Yesterday I wrote about the tension between self improvement and self confidence. At first glance it seems as if accepting oneself and trying to improve oneself are at odds with each other. But this is just an illusion. Recognising that we can still grow doesn’t prevent us from accepting who we are.
The problem comes, as Leo Babauta points out here, is when the goals we set for ourselves become the ends rather than the means. When that happens we’re no longer free to grow. Instead, our expectations become a trap:
The clients I work with almost all put incredible expectations on themselves — they have higher standards than almost anybody I know. It’s why they work with me.
It can be hard to see, but the expectations they’ve set for themselves often stand in the way of what they want the most.
It’s hard to see, because they became successful because of those expectations. It’s what got them this far.
But after a certain point, the expectations become the anchor, not the engine.
The breakthrough to the next level for many of us who perform at high levels — and actually for people of all kinds — is to let go of all expectations.