We hear a lot about what you expect of others and how you should not, but very little of the expectations you have of yourself.
It’s good to set goals and want stuff especially if its stuff that will bring you peace and happiness in life. And doing things right usually helps us acquire and do things much more easily. Being a great organizer, I love to do things just a way that it increases efficiency and produces less work.
But do we set expectations too high when it comes to ourselves? Are you merciless when it comes to how you do things? Do you reproach yourself or send yourself into guilt frenzies when things don’t go as expected?
Are your work ethics so stringent that when you do something wrong that you feel below human standards.
Sometimes in order to be lenient with others, we need to first start forgiving ourselves when we don’t meet our own expectations.
This is not to say that you should be lazy and not care, however, it will happen that we make mistakes and it’s in those instances that we have to do what we can to fix it, but if done and there is nothing left to do, we don’t need to live in constant guilt over nothing.
Now I’m not talking about the big issues, let’s be clear, but the stupid everyday stuff that really is not that important in the scheme of things.
Here’s an example as to make my explanation clearer.
Jane who is in charge of taking out the trash before she leaves the office, forgot and when she came in on Monday realized it was not done.
She feels terrible about it because in the 10 years since she has worked at this establishment, she has never forgotten to do it.
It had been a rather busy and hectic few weeks and for some reason for the first time, this weekly chore slipped her thoughts.
She goes in on Monday to get questioned about why it was not done.
Now here is the next step which decides how you will handle the situation.
She can act defensively, saying how stressed she is and then emptying the trash and feeling awful that it was forgotten and berating herself all day long, or she can simply say, “Sorry I don’t know why it slipped my mind and I will do it now” and then move on.
If you react the second way, you will also find that people will make less about a mistake because you don’t make a big deal out of it.
Although this is a tame comparison of an event, you get the point.
Sometimes we send ourselves into a tizzy without needing to. People who are unwilling to forgive human mistakes are setting themselves up to be judged themselves, because I don’t care who you are, you will make a mistake at one point.
The idea is to be kind to yourself and then you can be kinder to others because you can relate, and know you would not want anyone to judge you too harshly for the little things.
So be good to yourself and soon you will be good to others too.
Eventually this may work out to your advantage. If you are willing to forgive others their little screw ups, it stands to reason that if you do one they will in turn forgive yours.
And isn’t living in peace and forgiveness much better than all this judgement crap we put ourselves through. I think so.