By Ari Bogotch

I never thought of my expectations for myself and my life as bold, but I did always have high expectations for myself. Right now, for instance, I’m working on an MBA part-time while working here at Achieve Atlanta full-time.

I was lucky enough to come from a family where I was empowered to take chances and to make decisions that might not have a predictable outcome. Being bold is easier when you have the support of family and friends; I know that, and I never take it for granted.

Professionally, I’ve been moved by my expectation that I will have a positive impact. Probably from high school on, it’s been about seeing the impact that I’m able to have and then thinking about how I can implement it on a larger scale. That thought process inspired me to join Teach for America, move to New York City and work for a high-performing school district and eventually to set my sights on moving to Atlanta. When I moved here, I didn’t have a job – I just packed up to move south. I took the risk because I knew Atlanta was the place I wanted to be. And within a few weeks I had the opportunity to join the team at Achieve Atlanta.

After reflection, I realize that I do have bold expectations for myself. I’m fortunate, I think, that bold expectations are reflexive for me. To me, bold expectations don’t mean unrealistic expectations. Bold expectations still need to be attainable. You can set expectations that are at once bold and within your reach and your realm of possibilities. They can be fueled by your belief that you can do these amazing things, backed up by knowledge and wherewithal.

Setting bold expectations means there are times you’re going to be let down. For me, it means sometimes I won’t get the grade I want on a test, or that in balancing everything in my life there may be things that I cannot do. But I try to ground myself by remembering why I chose to do something in the first place, to believe in the conviction of my choices and to learn from disappointment.

I will never stop asking how I can push myself past what I thought I was capable of. I am always thinking about the next step. I let my bold expectations for myself push me forward.