Five Ways to Embrace (or Adjust) Your Expectations


I was talking with a client the other day who wanted to start a blog, but was worried that potential readers would “see right through her” and that her imperfections would be exposed. It occurred to me that some of the most meaningful, life-changing conversations I’ve had with others have been around sharing our imperfections, and then (this is crucial) going on to discuss how we’re overcoming them.

Here are five ways I’ve been imperfect this week. 

1. I had a perfect day on My Fitness Pal. I mean, perfect. A few calories below my goal, and right on for my macros. Until 8pm, when I opened up the container of mixed nuts, and a bottle of wine, and didn’t emerge from basically a fugue state for an hour. How I overcame it: By reminding myself that lapses are not relapses, and making better decisions beginning the very next day.

2. I whined at the gym. I mean, really whined to the point of sad little tears. My personal trainer, I’m convinced, sometimes tries to kill me. I heard things come out of my mouth that I really never wanted to hear (and I’m not talking swear words – those are fine by me). No, I mean really pitiful utterances like “I don’t think I can do this,” and “Why are you doing this to me?” How I overcame it: By looking him in the eye during the last set and making a commitment. I told him I would complete the last set without whining, and I DID IT. Weak, shaky high fives all around.

3. I felt like I couldn’t get a handle on my generalized fear and anxiety. Some days are just like that. How I overcame it: I sought support from people who love me, and allowed them to remind me why everything is more or less okay.

4. My car is a pollen bomb and shamefully cluttered and dirty on the inside too. I’d take it to the car wash, but that means I’d have to figure out how to take off my bike rack, and I know I’d never get it back on securely. How I overcame it: I decided on acceptance – that I’ll be driving a dirty car until I can figure out how to take the rack off and put it back on without endangering the family in the minivan behind me. That’s probably not going to happen during this busy week.

5. I realized I haven’t updated my blog in too long, but didn’t have anything “important” to share. How I overcame it: I shared my imperfections.

When faced with your own imperfections, see if you can adjust your thinking from seeing imperfections as liabilities. Instead, begin to explore them as opportunities for change – even if it just means sharing them. Someone else may need to hear that, like them, you’re imperfect too.

Originally published May 14, 2015