Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Shoulds

I am an ambitious type-A by nature. This is generally a good trait. However, it often manifests in dissatisfaction. I tend to say things like this to myself: I should have run faster; I should have done more in the day; or I should have lost those extra few pounds of baby weight by now. I always struggle with the line between ambitions and expectations: wanting more out of myself (which is fine) and expecting more out of myself (which may not be realistic and sets me up for disappointment). There is a point where I need to accept myself and want more rather than expecting more.

Instead of I should have been tougher and raced better, it would be more helpful to say I want to race better than I did and will work towards that goal for my next race. It's a minor difference, but should is judgmental. Should sets me up for feeling like a failure. Identifying what I want, on the other hand, formulates a goal and provides a foundation to make improvements. Basically, the difference between should and want is the difference between disappointment and hope.

So yes. I want to do better. I will do better. It will take time to improve my fitness and it may take longer than I want it to given what's going on with the rest of my life. It will take time to get those racing sensibilities back and improve upon them. So, as always the answer is to keep plugging along, but leave all those shoulds behind.

1 comment:

Nitsirk said...

I was just talking to my husband about my problem with this very same issue. I am never satisfied with the status quo. I should always be thinner, faster, better mom etc. It's exhausting. I am trying to be better about living in the moment and appreciating what I do have. It's hard though when you are wired to "be the best" at everything you want to do.