One of the many beautiful things about working for PF has been all the life lessons I’ve absorbed just by being around Charlie and Angela, and the wisdom they put into the world through posts, podcasts, and coaching calls. From learning what a boundary even is to honoring and understanding my unique energy levels, I can say I’ve truly become a better person working here.
But this post isn’t all about sucking up to the boss, nor is it to say that I’ve got it all figured out. I’m still very much learning.
Another lesson I’ve learned through PF that’s come up for me a lot in the past few weeks is about learning to manage my expectations. In the business sense, this means being realistic with how much you can accomplish in a day, week, or month. It means giving yourself grace when you overbook yourself and making better plans going forward so that you don’t get so down on yourself when you don’t meet these unreasonable expectations. And it means, in these COVID-times, managing the expectations of your productivity and your business is more important than ever.
For me, this theme of needing to manage my expectations has shown up in my interpersonal relationships. The pandemic has turned the world upside down, a low-level cloud of anxiety permeates the world, and tensions between people are high. From the vibes at the grocery store to receiving one-word text message responses, I realized the expectations I had for some people were slipping further and further away from what I was actually experiencing. Having this realization was a tough pill to swallow, but denying reality was even worse.
I recently had a conversation with a friend, because — after months of awkward tension and half-baked attempts at connection — I knew there were clearly some grievances we had to air out. Woman to woman, we sat down and had a transparent conversation about the things that happened in the past and the hurt we’ve both felt. Being open and honest, we were able to determine a path forward with a clean slate and honesty in our words, actions, and intentions. We expressed how we can grow from this situation with a realistic sense of expectations as to where our friendship stands — with each other and within the greater friend group.
Reflecting on the conversation and the way the whole situation was handled, I can see how much I’ve grown. I listened to my energy levels and reached out to my friend when I knew I’d have the time and space to have this talk. As a result of the conversation, I’m now moving forward with clearer boundaries with her and with myself, in relation to my newfound expectations, which will hopefully result in a more balanced mental and emotional state.
I’m also proud of the way I stood up for myself, used my voice, and asked for what I wanted. I didn’t simply roll over and say, “It’s all good, no worries!” as I have in the past, which would have left me hurt and resentful. The negative pattern would have continued, and our friendship would have continued to suffer. (Fun fact: I’m a Libra and an Enneagram 9, so my world revolves around staying balanced and keeping the peace — but look, I’m slowly but surely realizing that my peace matters, too!)
Relationships of all sorts are tough enough, pandemic or not. I’m finding that meeting people with compassion, empathy, and honesty is crucial in getting to the root of whatever nonsense is standing in the way of contentment. Learning from the past is important in truthfully navigating relationships, and you don’t have to hold a grudge in order to let your ego win. Swallowing your pride and managing realistic expectations going forward is crucial to keeping the relationship growing and healthy.
Most importantly, recognize that you aren’t perfect and that when you inevitably say or do something you regret, give yourself the same grace you would to a stranger on the street. Learn, forgive, and grow. Continue to work on yourself and strive to move forward with as much love in your heart as possible, to find that balance and peace in your life that we’re all looking for.
So, let me say it one more time for the people in the back: manage your expectations with the people in your life — including you, too. Your sanity and your energy will thank you.
This post is also a part of The Anchor email series, which we’re sending out to help provide you support and grounding and hope during this challenging time. If you’d like to receive The Anchor in your inbox a few times a week, you can sign up here.