Expectations vs. Goals

As people we have expectations and we have goals. Things we believe we can do and want to do. Things we really want to accomplish and achieve. But what is the line between expectation and goal. What happens when the expectations take over and the goals get lost. This is when we tend to reframe our expectations as goals. We may even get caught up in the “tyranny of shoulds”.

This happened to me. I didn’t realize this until I had an excellent and challenging conversation with mental coach last night. This guy really just can cut to the meat of what I’m saying and dig out the key statements. There is no hiding behind words. Sometimes, like last night these conversations are darn hard. I literally feel my brain and heart squeezing as I dig deep to really be honest with myself about how I’m feeling and what I’m thinking. The brain is an amazing thing – it allows us to trick ourselves into believing we are doing okay – really it is our ultimate protection mechanism.

But thanks to people like Marvin, I’m able with some prodding to get past this protective barrier and come clean with myself. I’ve struggled with the mental game pretty much every race season. But this year I really want things to be different. And I admit after the race in Plzen I was feeling pretty darn low. I had one of those races where I fought the voices in my head for the entire race. Yes, this really only does make things harder.

Now though, things are going to be different. I’ve got a different perspective on this racing gig and what I want to do. I put expectations ahead of goals. The goals got lost with what I believed “I should” be able to achieve. I forgot that the goals are what got me are. The goals are what have made a stronger person. The expectations really for me, only serve to break me down. So know more “shoulds”. Now it is all about “going and doing”.

I just want to go out and ride my bike. Find the fun in it again. Not get wrapped up in outcomes, results, and consequences. I have season goals that I really want to accomplish. But I’ll never get close to these goals if I don’t accomplish the smaller goals – to go out and be completely in race mode and to have fun doing it. When I do this, I’ll be riding my bike the way I know I can and the way I want to (yes this is an expectation…). This won’t happen over night. Nor will I be able to completely break myself of the crazy brain and the expectation vs. goals pressure that I impose on myself. So I’ll approach this the same way that got me from a back-of-the-packer to where I am now – slow and steady.

Focus. Determination. Heart. Soul. Drive. Dedication. This is the stuff of dreams and goals.

One thought on “Expectations vs. Goals

  1. I just wrote an article about this. Amazing how much similarity there is between the topics of our blogs (I know it’s a cliched topic in some sense) but everyone’s take is different, no? I want to start biking soon as well. This weekend.

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