Expectations are an interesting thing. In a way, dreaming about something is often what motivates us to do it. We dream of what we can achieve, or of a potential adventure, and the belief that it could happen excites us enough to go out and prepare in the hope of making it a reality.
I’m a professional cyclocross racer, and those dreams and expectations I have for myself guide my everyday decisions and allow me to push myself above what I think is possible. Just thinking about what I want to achieve gets me excited, but also a little bit nervous. I want to live up to my own expectations, and I so badly want to make those dreams a reality. Yet, those expectations allow me to set a standard for myself; a standard of excellence that I need to bring to each training session, making me inherently better than if I did not have those high expectations.
But there can also be a darker side to expectations: when an unrealistic picture you paint in your mind ends up being shattered by a much more difficult reality than the one you had planned.