On Managing Expectations (it’s hard)

7 Jun

Even though it was just last week, it feels like an age since I returned home from a long weekend in NSW. I had a lovely time meandering my way from Sydney to Wollongong (& back) via mountains, forests and beaches – I think it’s the first time in YEARS that I’ve travelled out of my home state! ❤️

The reason for my visit to Wollongong was for the CrossFit Pacific Regionals, and while it was AMAZING to see some of my favourite athletes in action at pretty close quarters, the trip didn’t exactly go according to my original plan. I remember saying to myself, ‘well that’s okay, that’s just how life goes sometimes…’, and I know that’s true…

managing expectations, expectations, high stanards, accepting outcomes,

But the thing is that lately I feel like I’m saying things like, ‘that’s okay’, or ‘it doesn’t matter’, or ‘it’s not important’, WAY too often. While it could be that I’ve got the worst luck and things go wrong for me a disproportionally high number of times, that feels way too fatalistic an attitude (& that’s just not my scene). So I’ve come to realise that while it’s ok to hold myself to high standards, it’s unfair to project those same standards onto every person, activity or situation I come into contact with. Rather than try to understand the situation, I started dismissing this expectation gap (the space between where I think a person or experience should be and the reality) in a not-so-healthy way. It’s as if I’ve resigned myself to disappointment. NOPE!

I think it’s totally fine to expect a lot of myself – that’s how I keep expanding beyond my comfort zone and grow as a person (which honestly feels like my full time job some days, 😂). However, it’s unfair of me to be disappointed in people or frustrated by circumstances that are beyond my control. Instead, when faced with trying situations I need to get more proficient at managing MY expectations. I know I’ll still get disappointed and frustrated – haha, that’s only natural. But I’m going to try and be more aware of whenever those kinds of responses threaten to extend beyond my little sphere of control – in other words, beyond myself.

Because yes, things aren’t always going to work out the way I want them to – that’s something we all deal with. And while I can’t control the outcome of absolutely everything (which is cool – uncertainty brings so much more fun to life), I am completely in control of how I respond to those outcomes which I perceive as less-than-ideal.

As a recovering perfectionist, I think this phase of learning how to better manage expectations is perhaps a natural part of the process; that with time I’ll hopefully become more accepting of whatever outcome arises. This isn’t about giving up and giving in, it’s about being more mindful of my reaction and understanding that I can’t control everything.

Let’s see how this plays out. If I can successfully master this, hey there’s hope for us all. 😂