Expectations, hmm, something that most of us experienced a long time ago, maybe even before we were conceived. I want him to be a boy. I want her to be a girl. Maybe he will become a lawyer. Perhaps she will be a doctor. I hope he will find a stunning girl, I hope she will marry a wealthy man. I expect you to behave, to get good grades, to make me proud, to obey, not to disappoint me. And I can go on like this for hours. This is the way most of us started our experiences as human beings.
We have practically grown up to meet the expectations of those around us. Now, being adults what we are good at? Wrapping ourselves in expectation from loved ones, society and ourselves. These expectations go both ways from us to them and from them to us.
We expect ourselves to be perfect – pretty, healthy, smart, financially independent, calm, reliable, creative, a good mum, a powerful dad, a passionate wife, to have a career, social life, to learn new skills and the list goes on and on.
On top of this, we have expectations from the rest of the people – to be understood, liked, appreciated, loved, cherished, supported, helped, accepted. We often expect those around us to read our thoughts – he should’ve known I wanted help with cleaning, she should have known that I don’t like her to talk to me like that.
Our expectations and those around us wrap us like a fog, and the outcome is a feeling of not doing enough or not being enough, a constant disappointment.
Expectations, an Open Door to Low Self-Esteem
This is what is wrong with expectations. Expectations create an image in our minds of something we want to happen under our conditions. When our needs get in conflict with the needs and desires of others, we experience a feeling of separation, loneliness, disappointment and even anger. We create walls, develop addictions, depression, we close ourselves just to be able to cope with all this pressure coming from all directions.
We try to please everyone, and too often we forget to please ourselves, we have come so far that we no longer know what we like, we just have to.
Don’t you think you deserve a moment for yourself and put the expectations aside for a short time? Don’t you think it will help if you just stop for one minute and hug yourself? Yes, a hug. Put your arms around you and tighten hard. You don’t need anyone to make you feel good. You can do it yourself. Maybe you can even say something beautiful? Like – Hey, I know you’ve been through a lot, I got your back. I’m here, don’t worry, you are not alone. You are doing just fine. You are enough.
For a long time in my life, I’ve put so much pressure on my shoulders. I wanted to know so many things that lead me to self-judgment, rejection and stiffness. Also, I wanted to be loved, appreciated, cherished. I craved attention and understanding. The more I waited to receive it from outside, the more disappointed I was. So at one point in my life, I started first to speak with myself with kindness and support and second, to literally offer myself what I was expecting from others. It didn’t take long for me to start seeing drastic changes in my life.
I still have moments when I function according to the old patterns, but they don’t longer control me. I see them very fast and start recalibrating myself, it’s constant work, but I never had that feeling of loneliness again.
When it comes to the expectations you have from the people around you, take a moment and analyse the situation. Ask yourself these questions.
Is this an expectation of mine
Let’s say you expect your partner to understand you in a matter and he doesn’t. Given the circumstances, if you were the other person, you would understand yourself?
Yes – then try explaining differently, take into consideration that we are different and what is clear for you may not be obvious for others. If you tried all the possible ways and still weren’t understood, take a break and resume the conversation another time. Still not understood? Pour compassion over yourself and the other person and accept the fact that some situations need more time to be understood even if it may take years in some cases.
No – if you don’t understand yourself, how someone else could? Try applying the options described above and clarify your thoughts and desires.
Is this an expectation from me
We often project our expectations from us on other people, mostly those near us. For example, when someone says – you disappointed me – this is their unfulfilled expectations projected on you. Every time someone blames you or you blame someone, the person who blames, projects her suffering on the other person. I know, there are times when the situation may look like the person in front of you did something, and you didn’t. Not even once in your entire life. Let’s take an example.
Someone deceived you, and you never betrayed someone. When this kind of situation occurs, ask yourself – When I cheated myself the last time? Be honest with yourself, and you will find at least one case. If you did this to yourself, why should you expect someone else not to do the same to you? Mostly all the time we look not to hurt those around us but brutally omit to do the same with ourselves. We don’t even think of ourselves as a person who needs compassion and respect. We often do not have a relationship full of love and harmony with ourselves, but we expect to have such a relationship with a partner. Our partners are our mirrors. They reflect the yin and yang that plays inside us.
What I learned from my experience until now is this: every time I offered myself the things I was expecting from another person, attention, love, appreciation, a walk in the park, I gained more confidence in myself. Also, in no time I began receiving it from outside too. Every time, without any doubt.
Reframe The Expectations
What if, instead of creating expectations, you will create intentions. As I said in a previous article, words have tremendous power, used carelessly can influence our lives in ways we surely don’t want. The same thing happens with expectations.
There is a fine line between expectation and intention, and you need to find your line. You will experience the disappointments of expectations and the beauty of a fulfilled intention, and you will play with both until you find a common ground. A place where you feel comfortable in your skin, where you feel in control of your reactions, thoughts and actions.
When you speak with yourself about all the things, you wish for yourself, pass them through the intention filter. I intend to be healthy, to have a loving relationship, to discover who I am. These little changes in the way you address the circumstances make a big difference.
Things don’t happen just because you wished or expected them to happen. They occur as a result of something you did in that matter. All you need and want is already around you. Therefore, set everything in motion. This only starts with and from you.
Yet, you can experience all of the above. I don’t believe in the expression “You can’t have them all”. I genuinely think we can have them all, that we can express our gifts in creative ways. We can be great mothers, have loving relationships, be healthy, and pretty. We can have them all if we just make peace with ourselves. I will address this subject more in-depth in a future article.
Intentions do not let you cling to them because there is a working progress. It is a constant action towards everything you intend to manifest in your life. Setting an intention is sending a signal to the Universe, God (call it how you want) that you are ready to overcome your limitations. Also, that you work with your patterns and you are creating a great relationship with yourself, based on acceptance, communication and expression.
If we want to communicate our needs, we need to start understanding the communication we have with our soul and mind. How we treat ourselves is how others and the environment treats us. The best investment of your life is in discovering yourself. Everything else comes after.
Treat each situation as a singular one, do not mix them up. Even though your expectations may link to one another, they are separated and you need to address them properly. Mixing them will only cause more frustration, disappointments and expectations.
Being in control of your words, thoughts, and actions doesn’t mean you will never have situations in which you will use words you don’t like. Undoubtedly you will still have thoughts rushing through your mind or lose yourself. Yes, you will still experience this kind of situations, but you will have the necessary tools to deal with self-judging, self-blaming, victimisation and expectations. You will know how to pull yourself up. This will strengthen your self-confidence and teach you to live a life without dramas, anxiety, loneliness and despair.
Take into consideration that everything is fleeting. Every piece of information has its own time, take it, analyse it, master it and let it go. We are constantly changing and expanding. Therefore what is useful today will be surpassed at one point, so don’t remain stuck in a moment. Take it as it comes, analyse the situation, ask yourself questions, embrace it and transcend it.
To summarise, analyse yourself and the circumstances. See clearly what are your expectations and what others expect from you. Replace all your expectations with intentions and do what you can to make them a reality. Do not get attached to them. Keep in mind, what is yours will find you.
There is no competition, no race and no prices. There are only you, your own time and your understanding of yourself. Therefore you are the hero of your journey. We, the rest of us, are just playing different roles to help you on your journey.
If you have any question, please feel free to comment on the post. Also, I would love to know what you think and if what I wrote resonates with you in some way.
Remember to love yourself