“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” — Bruce Lee
How do you manage life when reality doesn’t line up with your expectations?
You might be working on a project by yourself or with others. Each has its upsides and downsides.
When you’re working with others there’s bound to be some misunderstanding. When you’re working alone, well, it’s all on you. Also, it requires you to be a Jack or Jill of all trades.
So, how do you bridge the gap between your expectations and reality?
While it’s great to have ambitious goals, it’s also a matter of managing expectations. Both your own and that of others. The same goes whether you’re the leader or part of the team.
The key is always communication. Clear communication. Leaving people to fill in too many blanks is a recipe for disaster.
Think of all the times you’ve gotten vague descriptions of movies, video games, etc and they’ve completely failed to live up to what you imagined it could be.
At the same time, there needs to be balance.
Giving people too much information is akin to giving them a detailed step-by-step guide to how it’s done. That in turn will stifle their creativity. Unless the individual or group thrives in rebelling against rules.
If you’re a leader, don’t just expect everyone to know what it is you want to accomplish. Not even after if you tell them what it is.
Why? Because people don’t want to disappoint you. They’ll give it their best, but you need to create a safe space for them to tell you when they aren’t able to live up to your vision. One time won’t do it, you need to keep at it. Day after day after day.
As a member of the team you have a responsibility as well. You don’t try to fake skills you don’t have to live up to your boss’ expectations. If the boss has set an unrealistic goal it’s your responsibility to make sure to communicate that, even if your boss hasn’t created a safe space for you to do that.
You might be disappointed that there’s so much emphasis on communication and personal responsibility. You might wish that all you had to do was to show up and focus on your piece of it, but here’s the thing. No amount of wishing things were different will make it so.
If you or your team haven’t got the skills to pull it off, you need to accept that and work from that premise.
It’s great if you can push against the boundaries as much as possible, but please realize that a high jump over 8 feet isn’t done by a novice. It takes time, patience, and practice to reach those heights.
If it’s clear you can’t make that height just yet, you look at what you height you can clear.
Then you find ways to work yourself up from there.
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Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!