I’ve been wanting to buy an air fryer for a while now. One of my favorite things to bake is homemade donuts.  I’m increasingly excited about the potential of frying my donuts to see how they turn out.

This week, I mentioned this wish list item to my friend Melissa.  Melissa has an air fryer and I wanted her thoughts and feedback before making the purchase.

Melissa absolutely loves her air fryer.

She expressed her current obsession excitedly,

“Liesl-I can reheat soggy left-over restaurant fries in it.  I can also pop frozen potstickers or eggrolls in the air fryer and they taste like restaurant quality.  Did I mention it is only $99?”

 She had me at reheating soggy restaurant fries.

As I mentally slipped this item onto my birthday “wish list”, she had a word of caution,

“Make sure you only buy the air fryer. Don’t buy the 5-in-1 Indoor Grill.  Apparently, it grills, fries, roasts, bakes and dehydrates. While it seems tempting to spend the extra $100 for all those features, I’ve heard it doesn’t do anything really well.  Can anyone do 5 things really well?”

I sat and pondered her statement for a moment.

I said, “You’re right.  No one can do five things well. I mean who can grill, fry, roast, bake and dehydrate like a rockstar?”

The conversation ended there, but my deeper thoughts on the matter kept going.

Have you ever met anyone who is rockstar at 5 things? I haven’t.

Typically, being exceptional at something requires a bazillion hours of practice.

However, despite giving the 5-in-1 Ninja Indoor Grill a hard pass on being exceptional at everything; many times we don’t give ourselves the same grace.

Many of us place unrealistic expectations on ourselves to be a stand-out at multiple things.

Our goals to be the 5-in-1 indoor grill often sound like this:

I want to be the best mom: I’ll volunteer for PTA, coach the softball team, help my daughter sell the most girl scout cookies, host the best Elf on the Shelf reveal party and track their online homework assignments every day.

I want to be the best employee: I’ll volunteer for all the work assignments, put in 60 hours a week, rescue my manager regularly, travel whenever they need it and mentor three people at work.

I want to be the best partner:  I’ll plan elaborate date nights, I’ll throw the surprise birthday party, I’ll leave love notes around the house and cook favorite meals once a week.

You can’t do it all.  Nobody is meant to be the 5-in-1-indoor grill.  When you try to do everything, the quality of what you give will go down dramatically.

How do you let go of your 5-in-1 Indoor Grill dreams?

From me to you:

You were not built to be the 5-in-1 Indoor Grill.  It is impossible to be stellar at everything you do.

-“You can do anything, but you can’t do everything”: I’m not sure who said this first, but it wasn’t me (hence the quotes).  Accept you are a marvelous, fantastic, brilliant and incredible human.  However, nobody is built to be the 5-in-1 indoor grill.  You cannot do it all.  You will burn out and disappoint people. Nobody can honor all the commitments it requires to be the “best” at everything. While you’re goal is to make everybody happy by your stellar abilities, you will inevitably disappoint people more than you please them. You will flake on commitments, be unable to uphold your promises and feel overwhelmed.  Remind yourself regularly: You can do anything, but you can’t do everything.

These unrealistic expectations are often yours alone: Often, the expectations you place on yourself are yours alone. The people who love you have lower expectations than you do.  Your daughter doesn’t really care to be the highest cookie seller in the troop.  Instead, she wants you to spend time with her teaching her how to go door to door; a few houses will do.  Your partner didn’t need an elaborate surprise party.  Instead, they wanted you to plan an intimate date night where you found a babysitter.  When I’m heaping expectations on myself, I try and pause.  Instead of assuming my people need something from me, I ask.

It sounds like this:

“Mady (my daughter) what’s your goal this year for cookie sales?  What do you want to learn and what’s important?”

“Harlen (my husband) what’s your ideal birthday look like? What makes you feel most loved?”

Let go of unimportant opinions: To prioritize what matters most in your life, you will have to let go of unimportant opinions. I specify “unimportant” because there are peoples’ opinions that should matter to you. However, this group of people should be a small island and carefully chosen.  You cannot please everyone and not everyone will agree with your priorities. People will talk about you. We become spread thin when we are hustling around pleasing everybody.  Instead of focusing on unimportant opinions, try shifting your energy to the peoples’ opinions that do matter. Prioritize your life based on that small group of people and you will have loyal, loving and lasting relationships.

If you get stuck, remember: Not even a machine can do 5 things really well.

Neither can you.

Still going to buy that air fryer,