How many darts do you expect to throw to hit the bullseye?
While it is probably fair and noble to aim for the highest possible attainment, we do ourselves a disservice when we believe and expect to achieve maximum success all the time. Setting ourselves up with this expectation is a thinking error in itself – called ‘demandingness’ – in which we impose rigid and inflexible standards on ourselves. With no tolerance for minor errors let alone major ones, we leave ourselves wide open for the negative emotions that arise when things go wrong.
There is so much in the world that is not in our control and these factors need to be taken into account. Set your sights for success and define what separate component parts that are in your control (thoughts, beliefs, behaviours) will contribute to that success.
But what if you miss your target and underperform? Will the experience have been a complete waste of time? Only if you fail to take the time to reflect on what happened and what you have learned from the experience. Avoid that ‘what the heck!’ moment of disappointment, frustration and self-reproach by planning in varying degrees of success into your outcome expectations.