This video is from my course "Productivity Mindsets & Time Management Tools".
In it, I talk about how we can remove fear of failure and humiliation from our performance. But what you'll learn translates just as well to any other area of your life too.
The first thing we need to do if we want to create a productive mindset, overcome our mental blocks, and remove frustration, disappointment and fear from our performance - is to make sure our expectations of ourselves are realistic.
If they aren’t, we’ll often experience a fear of failure. Or even fear of judgment or humiliation. And that won’t just keep us from being productive, it will often make us not even start or finish our tasks.
You see, the source of these emotions tends to be unrealistically high expectations of ourselves. Or of our performance or result. And when we don’t live up to those expectations, we punish ourselves. And we do that by thinking that we’re not good enough, smart enough, skilled enough – or whatever.
Let's say that neither Mike or Molly have ever played basketball before, and I challenge them to shoot ten penalty shots.
How they’ll feel about their results will completely depend on how many shots they believe they should make. Or in other words, on their expectations of themselves.
If Mike thinks that he should probably be able to make most of the shots, and Molly thinks that she has no idea how many she might make. But that it’s perfectly realistic that she might not make any at all – which of them is most likely to feel good about their result at the end?
Molly will probably feel fine even if she misses every single shot. Because that was her expectation. And if she makes one or two, she’ll probably feel pretty good about it.
While Mike is likely to feel frustrated, embarrassed, or something along those lines even if he makes half the shots he takes. Simply because he felt like he should be able to make the majority of them.
And this comes into play in everything we do. Whether we’ve done it a thousand times before, or it’s our very first time.
If we have unrealistically high expectations of ourselves, we’re likely to feel disappointed, frustrated, humiliated, and so on.
Well, the only thing we should focus on is what we’ve proven to ourselves in the past that we can usually do.
Basically, the average performance and results that we’ve produced when we’ve done this thing in the past – that is what we should expect of ourselves today.
And if we haven’t done it in the past, we have to either set our expectations very low, or try our best to not have any at all.
As we get more experience and improve our skills, our usual result is likely to improve little by little. And when it does, so will our expectations of ourselves. All the while staying perfectly realistic.
In addition to this, it’s absolutely critical that we ignore any thought about what we want to be able to expect of ourselves.
And that goes doubly for thoughts about what other people are able to do. And especially for what other people might think we should be able to do.
One of the main reasons people fear failure or poor results is that they’re afraid that their effort or result will be judged by others.
And nothing is as sure to create feelings of defeat, humiliation, and so on, than to try to live up to unrealistically high expectations. Or to think that other people’s expectations for us matter at all.
When our expectations to ourselves are realistic, and we recognize that other people’s expectations have nothing to do with our worth ,we simply won’t experience these emotions in these situations.
If Molly is comfortable with the fact that it’s perfectly ok and reasonable for her to not hit a single penalty shot, it shouldn’t matter to her at all what anyone else thinks of her result.
The fact that they might set unrealistically high expectations for her is their problem. And it has nothing to do with her.
Hi, I'm TJ Guttormsen.
Since 2009 I’ve coached clients ranging from Olympic gold medalists and billionaires, to people who simply want more out life.
I’ve done over 100 national media appearances, published books, and created online courses that have earned several “Highest Rated” titles from their 11 000+ members.
Today I coach clients from all over the world, and teach seminars for business and events from my home in Las Vegas.
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