the queen of high expectations
I am the queen of high expectations.
Not so much of other people (though my husband might disagree with me on that, sometimes). But of experiences and seasons and my cooking and, most of all, myself.
That I know my husband wouldn’t disagree with.
Maybe it’s a by-product of sensitivity or good ol’ high-achieving perfectionism, but, whatever the reason, I get caught up in the “should’s” and “supposed-to’s.” I lose myself to comparisonitis and the pain of unmet expectation.
Let me tell you something. It’s dark and cold and lonely in there, friends. Like quicksand and heartbreak and suffocating.
Last week, I found myself there. In that deep, dark blackhole o’ shame and “should’s.”
I had, like any good, little entrepreneur, started planning and goal-setting for 2017. I sat down at our little breakfast nook, pulled out my notebook, and began mapping out the next 12 months. Workshops. Retreats. DIY courses. Mentorships and copy polishing and creative expression. I set big, big financial goals. I made plans for expansion and new projects and website copy to match.
And then I crumbled.
In the midst of dreaming and scheming and envisioning what could be, I got caught up in what should be. I stumbled upon the long, long list of “must-do’s” and “supposed-to’s.” Numbers. To-do's. Strategy. Check lists. Like I said, high expectations. So far to fall.
Instead of expansion and hope and energy, I found myself suffocated and stuck. I began doubting my plans, my dreams, my abilities.
I closed in, shut down, and stopped.
And, then, a dear, dear friend lovingly reminded me that I was going about it all wrong.
She asked: What would have happened 12 months ago if you had made a “plan" and stuck to it? Where would you be? What would you be doing?
Her questions stopped me in my tracks. And, all of a sudden, instead of expectation, I recognized the feeling of expansion.
The past 12 months have been nothing if not unbelievably surprising and wholly transformative. What started, quite accidentally, as an editing business has quickly become a vessel for creative expression, courageous and curious community, and wholehearted, soulful entrepreneurship.
Twelve months ago, I would never have envisioned that I would get to work with such an incredible tribe of business owners and creatives. I would never have imagined the depth of the work I would be doing, or the way that things would shift and change and transform as I learned more about myself, my voice, and this great, wonderful, beautiful, painful and imperfect world we inhabit.
Twelve months ago, I just couldn’t see it. My view, too narrow. My foresight, limited.
The truth is that I can’t imagine or even attempt to plan for the next 12 months. If they’re anything like the last twelve, they're going to be a magnificent and magical combination of challenges and changes and expansions and contractions. Beautiful and brutal. Hard and so, so good. I’ll have to claim parts of myself that I never knew existed, journey through fear and pain and untethered joy, and let go of the pieces of me that no longer fit.
I’m letting go of the expectations in order to receive what’s true and real and wonderful.
I can’t wait.
Now, it doesn’t mean that I’m not planning for what’s coming next. Because, love, I am.
Those retreats? They’re coming.
And those workshops? They’re in the works. They’re bits of my heart wrapped up in writing prompts and self-discovery and wholehearted community.
I’m shifting and expanding my work as a writer and mentor, deepening my offerings to support my entrepreneurial clients so that they, too, can share their work with the world.
But, rather than boxing myself in, I’m opening myself up. I’m going slowly, surely, with intention and courage and flexibility. Granting myself permission to be imperfect, and forgiving myself when I fail. Or, you know, trying my best.
A couple of years ago, I wrote this, all about failed resolutions and learning to walk before we run. I think that, maybe, I got it half right. Or maybe a bit more. Maybe the practice is less in the habits and more in the heart. Or a healthy dose of both.
Either way, I’m looking forward to what comes next, and all of the unexpected and beautiful surprises that are sure to come with it. I’m looking forward to stepping forward with courage and creativity, to greater expression and deeper connection.
Who’s with me?!
More to come, love.
- xx k -