A view on expectations- Are we too hard on ourselves?

Expectations. We all have them. We either have them for ourselves or someone else has them for us. We ourselves even have them for other people. In the work setting there are standards and expectations that you are to meet on a daily basis and if they aren’t met then there are consequences. At home as a child, there is the expectation that you are to listen and abide by the rules your parents have put into motion. In school there is the expectation that students will listen to the lessons and turn in their homework (on time). As you drive down the road, there is the expectation that you will abide by the posted speed limit (not sure how many follow this one); and in relationships with others there is the expectation that you can trust in them either as a friend or companion.

There are so many expectation that I could go on and on, but you get the point. No matter what we do there is an associated expectation. So I ask, why is it that people place such high expectations on each other when they know they will never meet them? Are we a society so driven to meet and achieve these expectations that we will do anything to get there? Are there that many overachievers in the world today?

I questioned myself on expectations that were placed on me. Was it too much. We’re they reasonable. Did the expectations even fit into the scheme of what was needed to complete the task. Am I being too unreasonable. Should i even trust this person with the information that I’ve shared with them… Sometimes we will do anything to meet or exceed the expectations that are placed on us only to be told ‘it wasn’t good enough’, ‘you needed to do a better job’, ‘I can’t believe you trusted that person’ and so on and so on.

So, can we do anything about setting expectations too high? I think that is a question everyone needs to ask themselves. Are you okay with just meeting the expectations and having expectations just met for you? Or, is there a happy medium somewhere out there for those overachievers.

Expectations are a hard lesson to learn in life and it takes a lot of them to master and break before we get the right feel for where we are comfortable and what we can give.

“Expectation is the root of all heartache.” – William Shakespeare


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