Lets get real for a second, what expectations do you put on yourself? Are they realistic? Do you under value your potential or expect way more of yourself then any sane person would? The follow up question to that is (and this is a big one), how can you shift your expectations to something healthy?
I definitely find myself in the latter category. So what would healthy look like to me? Healthy expectations would drive me to be better, but still allow me to recognize my acomplishments for what they are.
I really wanted to start and finish a painting of some kind this weekend. I choose to paint a simple drawing of my dog on some wood I found at work. It was critical to me to finish something this weekend, and I did. I see so many problems when I look at it, but it's finished. I expected myself to do a better job, even though I have no training with Acrylics and have hardly any experience painting. Why? Why on earth do I have such unrealistic expectations for myself?
I don't have any answers yet believe me, but a friend recently showed me a quote from Ira Glass and it was encouraging to know that at least I wasn't the only one that struggled with these types of questions. Maybe it will encourage you too.
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
― Ira Glass