You’re not always going to meet your own expectations for yourself and the expectations of others. No human being is perfect. A part of being human is understanding that you are incapable of perfection. When you have not met your responsibilities, don’t sit there and wallow in your self-pity—dust yourself off and try again. If you have made some poor choices, it’s okay. Learn from those poor choices and strive to not make them again. If you make them again, keep working not to repeat them. Too many people put too much pressure on themselves to be perfect. For many, it’s almost like a surprise when they don’t do things perfectly. Why would you be surprised? You have not been perfect from the day you were conceived.
You cannot let what you feel others may think about your poor choices worry you that much. You will drive yourself insane trying to please people all the time. It’s impossible to please people all the time because many people don’t even know what “being pleased” is.
Being disappointed is not a good feeling. We have to make sure that we are doing our best to prevent disappointments from occurring. However, no matter how much you are doing to attempt to prevent disappointments from happening they are still going to happen. The effort that you devote to foiling disappointments from occurring can help to reduce the number of disappointments you experience.
If you are never disappointed with yourself, you will never know how proud of yourself you should be when you do something really good or great. Disappointments come to improve us. If everything goes just great for you all the time, you would not feel human. It would also feel like you cannot feel. Do you really want to go through life not being able to feel? I don’t think you really want to go through life not being able to feel.
People think that everything always goes great for me. They look at my level of success, accomplishments, titles, positions, degrees, talents, and etc. and think that every day and everything is wonderful for me. Yes, I’m very successful and highly accomplished but my success and accomplishments did not come without my share of disappointments. In fact, the more success and accomplishments I earn the greater the pressure I place on myself to be even better. With the tremendous pressure I place on myself to become greater and greater, I experience many disappointments.
Don’t make me be less than human by thinking that everything is always going great for me and that every day is a successful day for me. I am not a robot. I feel. Although my external wrapper and internal coating is much stronger than most, I still feel. I have cloudy days and cloudy moments just as you do. I encourage you not to perceive people who are successful and accomplished to be something larger than human. Yes, we are successful and accomplished but still human.
I take comfort in my disappointments because I did all that I could reasonably do to avoid being disappointed. At the end of the day, all I can ask myself to do is the best I can do. When I’ve done all I can reasonably do to do my best, it’s then that I recognize I don’t have a need to feel disappointed with myself.
Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison