"High expectations are the key to everything." – Sam Walton, founder Walmart
The expectations we have of ourselves are powerful determinants of the type of life we live – they set the stage on which our lives play out. Those who expect nothing but excellence from themselves tend to live out the greatness of their natural, inherent gifts and talents. That which we expect of ourselves generally comes to pass. Hence instead of expecting to live mediocre, ordinary lives, why not shoot for the extraordinary and remarkable?
These 'expectations of self' should have very little or even nothing to do with that which the world expects of us. Self-expectations are extremely personal, only becoming obvious in the results we put out. They should reflect our deep seated belief in ourselves and in that which we know ourselves to be capable of achieving.
Instead of expecting so much from others, why not expect more from/of ourselves? Great leaders expect more from themselves than they do others. They first and foremost hold themselves to the highest standards.
Our expectations of ourselves are reflected in the personal, most intimate dialogue we carry out with ourselves. Am I striving for more, or giving myself permission to settle for less? Am I content with the crumbs others throw at me, or am I holding myself accountable and have I taken control of my life? Is it ok to be broke and in debt, or am I self-developing toward financial freedom? Am I just "getting by" or is my life happy and fulfilled?
The truth is that few ever take the time to establish positive self-expectations, maybe because they get caught up in the pace and challenges of everyday life, or because life teaches us to expect less, so that we would not be disappointed. However, let's remember that those who do spend the time to establish high expectations of themselves – whether professionally, or in personal relationships, generally thrive, and live more structured lives.
Having high expectations of ourselves can be as fundamental as cultivating the habit of always showing up on time for work and appointments, paying bills when they are due, avoiding gossip, … to being pleasant to customers no matter what, giving one's best in every task, finishing that which we start, being respectful of others, keeping promises, etc.
Our 'expectations of self' are personal messages to our being, serving as powerful directives for the subconscious mind. It was Brian Tracy who said, "Winners make a habit of manufacturing their own positive expectations in advance of the event." Hence that which we boldly expect and look forward to, is more likely to unfold. Then Zig Ziglar said, "You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and EXPECT to win."
So, let's pause and reflect on what standards and values our existence is based on. Let's run a self-check on the quality of the life we are each living. Let's set some high expectations and be determined to follow through.
Cheers to your success.