As someone who has a lot of goals in life, I have pretty high expectations of myself. I want to get things done, I want to do them well and I want to be as efficient as possible.


Humans beings naturally want to do well. We crave praise, deep down, so that we know that we’re doing alright. When things go right at work, you expect some kind of acknowledgement, even if it is just a “well done” from someone else. At home, it’s more difficult to quantify what is going well and what isn’t; for some people just getting out of bed and managing to get through the day is a big achievement. For others, having a clean, tidy house and everything in the right place is an achievement. Each and every individual person will have expectations in their own lives, but they differ from person to person.


I admitted recently that life has been a bit rough lately. Nothing that is unmanageable, luckily, but I have not been my usual, happy self during the work day. I have mentioned a couple of times that I have had the support of some of my colleagues recently which has been very helpful and very much appreciated. But still, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was not doing enough, that what I was doing wasn’t good enough.


Sometimes, the expectations we put on ourselves are too high. As someone who is somewhat a perfectionist, who gets very frustrated when things don’t got perfectly according to plan, I have very high expectations of myself. And lately, at work, I have found myself missing the mark. But, no one else has commented on anything to say I’m not doing well; in fact, I was told the other day how well I’m doing. So why do I still feel like I need to do more?


High expectations only work when they are positive and make you strive for more. For me, high expectations  can be a bad thing. They make me feel pressure more and more, and it makes me feel like I can never achieve what I want to. I need to remember that sometimes, good enough is just fine and it doesn’t have to be a million percent all in to be the best. I feel at the moment that I’m not doing as well with money as I should be – I read so many finance blogs who save 70%/80% of their income every month and manage to get impressively low spends in lots of categories. I sometimes feel like I should be spending less, doing better with finances and generally understand more.  But then I take a step back and try to appreciate how well we’re doing – yes, we could do more – but what we are doing is good. Most people we have in our circle of friends, if they need our circumstances, would say they’re very good, and even may be envious.


As we continue down the road to a simpler life, I need to remember not to put such high expectations on myself. After all, when things start to seem hopeless and unobtainable, then maybe the target is too far, for now. As I posted on Brian’s post about working because there’s a goal in mind, sometimes I need to do what is right, not what’s expected. Life is pressured enough, without me being so critical of myself!


Do you agree? Do you sometimes set too-high expectations? I’d love to hear from you!


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