Have you ever wondered why sometimes we can get so frustrated and even angry at other people because they aren’t serving us fast enough, meeting our needs and demands, or just behaving in a way that we don’t agree with?
Maybe it’s our neighbor, our family, or a company representative who isn’t helping us fast enough. It could be a coworker, a customer, or even our boss. Maybe it’s the confusion and neediness of our pets and their inconvenient timing during our virtual meetings as they jump into the picture or bark or meow in the background. And maybe, it’s someone who is or isn’t social distancing the way that we are.
Here’s the harder question: When was the last time we held ourselves to that same standard? That standard that we hold everyone else on the planet accountable to comply with. For many of us, that look in the mirror is exactly what we need right now as we try and work through all the challenges we are facing today. Whether it’s within our homes, working from our homes, talking to friends and neighbors, or being a part of the community in any way, we should encourage one another to expect more from ourselves and maybe set the example for others.
Service will be slower, let’s expect that to happen. Confusion about the products we ordered and didn’t receive or when we received the wrong size or color can be controlled as we put ourselves in the headset of the customer service person on the other end of the phone or in your chat window. And as we walk together through the days, weeks, and months ahead, we will confront many moments where we will have a disagreement or a difference of opinion. And that’s OK, because as we begin to expect the best from ourselves, and make expecting the best from ourselves a habit, we really will not care how others choose to react, we only know how we will respond.
Success and winning are never measured in how we stack up against other people, success and winning are only defined by what we did relative to what we are capable of doing and what we expect from ourselves each day, in all that we do, and in all that we say. Success and winning have a magical moment when we can look in the mirror and know the good that we did and also identified what we still need to work on in ourselves.
A good friend and mentor of mine, Dr. Denis Waitley, created a program called The Psychology of Winning. And in his program, Denis talks about positive self-expectancy. Here is what he says: “Positive self-expectancy is the first, most outwardly identifiable quality of a top achieving, winning human being. Positive self-expectancy is pure and simple optimism: real enthusiasm for everything you do. And optimism is expecting the most favorable result from your own actions.”
The inspiration for today’s column came from Jon, a member of our community who caught himself mirroring the bad behavior and harsh language of someone he was interacting with during a recent disagreement. Jon said that he got caught up in the moment and felt like he reacted poorly. To quote Jon, he said, “It wasn’t until I got home and saw myself in the mirror, and I knew that I was better than that.”
I know Jon is not alone because I have found myself in the same situation. Have you? Here’s the thing, the best part is that when we start focusing our efforts on expecting more from ourselves and live daily with positive self-expectancy, we will minimize reacting poorly and maximize how we respond favorably.
How about you? Do you expect more from yourself? Do you hold others to a different standard than you hold yourself? I would love to hear all about your positive self-expectancy story at firstname.lastname@example.org and when we expect more from ourselves it really will be a better than good week.
Michael Norton is the grateful CEO of Tramazing.com, a personal and professional coach, and a consultant, trainer, encourager and motivator to businesses of all sizes.
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