Great Expectations: Competing With Yourself Makes For A Formidable Adversary

"Let's look at all of the challenges that we have overcome up until now, and look at how far we've come since the start of this year."

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As we come close to the end of the year, I’m seeing quite a lot of people around me descend into a frantic frenzy of sorts, as they become fixated on the idea that there are certain personal or professional goals that they absolutely have to realize before 2022 rolls around.

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I’ll admit here that I drank a bit of this Kool-Aid too, when I first came across this ambitious overdrive spurred on through social media over the past few weeks. And I consequently found myself getting rather agitated with the notion that I had to accomplish something of note in these final 60 or so days for the last 10 months to have had any meaning.

What this resulted in was me attempting to follow through on my goals at an impractical pace, while simultaneously berating myself for not doing “more” all year long. All of this led me tumbling down a rabbit hole of hopelessness to get sadly (but predictably) buried under the weight of the unrealistic expectations that I had put on myself.

It was in this defeated state that I began to examine how I got to this point, and that’s when I realized that, in this unnecessary, mad rush to realize new goals by an arbitrary deadline, I had undone all of the progress I had made in terms of making sure I always put my well-being first in a world that’s still all about the rat race.

Indeed, I know for a fact that it’s not just me feeling this pressure to “perform” before midnight strikes on New Year’s Eve- I’ve been seeing everyone from friends and colleagues to partners and clients feeling harrowed and drained chasing after targets that almost certainly don’t need to be achieved in this timeline.

So, how do we get out of this self-imposed mess? My suggestion would be to for all us to make it a point to not measure our success this year by what we do in the next couple of weeks- instead, let’s look at all of the challenges that we have overcome up until now, and look at how far we’ve come since the start of this year.

At the end of the day, let’s not succumb to the temptation to prove our worth in what we do next- I’d venture that we should rather take a moment to just appreciate what we’ve already done, and relish in the potential of what that will lead to.

Related: The Daily Grind Has Its Moments

Aby Sam Thomas

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Entrepreneur Staff

Aby Sam Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Middle East. In this role, Aby is responsible for leading the publication on its editorial front, while also working to build the brand and grow its presence across the MENA region through the development and execution of events and other programming, as well as through representation in conferences, media, etc.

Aby has been working in journalism since 2011, prior to which he was an analyst programmer with Accenture, where he worked with J. P. Morgan Chase's investment banking arm at offices in Mumbai, London, and New York. He holds a Master's Degree in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York.