Realistic Expectations: Why Setting the Bar Too High Can Set You Up for Disappointment
It’s easy to set the bar high when you’re planning to make big changes in your life, whether it’s tackling new responsibilities at work or setting out to get in shape by the end of the year. However, setting unrealistic expectations can do more harm than good; as you find yourself falling short of where you wanted to be, it can result in disappointment and even give up entirely on accomplishing any goals or reaching your potential. To avoid this, follow these tips on how to set realistic expectations that will put you in the best position possible to succeed.
Know your Role
One of the most important things to do when setting expectations is to know your role. Whether you are setting expectations for yourself or others, it is important to be clear about what you are responsible for and what you are not responsible for. This will help you set realistic expectations and avoid disappointment. For example, if someone asks you to cook a meal for them, ask them how they would like it cooked. If they say well done, don't be disappointed when they eat all of the meat off of the chicken while leaving everything else on their plate. And if you want a well-done meal in return, then specify that before cooking so both parties can prepare appropriately.
Know your Strengths
We all have different strengths and weaknesses. When starting a business, it's important to know your strengths and weaknesses so you can set realistic expectations. For example, if you're not a people person, you may not be cut out for customer service. However, if you're organized and detail-oriented, you may excel at bookkeeping or marketing. There are lots of skills that don't necessarily involve interacting with people that can make up for any shortcomings in one area. And remember that the best leaders are often people who are able to recognize their own limitations. So when setting up your business goals, take some time to think about what you do well (and not so well) and work with those strengths.
Know what you can Change
One of the most important things to remember when setting expectations is that we can't always control everything. Knowing what factors we can and can't change can help us set more realistic expectations for ourselves. For example, if we're hoping to get a promotion at work, we might focus on things like networking and continuing to produce great work. However, there are also external factors that could influence our promotion that we can't control, such as company budget cuts or someone else is more qualified for the position.
Be Prepared to be Unprepared
No matter how much you plan or how badly you want something, sometimes things just don't go the way you expect them to. That's why it's important to be prepared to be unprepared. When we have realistic expectations about what might happen and are mentally and emotionally equipped to handle what does happen, disappointment doesn't last long. But when we let our imaginations run wild and ignore the possible pitfalls in our path, disappointment becomes our default state of being. And that is not a place any of us wants to live out our days.
But sometimes, our expectations can be a bit too high. When we set the bar too high, we're setting ourselves up for disappointment. It's important to be realistic about our expectations to avoid burnout. If you don't reach your goal or accomplish what you wanted to within a certain time frame, it is possible that you will get discouraged and lose motivation. If this happens, it might not be worth continuing with that goal anymore. Be sure to give yourself some time to adjust your expectations accordingly so that you don't become burnt out or lose motivation.
Know When to Step Away
In our culture, we're taught to always strive for more, do better, and be perfect. But sometimes, when our expectations are too high, we set ourselves up for disappointment. It's important to know when to take a step back and reassess our goals. Trying to achieve the impossible is not only unrealistic, but it can also be damaging to our mental health. So next time you find yourself setting the bar too high, ask yourself if it's really worth it. Chances are, it's not. Keep in mind that in life, it's inevitable that there will be disappointments. Even if your expectations are met at first, there's no guarantee they'll stay met forever. For example, imagine going through years of hard work and finally getting into your dream school only to realize after graduation that there aren't any jobs available in your field.
It might seem like this was an easy decision-after all, what else could go wrong?
Learning Takes Time
No one ever said that learning was going to be easy. In fact, it takes a lot of time and effort to really learn something new. And even then, there are no guarantees. So why set yourself up for disappointment by expecting to learn something overnight? It may not feel like you're progressing as quickly as you would like, but don't give up! Once you take the time to get used to a new skill or activity, it will become easier. Achieving your goals is worth the effort!
Measure Progress in Months, Not Days
One of the most important things to remember when starting a new business is to be realistic about your expectations. It takes time to build a successful business and expecting immediate results is setting yourself up for disappointment. Instead of measuring progress in days, set yourself monthly milestones to hit. This will help keep you on track and motivated, without putting too much pressure on yourself.
Just Start Somewhere
Whenever we want to achieve something big, it's easy to get overwhelmed and think we need to have everything figured out before we can start. But that's not how it works. In order to achieve our goals, we need to start somewhere- and that's okay. If you're going for a promotion at work, try setting up a regular meeting with your boss to talk about your goals. If you're in school, find a mentor who has been through what you're going through now. It's okay if you don't know exactly what step two is yet- all that matters is taking one step in the right direction.