Truth Bomb Tuesday: Is it even possible to live up to your own expectations?
A lot of people live under the tyranny of what I call the ‘impossible rulebook’.
It’s good to hold ourselves to a standard. It’s good to be conscious agents in how we offer our gifts and talents to the world.
It’s good to not be a slob who doesn’t give a toss about our own growth and development.
That’s all awesome.
And a lot of the people who come to me are there because they have standards. They have dreams and ambitions that they want to live up to. They have a vision for their life and what might be possible.
And that’s great. When this works well – when you are able to set yourself a standard, and when you are able to meet that standard – the reward is pride.
You become proud of who you are and how you show up in the world.
And out of that pride comes a great deal of power. People who are proud (not vain) are unshakable.
The trap though is that most people never do a proof read on their personal rule book.
And it’s not that they set themselves standards that are impossible per se.
It’s that they set themselves standards that are in direct conflict with each other.
Sometimes this is why we feel there just aren’t enough hours in the day.
We tell ourselves that we have to be an attentive and loving mum, as well as an independent and career driven high-flyer, as well as a five-star chef AND a adventurous lover with an abundance of energy and a fitness model physique.
It’s not that any one of these standards is bad. It’s that together, they just become impossible.
And it’s why we feel like we just can’t win at life.
We tell ourselves that we have to be tough as nails and fearlessly independent, as well as someone who is vulnerable, emotionally available, and who cries readily at appropriate times.
We tell ourselves that we have to be masters of the material world with an effortless six-figure salary, AND someone with profound mystical insight and monk-like patience.
We tell ourselves that we have to be good with numbers, able to crunch out deals in our heads, AND we have to be across all the latest design elements, immediately able to tell if that couch goes with those tap-fittings.
It’s not the standards individually. It’s the standards collectively.
It’s how rules that possibly make sense insolation add-up to an impossible rule book.
And it’s this impossible rulebook that I see so many people living under the tyranny of.
They always feel like they’re failing, no matter how successful they are in any one endeavour.
Because there is just no way to win.
So my advice, as always, is to be gentle with yourself.
And just be aware that the standards you hold yourself to, while they may be beautiful individually, may be an impossible tyrant collectively.
You’re doing great. Love yourself. Be gentle with yourself.
You’re already doing amazing things.