I‘ve always considered myself more logical than creative because evidently in school I was drawn more towards science stream subjects than that of art. Perhaps I never really thought what I wanted to do because I went with the flow—I stayed doing what I was good at.
When you have worked with facts and data most of your life, you’d be more likely to have a certain type of expectations to avoid errors and mistakes as much as you’d hope to avoid. You’d always aim for almost perfection because once you’ve made a mistake, you could lose money or lose someone’s life. So when I first started this blog—actually about a year ago—I spent way too much on researching the market of blogs rather than actually sitting down and let my creative process flow.
I spent way too much time planning than executing what I’ve planned simply because what I wanted to do was something out of my comfort zone and totally out of “expertise”.
The questions that I used to have were: how would I make a living out of it? how would people pay me for my work? how this and how that? A layer of doubts further enclosed my analytical mind that kept me hanging on air without even going up or at least… fall. A fall would’ve been something more than this desire and constant need to feel secure.
Like most people, failure was my biggest fear—more than it has been to “put myself out there”. I actually remember a conversation that I had with my friend about failure that I’d rather fall sick than actually fail. I’d rather be diagnosed with a disease than having to experience a flaw that would hurt my pride. I used to anyway. My pride was my superficial protection from “bad” experiences when in the end, they’ve turned me into someone tense and less real.
I also had expectations; I was always so hard on myself that it was difficult to draw the line between motivation and fear.
I had unrealistic expectations—ones that I was so consumed by, that they started eating me inside. I didn’t know how to deal with unmet expectations but I soon realised that they are nothing but false hopes. (Hence, I don’t like to use the word “expectations” because it sounds authoritative and counterproductive.)
I’d say expectations kill creativity. Expectations are the product of perfectionism—an impossible place to reach especially in this world. I don’t know if there is a scientific fact that proves this to be true but through my novice writing experience, expectations wouldn’t get you anywhere.
Hope, on the other hand, has been the only thing that made me continue to run, walk and… crawl on this uncertain journey. The writing journey itself has been so slow with a few things coming my way but I am hopeful. I am no longer confused. I no longer need to satisfy my mean self because it doesn’t get me to a point where I’d wake up feeling the need to change myself to be better. If anything, it slowed me down.
Expectations almost destroyed me. I was constantly walking under a dark cloud so much so that it has masked my sight from looking beyond that storm or whatever you may call it.
I wouldn’t say stop expecting completely but put your expectations at the right place. Better yet, start hoping more than you’d expect from yourself and other people.
Had my life turned out the way that I wanted it to be, I wouldn’t have stories to tell. I wouldn’t meet the people whom I’ve gladly met—those whom I’ve become close with— along that unexpected road.
But then again, the question that I’d like to leave you with is what are you most driven by? Are you motivated by fear to change and become better or motivated by kindness and love to change and become better? As I’ve said many times before, I’ve always aimed for a balance in life—the in-between road.
And this is not to say that you should not have a certain direction and goals of where you’d like to head but setting expectations—especially unrealistic ones—would only destroy you and in the end, would hinder you from truly exploring what’s within you and beyond.