Others’ Expectations

Its easy enough to live with our own expectations, but other people’s expectations are more tricky.  When people expect us to be a certain way, we can get stuck trying to live up to their expectations. Trying to live up to our parents’ expectations can be even more problematic. Like with our own expectations, the best way to navigate others’ expectations is with awareness.

Other people’s expectations of us become a problem when we respond to them unconsciously. If people expect a lot from us, it can motivate us to achieve more and it can raise our expectations of ourselves, but it can also create pressure for us.  If people expect less of us, or expect us to let them down, we may just do that.

We all want to please people.  Sometimes we resent wanting to please people so we pretend we don’t want to and we try to disappoint people instead.  Either way we are reacting to their expectations of us. If we worry about disappointing people, we are feeling the pressure of their expectations.

All of us change and grow.  As we grow we have to be true to ourselves and live who we are becoming.  We have to be careful not to fall back into old habits to meet other people’s outdated expectations of us. If we consciously imagine what somebody else expects of us, we will break the spell of their expectations. We will be free to be who we are. Nobody should expect anything less.


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