Making decisions based on what you think is expected of you, is never the right move.
You’ll always find yourself in frustrating situations that feel helpless, hopeless, and terrible.
But here’s the best part about expectations that we THINK others have of us: they aren’t even real! That’s right, they’re fake! They’re assumptions, ideas and messages that have no basis, foundation or evidence.
If your client hasn’t explicitly told you that they expect you to be early for a meeting with them…
If your boss hasn’t explicitly told you you have to be at your desk, butt in chair, at 8:55 am…
If your partner hasn’t explicitly told you that they expect you to take out the trash and recycling bin the night before pickup…
Then guess what? It’s all in your head.
Until you explicitly know, it’s only an assumption, a guess, a feeling, or even the avoidance of a feeling… Maybe you’re avoiding disappointing someone, angering someone. Of not looking like you care. Of not caring and not wanting others to think you don’t care.
It’s time to forgive yourself for not fulfilling expectations that do not truly exist.
Here’s what that looks like:
- Setting about on someone else’s path of right and wrong
- Embarking on a career or business or life path that was never yours at all
- Taking responsibility for, taking over other people’s burdens
- Taking away from yourself, misappropriating someone else’s expectations of themselves that you thought belonged to you
If you’re taking action (or not taking action!) based on an expectation that you think others have of you, then the bottom line is that you’re living someone else’s life. Not your own.
I want you to live your own life. The way you want to. For the reasons you want to.
Your why. Your want. For you.
When you’re down on yourself because you feel like you did something wrong, or disappointed someone, think about these questions:
- Did that person actually tell you they have that expectation of YOU?
- If so, was it reasonable to expect that from you? If not, let it go.
- If not, what’s the actual frustration?
- Where did you come up with the idea that THEY have an expectation of you?
- Why do you have this expectation? What does society expect, that you’ve somehow internalized? Why does it matter?
- When did you start trying to meet this expectation? What was going on? When did this issue start popping up? Hint: Look for clues and patterns.
- How can you start to shift an expectation into one that is more manageable, more reasonable for YOU? What is ONE baby step you can take today to start changing this expectation?
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