Expectations 2: Self Expectations

Noun:

a firm belief that something will happen or be the case in the future

Expectations when it comes to self… Helpful or hurtful. Realistic or unrealistic. These are usually the categories they fall into. How do we gauge if the expectations we set for ourselves are realistic? How do we know the expectations we set for ourselves are helpful to our overall growth and progress and not actually detrimental? 

The truth is…I don’t have the answers

These are the questions you need to be asking yourself. There is no universal “figure it out.” All of our lives are unique. Every experience you have had, that led you to this very moment is yours only. It shaped you into the person you are today. Therefore, you have to be the meter that gauges if your expectations are realistic or exaggerated. However, I want to help so let’s talk about it! 

Expectations should meet your current reality and your future hopes right in the middle. In other words, if the person you are now can’t help you reach said expectations, then although it may be realistic, it’s more hurtful than helpful. 

I know, I know…since we were young, “Dream big,” has been instilled in our minds by our teachers, parents, mentors, friends and so forth. There is nothing wrong with having a dream, but some dreams that we turn into expectations take us completely out of our reality. I came across this article the other day, and a paragraph really stuck out to me that I want to share with y’all:

Expectations become problematic when they take us out of the present to solely focus on the future, or fill our heads with how things “should” be and feel and of how the people around us “should” act and feel. Our “shoulds” of ourselves reflect expectations that we feel we are not meeting. When we tell ourselves that we “should” be doing something, we are reinforcing the idea that we are not doing it. If our internal dialogue says “I should spend more time on these lesson plans” the implicit end to that sentence is “… but, I am not.” We are reinforcing the negative and this can result in guilt, frustration, or anxiety.”

The first sentence was the main point I was trying to convey, but the entire paragraph is relevant to today’s topic. Living…truly living, is a present thing. We only can live in the present, because the future is an uncertain world of possibilities. When expectations take us out of the present, when they make us less aware of what our reality is and more focused on what it should be, it can be hurtful to our overall growth. It can lead to disappointment or a sense of dissatisfaction, which can then lead to unrealistic timelines to achieve these said expectations. 

I think the problem is when people interchange the terms goals and expectations. 

“A goal is an idea of the future or desired result that a person or a group of people envision, plan and commit to achieve” 

I feel like expectations should be short termed, geared at making your long term goals come true. I feel like both words over time took on a timeline of their own. As in when people think expectations, it’s something they expect to happen swiftly, in a short amount of time. Where as when people think of goals it’s more futuristic

So as I stated before, expectations should meet your current reality and your future hopes right in the middle. Set realistic expectations for yourself that your current reality will be able to uphold. Keep setting these expectations for yourself until overtime, your long term goals are reached. Why? Because that’s #WhatChiSaid! See you next week! Don’t forget to subscribe below!

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