Do you expect too much from yourself?

Understanding that progress is better than perfection

What is the biggest expectation you have set for yourself? Is it to have a high GPA, or to be involved in campus or extracurricular activities? Maybe you expect yourself to have everything under control, all the time. 

At first glance, these all seem like achievable goals, but it’s easy to obsess over these things until they entirely define who you are.

Do you doubt your intelligence when you do poorly on an exam?  

 Get discouraged when you can’t fit an activity  into your schedule?     

  Feel guilty for feeling overwhelmed witheverything going on in your life?                                              

If you do, don’t worry, because you are not the only one who feels this way. It is healthy to set challenging goals for yourself, but you also need to understand that you will sometimes fail. Failure, however, breeds resilience when one is persistent. It’s unhealthy to expect perfection from yourself, so be wary if your pursuit of it is causing you more stress and disappointment. Instead of expecting yourself to have perfect grades, consider how much you’ve learned from all your classes. Instead of getting discouraged when you can’t fit an activity into your schedule, focus on being more present and attentive to the activities you are already involved in. Instead of feeling guilty for feeling overwhelmed, take a deep breath and appreciate the things you have been able to accomplish so far. Understand that you do not have to have everything together all the time. Prioritize what is important in your life and focus on excelling in those areas.

We all have our individual strengths and weaknesses, so set reasonable goals, take baby steps towards them and don’t beat yourself up when you inevitably fall short. All you should expect from yourself is progress, not perfection. In the words of Albert Einstein, “Failure is success in progress.” 

Author: Katarina Quintana | Opinions Editor

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