt that there are times to ponder over decisions and there are times to just do it.
If we let expectations rule our lives, we set ourselves up for disappointment.
I always feel so embarrassed when people ask me what I intend to do with my History Degree. As a Final Year Undergraduate, I really hoped I would know by now. I know what I want to do, in a generic sense- Marketing, HR or Advertising. But I’m not entirely set on anything. And I am not willing to make a decision, or even fib, just so that I don’t feel silly answering that question. Degrees are SO time consuming. I admire anyone who has something lined up after University, because the application processes are crazy long! But that’s the thing: I have time.
I’m itching to get a job, to have money and I want to travel and be one of those ‘free’ twenty-odd people I see all over social media. I was so set on having the above, and (for some peculiar reason) linked it with having a job lined up. But I have years to find the ‘perfect‘ job. And I will. My expectations, set by 18 year old me, of my 21 year old self, were too high.
My favourite phrase recently has been ‘but we’re millennials’. My friend, Hannah, uses it all the time, and I kind of love it. I use it almost as an excuse! Us ‘millennials’ are pretty fortunate, we can have multiple jobs in a lifetime, we’re supposedly more self-assured and have a stronger sense of ‘civic responsibility’ and a healthy work-life balance. So, as a ‘millennial’ I want to focus on the now. I want to be my own kind of ‘good’.
(Note: having googled ‘millennials’, i am not one. How tragic. For the purposes of this blog post I will pretend I am. Though I am actually Generation Z. How naff does that sound? Lol.)
I want to ‘be good’ in my own way. What does this mean?
- I will not be letting my own, or others, expectations of me rule my life. This is a vicious cycle, whereby I set myself up for disappointment. Then judge myself harshly for it.
- I am going to try to think of life in terms of adventures and ditch my ‘expectations’ and instead set myself realistic ‘goals’.
- I will be hopeful that I exceed these ‘goals’ and will happily make way for something bigger and better.
- I plan to trust that everything will work itself out, it always does. I’ll just keep working away.
- When things go ‘tits up’ I am going to try my darned-ist to remain positive.
I want to enjoy the little things in life, and look back with achey cheeks and wrinkles from a lifetime of smiles and have zero regrets when reflecting bad on my ‘good’ life.
2 thoughts on “High Expectations: Perfectionist vs Optimist.”
I dropped out of uni – twice – and at 28, I still am not exactly sure what I want to “be”! As long as you keep moving forward and trying things out, you’ll learn 👌🏽👀
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