What Do You Expect of Yourself?

I announced that my estimation book was done and ready for sale today. (See Predicting the Unpredictable is Available.)

When I started to manage my book projects myself (as opposed to working with a publisher), I was not sure what to expect. I didn’t know how long anything would take. I didn’t know if I could do it all myself.

I now have a group of people who help me: cover designer, print layout person, developmental editor, copyeditor, and reviewers, who help me. Just as writing code is not a single-person project, neither is writing a book.

I wasn’t sure how I would do the work of publishing a book. I was sure I could succeed. I have learned more than I thought I needed to know when I started. I’ve had a blast doing it, too.

My expectations were that I could do this. I would find a way around obstacles. I would learn. I would do what I needed to, in order to release the books. I have succeeded. Now, I need to market better. Another work in progress.

We live up—or d0wn—to our expectations of ourselves. If we don’t believe we can accomplish something, we often can’t. When we believe we can, we often do.

For me, I can accomplish these things because I believe in myself. Sure, I have doubts, the same way anyone else has. I use the idea of “anything in my way is an obstacle I can remove.” That’s the optimistic mindset and the growth mindset.

When you start something new, do you embrace it? Do you expect you will succeed? Or, do you dread it, “knowing” you will not succeed? Maybe you’re somewhere in the middle between excitement and dread. I sometimes am.

When you have the pit-in-the-stomach feeling, that place between excitement and dread, or actual dread, what do you do? I envision myself succeeding. Once I see the success, I make a list of what I need to do to achieve that success. Maybe a list isn’t for you. I love my lists. Use whatever mechanism you need to discover the risks and manage them. Or, maybe you need to not do this thing that fills you with dread.

There are plenty of things I will not do: ziplines, for example. I didn’t like them before I had vertigo. Now, they scare me, never mind the dread part. Nope, not even going to try.

We fulfill our expectations of ourselves. What are your expectations, for now and for the future?

Dear adaptable problem solvers, that is the question this week: What do you expect of yourself?

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