Why You Need To Fix Your Expectations

Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour.” (James Clear)

Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

Expectations directly control how we feel and where we think we are on the path to progress within any domain of life.

Knowing this, we must strive to improve our expectations with regards to the time-frame of making an important project successful. In other words, we must expect any project that we work on within any domain of our lives to take longer than expected for it to really become successful.

This, on one hand, is very intuitive to understand at the conscious level, but it becomes a whole different beast to tackle when it comes to practicing it within our daily lives in terms of let’s say a marriage or new business venture, for example.

Why Improve Your Expectations At All?

Your performance and your ability to perform consistently over long periods of time is greatly influenced by how well you think you’re performing, and that directly depends on the expectation you set for yourself.

It’s very possible to set yourself up for failure right from the beginning of an endeavor by setting unrealistic expectations for yourself and for how that endeavor will play out. Given this fact, it makes a whole lot more sense as to why we must take control of our expectations.

It really is a matter of success and failure at the end of the day. Ask yourself the following question, “Do you want to succeed in your life or do you want to fail?” Every single one of us would consciously choose success over failure, but the majority of people break down in terms of that thought when it comes to the real life application of principles such as this one — improving expectations.

Improving your expectations is one of those major changes that needs to be made if one wants to achieve success in any area of life.

If you expect to become a doctor after 1 year of college, you’ve as good as failed.

If you expect to single-handedly build a skyscraper, you’ve as good as failed.

If you expect to become a good pianist after 1 year of practice, you’ve as good as failed.

If you expect to make a multi-million dollar income in 6 months, you’ve as good as failed.

If you expect to become a professional NBA player within 2 years, you’ve as good as failed.

If you set such unrealistic expectations, you will inevitably quit a few months down the road as you start to see how impossible your expectations are to meet or you will put more and more pressure on yourself to increase the pace until you burn out. This is how the process of unrealistic expectations plays out.

Key Caveats

It is certainly possible to be too conservative. You need to strike a balance between optimism and realism. There’s nothing wrong setting an optimistic goal like, “I will be the best entrepreneur in the world.” Statistically, this is very unlikely. Chances are you won’t be the best entrepreneur in the world, or even in the top 100, but it’s okay because this goal has heart and is in fact possible if you’re willing to do the work.

Even if you do fail, you will still do very well because you show a willingness to work for it and practice delayed gratification. But there is a huge problem with setting a goal with a totally unrealistic time-frame like, “I’ll become the world’s best entrepreneur within 3 years” as you have just transitioned into entrepreneurship and are about to start the process.

Don’t let that limit you in any way, but be improve your expectations as to what the endeavor is going to really require. Most people underestimate the work involved in achieving something. If it takes 8 years of medical school for the average doctors, that’s probably how long it will take you, unless you’ve got something really special or great.

You just won’t know how long it will take you to achieve something within your life because life is inherently too chaotic for that type of prediction.

The important thing is that you attach meaning and emotion to your end goal so that you can go out and accomplish it, however long it may require. If the goal is inspiring enough then it won’t matter how long it takes to be achieved, just as long as you achieve it.

These are just a few important things to take note of with your understanding of improving one’s expectations. Below, we will discuss an important thought framework that will aid you on your journey to achievement and overall life satisfaction.


Think of the following:

A major goal will take 5 months to 6 years to accomplish.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How does that change your expectations?
  2. What are some examples of unrealistic expectations from your previous experience?
  3. How does that change the pressure you’re putting on yourself?
  4. How does that change your thinking in regards to pacing and the need for persistence?

Internalize this one sentence and you will be well on your way to achieving success within all of the areas in your life.

Writer. Autodidact. Competitive Soccer Player.

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