I always expect the best of myself, so that when I see the results of my work, I can judge myself not on how well I did, but how much I’d tried according to my self-expectations.
For example, I did very well in my teaching course. I studied hard, did all my coursework properly and stuck to the schedule I set myself. At the end it didn’t matter what kind of grades I received, because I knew that I’d done all I could to meet my own personal expectations of myself.
On the other hand, When I was at university, I slacked off in my final year, let myself get behind deadlines, and only put in half the effort. At the end of which, although I received my degree, I felt that I had failed myself.
I know enough not to beat myself up over that, but I have also learned enough from that experience to know that I don’t want to go through life like that. Just barely passing by doing the minimal effort.