In the first episode of lessons learned in life series, I highlighted the first lesson I learned while acquiring new skills. If you haven’t seen the first episode on making it meaningful, check it out then proceed to this episode

A quick recap on the importance of this first lesson is in the value to gives you once you have recognized the purpose why you want to learn it. When you have a clear purpose why you want to learn a particular skill, it not only invigorates you but increases your retaining power as well as learning capability. Take a quick visit to see the first lesson to benefit more before proceeding with the second lesson.

Now that you have been through the first episode, let’s dive into the second lesson learned which is;

Lesson 2 – Set Realistic Expectations

Have you ever wanted to be a pro in anything within a short period of time? If yes, then you are certainly not alone. I have always wanted to accumulate a wide range of skills within a short period of time. That’s doable you might say but for me, I wanted to be a pro.

That’s not feasible! I know right? Well, that’s how high my expectations were until I was compelled to face reality and had a reality check.

It is completely natural that we feel like we should speed up the learning process and shorten the time invested in learning. I, more than anyone wanted to speed up my learning to a pro-level in a short time.

How did it turn out? Not good! I failed in reaching the overly high expectation I set and was disappointed. I realized that when I set unrealistic expectations on how fast I can learn a certain skill, I miss out on the reality of things.

And quit putting in a good amount of because my expectations were unrealistic. My energy level compared to when I started depreciated.

How do you set realistic expectations? I believe you can manage your expectations by setting a realistic goal irrespective of the excitement which you will have in the beginning. Also, understand that the beginning stages of learning a skill can be extremely slow and that’s completely okay. Make your expectations realistic based on your time, availability, energy levels and application of the desired skill.

I like the way the psychologist Mary Grogan writes about expectations on the Website Mindfood.com

“Setting high expectations may be a good strategy if you can also allow the experience to be different from what you imagine,” she writes. “Often in clinical work, I ask clients what it means about them if their expectations aren’t met. A sense of not being good enough is the common answer.”

She added, “It is having flexibility in our expectations and being willing to change track without self-blame that has been shown to increase well-being.”

It can be a pretty exciting kicking off in the learning process. However, not managing your expectations can kill the excitement and quickly turn it into a bitter experience.

Final thoughts.

Take time out to assess your expectations. Are they too high to reach or too low that you begin to procrastinate? Determine today what you expect at the end of the learning process, what level you intend to reach in relation to the time it needs to get to that level. In addition, evaluate based on your energy level. It’s a key element in keeping both your enthusiasm and motivation.

Remember, it’s completely okay to set high expectations, just be certain that they are feasible based on the factors within your control.

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