Are you living up to your potential? Do you feel that you could grow more as a person, but just haven’t? Could you do better at work, be kinder to your family, and spend more time doing acts of goodness? One possible cause of stagnation could be that your expectations of yourself are too low. The following three pointers will help you raise your expectations and move you from apathy to motivation.
Higher Expectations Are Self-Perpetuating
Your attitude shapes your possibilities. You create your own reality. The cause for our lower expectations is lower expectations. Like a self-defeating prophecy spiraling downward in a vicious cycle, the less we expect the less we think of ourselves and the less we will deliver. Conversely, the more we expect more from ourselves, the more we think of ourselves and the more we will deliver.
Higher Expectations Cause You to Find and Use Your Personal Strengths
The more you expect of yourself, the more you will live up to the expectations. The actual expectation motivates you to rise to the occasion, to dig deeper and plumb the reservoirs of your rich resources.
Try it out. Expect the most of yourself, and even if you won’t always live up to it, you will achieve far more than when you expect less. (Needless to say, expectations must be realistic for them to work, but it still is better to err on the side of greater rather than lesser expectations. Especially since you can never know the depths of your potential).
Higher Expectations Make You Feel Dignified
Above all, free will remains the ultimate expression of human dignity. When you expect more from yourself, you no longer are reduced to a mere computer program playing out a pre-written script. And you no longer search for the “usual suspects” to blame your actions on. Instead, you are filled with confidence in yourself and your abilities to navigate through every challenge.
Obviously, there are situations which are not in your control . Be sensitive and empathetic with yourself in such situations while being responsible for that which is in your power. However, never allow self-pity to undermine your dignity. You have the power to shape your destiny.
Exercise: Search your life for areas in which your self-expectations are low. Where do you cut yourself slack, or make excuses for yourself? Create a new set of expectations for yourself. Write about it in your MyMLC journal.
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