Create your own expectations, or don't.

Left last week feeling like you failed.

Disappointed you didn’t get a new personal best.

Gutted you couldn’t do the repetitions you had planned to.

Unsatisfied with your time.

Unmotivated to continue.

And you know why? Because you have created an expectation above or beyond what you did. You created it, no one else. There is no bench mark, no minimum requirement, no minimum standard. The only bench mark is one you created yourself with an accompanying expectation to achieve above that bench mark.

Think of it like this…

The first time you walk into the gym. Absolute newbie, you squat 50kg. You hit full depth, hip crease below the knee, without any assistance. Stoked! And so you should be. Then you start doing weights for a while, you see others at the gym lifting more than you, you watch a few YouTube clips, see a couple of your friends on social media post a bigger squat than you. Suddenly you need to get 100kg. But why?

You get stuck into a training program, and you regularly attend classes. Six weeks later back squat comes up again. Excited, but nervous. You get warmed up, and before you know it you have soared to a new personal best of 70kg. A massive 20kg increase from six weeks ago. However, you leave disappointed. You understand that it has only been six weeks, and to almost double your max is a little unrealistic, but you are still a little disheartened.

Probably more determined than ever, you decide you need to do more. You begin training harder. You add in extra sessions each week. You do accessory work, and you do all the little things right.

Another 12 months goes past of increasing your squat by a couple of kilos here and there. Most recently you have achieved 95kg. But, now it’s time to get the 100kg you have been fighting for. You have finished another squat program. You have told the trainer you are coming in to test your back squat today. You are excited, he’s excited for you. You warmup and get stuck in. 95kg.

Gutted, absolutely gutted.

But why?

Because of an expectation you have created.

An expectation that says, because I have put in all this time, this hard work, this extra effort, I should be rewarded with a 100kg back squat.

There is nowhere which states, ‘one must back squat 100kg’.

The only place that is written, is in your own head.

Consider the opposing perspective. You started 12 months ago with a 50kg back squat and have improved your squat strength by 45kg. You have completed multiple squat and/or strength programs. You have become more motivated, goal driven and are now an active person. You have built relationships with others at the gym where you train. Not to mention you are doing more than a large majority of the population. In the end you are living a healthier, more fulfilled life than before.

But yet you are disappointed. You have a negative reflection on your result. A result which just over 12 months ago you didn’t know even existed.

An expectation which no one cares about.

An expectation which has no impact on your life.

An expectation which does not define you, only your attitude.

The only person you have let down. Is no one.

Be happy with everything, and disappointed with nothing.

Remove your expectations and move on.

 
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Michael Gillum