Chapter 35 | Expectations


“I do relate to a lack of confidence; in my experience you cannot wait for confidence to come before you step into action, confidence comes from being in action.”

(Suz, October 2020 – Letter to a friend)

With a leap of faith, however, most people need faith before they leap – we could even change ‘leap’ to ‘taking a step’…

A fear of failure, a fear of making a fool of ourselves, a fear of getting it wrong or feeling embarrassed, disappointing ourselves and perhaps others. Not living up to our own expectations.

In most cases we are our own saboteurs; others expect much less of us than we expect of ourselves.  I am not a parent, thus I do not speak as a parent, however I sincerely hope that parents expectations of their child’s performance do not in fact inhibit their child to perform, but instead it encourages them to ‘step into action’ to derive learning and experience from being ‘in action’.

I have caught myself out on a few occasions lately, perhaps because I have more awareness around confidence these days. I would enter a new academic course or I would go for a golf lesson where my whole grip has been changed and I still expected myself to hit the ball well knowing that professionals take months, even years to perfect a new grip, or, with the academic course knowing that others have been familiar and have had years of experience in the new course material. I was amazed by my insight. I never knew how much I expected of myself, so early on. I knew that I was and will always be ambitious, I knew and know that I like to do things well, however…

I decided to take a closer look. I found I was missing out on genuinely learning, being a sponge and soaking up new information and then trying it out. In time, through the process of studying, I learnt to imbed the new information and make it mine, grasping and executing it. I realised that I don’t always have to deliver input in providing knowledge, however I can offer a contribution as an active learner, really immersing myself and giving my teachers input through feedback, active participation and questions. The pressure dissipated and made a place for ‘opening myself up’. I now often speak and refer to my beginner’s mindset… the joy of learning, the fun of trying things out, figuring it out through multiple attempts.

I have an unwritten rule for myself – when something really matters, it does not then matter if I get it ‘wrong’ 999 times as eventually I will get it right when it does matter.

I want to encourage you, myself, everyone I know to stop caring about what others will think, how you will be perceived, whether you will be at the bottom of the rung (the person above you, by the way is going to love you!) – who cares… go out there and give it a go, give it your all.

Beginner’s Mentality:

  • There are no ‘wrongs’; merely attempts for getting it better, more refined, more accurate, more pleasing, more satisfying.
  • To learn – is a privilege and a pleasure.
  • To step out of your ‘comfort zone’ – is to expand your life, progress.
  • Look for inspiration – be an inspiration.
  • Share your attempts (and failures).
  • Shut-up, Soak-up and Practise

Perfection wrapped up in a package, inside yourself, behind closed doors.  Do not serve the world, it has no value and no purpose. Go out there, find your purpose and add your value. And, I bet you 1000 push-ups, that this little equation will lead to ultimate confidence. I am confident about that statement. Check in for your 1000 push-ups! I am in, all the way.

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