Expectations and Grace

After a recent conversation, I found myself reflecting that the expectations around me are high. I work in an environment (like most of us do) where everyone strives for excellence, and we’re held accountable if we fall short. When you combine this with my desire to be excellent at what I do, it can be hard not to feel like I’m always falling short or disappointing someone else – or myself. Do you ever feel this way?

The truth is that no one can live up to their expectations 100 percent of the time; even when things go well, there’s always something more that could have been done better or faster (especially when working under pressure). So how do you manage this? I firmly believe that you need to have high expectations for yourself and also can express grace. Without both, it’s hard to be happy or successful.

You can and should expect a lot from yourself. That’s good! It will motivate you to do better and be your best.

But it’s essential to ensure that your expectations are realistic, not just positive or negative. You want to set goals for yourself that are within reach – not too high and not too low – so that when you accomplish them, they feel like a real accomplishment instead of just another day in the office (or whatever).

When you’re accustomed to something, it’s easy to take it for granted. This can happen with expectations as well – if your parents have always been supportive and loving, it’s easy for you not to realize how lucky you are until someone else comes along and doesn’t live up to those standards.

But the truth is that expectations are neither good nor bad; they just are. They’re simply part of our human nature – and since we can’t change ourselves or others, we can shift this dynamic by expanding our definition of certain things. It’s important to remember that we are all human. We all make mistakes and fall short of our goals. Sometimes, the best thing you can do for yourself is give yourself grace.

When you fail at achieving a goal or objective, take some time to reflect on what happened and what could have been done differently to succeed next time. Then go back at it! It’s better than feeling defeated by your failure – and more importantly, staying stuck in that feeling forever won’t help anyone (including yourself).

You should expect to do your best and be successful. You should also expect to be happy and fulfilled, healthy, fit, and strong – but not because you’re forcing yourself into a mold of what society tells us we should look like or act like. Instead, those things come naturally when we’re living our truth by setting high expectations for ourselves without giving up when things don’t go exactly as planned (or even if they do). A different path might ultimately be what you need to succeed. 

The key to success is having high expectations of yourself and acknowledging when you need to give yourself grace. 

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that grace is not about doing nothing. It’s about finding a different way to do something. And that new way might look different for each person – but there is always hope in its promise.

Jason Harrington

CEO & Founder

Prowess Fitness + Nutrition

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