The nature of expectations…

Court’s opinion of expectations.

Dictionary.com defines the following:

Expectation- the act or state of expecting.

Expecting- anticipating the occurrence or coming of.

Reality- the state or quality of being real.

Expectations drive us. We have expectations of ourselves, of loved ones, of friends, of strangers and of our environments. We live expectations everyday. They play on our morals and give us a framework for our values. Expectation is the power of government, the communication of parenthood, the standard for relationships and the survival of youth. We do what is expected of us and assume what is expected of others. It’s a societal norm to live up to expectations… but what happens when we don’t live up to those expectations?

I have struggled with the nature of expectations for a very long time. My expectations for myself and the expectations of others have dictated my actions over the years and have influenced me in more ways than one.  I have always used expectations to guide me in making the “right” decisions, and when I don’t make the “right” decisions I feel an overwhelming sense of disappointment. Disappointment only induced by the pressure of meeting and/or exceeding expectations. Granted, expectations help us set standards for ourselves, but what is the difference between personal expectations and expectations of others?

Personally, I think expectations of yourself are a must. You can’t challenge yourself if you don’t have expectations to achieve your goals. You cannot achieve your goals if you don’t have expectations to be motivated and ambitious. But there is a fine line between having expectations of yourself and having expectations of others-especially unrealistic expectations. When someone doesn’t live up to your expectations of them, you are instantly disappointed. Disappointment leads to uneasy emotions, and those uneasy emotions are toxic. My issue with the vicious cycle of expectations is, who is to blame for the disappointment? Time and time again we blame the people who “disappointed” us, but aren’t we the ones who disappointed ourselves? Whether others know of our expectations or not, we are the ones that put the expectations in place. Therefore, if someone doesn’t meet our expectations of them and we feel an overwhelming sense of disappointment…. it is our own damn fault.

The point of my post is to bring a new perspective to expectations. We have all dealt with our own personal experiences with expectations and disappointments, but maybe it’s time we re-evaluate how we react to expectations. They always say, life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. By no means am I saying don’t have expectations of others, but don’t react with disappointment when they don’t meet your expectations. After all, the expectations were YOURS in the first place- not theirs. Don’t take it personally. The only expectations you need to worry about are the expectations you have of yourself. Those are the expectations that mean the most and have the biggest impact.

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2 thoughts on “The nature of expectations…

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