How To: Not Lose Yourself to Expectations
I don't know about you, but all my life, I've had the weight of other people's expectations on my shoulders.
Throughout my teen years, I slowly learnt what expectations were realistic, and what were just not going to happen. And then in my young adult life, I learnt, quite quickly, how to not lose myself to expectations.
So today, I'm sharing with you how I stopped losing myself to exterior expectations.
Find that one person who has no expectations of you.
This may sound counterintuitive, especially because some people find that having expectations of you is because they love you, and want the best for you.
And I agree.
But what a lot of people do not realize is that no matter how you phrase an expectation, it'll add a feather weight on the person's shoulders.
So find that one person in your life who has no expectations of you... or at least the abstract expectations like wanting you to be happy, to be healthy, etc etc, because those are good expectations to have ;P
Find things that keep you rooted, and remind you of who you are.
I found that the more I went through life trying to fulfill those expectations, I kept finding myself flailing and unhappy.
So whenever I feel other expectations on me, I do things that keep me solid on the ground and remind myself of who I am.
An example for me, is blogging. When my real life gets to a painful stage where I feel really burdened, I turn to blogging. It becomes my stress relief, and it temporarily makes me think of someone else besides myself.
Stop comparing, and stop allowing others to compare you.
My mother was a heavy comparer. She would compare me to my sister, my friends, and sometimes other people in my family!
And it got to a point where I would stop introducing her to my friends. It became a way for me to cut off that comparison route, and that instantly made me feel more comfortable around my mother.
Sometimes its as easy as cutting off the source, but other times it's also about your mindset.
Someone tells you, 'Oh, this person is so much better at _________ than you, but you're so good at _________ so it all evens out!'. [This is still a comparison sentence btw, even though they still praise you at the end!]
At that point, you can think this, or even say this: 'Everyone has different abilities and talents, why not put those talents together and create something positive? Why compare who's good at what?'
You can't fulfill everyone's wishes and still be happy.
Wishes = expectations
Wishes is just a nicer way of putting it with none of that negative connotations.
But this is true. If you spend all your time making others happy, you'll rarely be happy. If you are one of those people who are happy when other's happy, then fine, but seeing other people's happiness is not the same as feeling your own happiness.
My parents want me to do well at school, and get a good job post-grad. I accept those wishes because they are the same that I have. What they don't know is that I blog on the side, and that takes time away from pursing those full-time.
But if I just concentrated on school work and looking for a job, I know that I won't be happy at myself. And that's what I strive for.
Look at yourself in the mirror, and remind yourself that it's your life.
Don't just think about it, look at yourself.
I find that when I face myself, I am more confident, and I believe what I say more.
So look in the mirror every day, and just remind yourself that it's your life. You are the one who gets to dictate the actions, not anyone else.
Other people's expectations of you are just suggestions, not demands.
How do you stop yourself from losing to expectations?