I have been brought up from a young age to have high aspirations, to be the best and to be ahead of my counterparts. I'm not saying that any of the above is bad, it's just that when you expect too much and build your hopes up too high, everything comes crashing down.
My Mum once said to me "if you don't expect anything, you'll never be disappointed."
And while I was so busy chasing my Dad's dream of becoming a Doctor, I lost sight of who I was, what I wanted, and why chasing this dream was so important anyway. It was because of him that I got a great set of GCSE results. He instilled in me the same sense of expectation and work ethic, along with a harsh criticism of myself and believing there always was room for improvement.
Now I'm not saying he was pushy, he was very encouraging and he had his reasons. But after my GCSEs I no longer got amazing grades, in fact quite the opposite. I came out of college with an ok set of A levels but I always felt that it could have been better, I should have done better. I never expected the A level grades I got, I never expected to end up at the uni I did, and even now this sense of expectation leaves the bitter taste of disappointment in my mouth.
So now, I pledge to never expect anything, or too much of myself because it's me that's going to have to deal with the after-effects. Ok, I may have gone from hero to zero, but it could have been a lot worse.