Many of us have grown up in an environment where we are expected to meet the expectations of others, it could be getting good grades at school, getting a good job, meeting the expectations of your boss, your parents, your partner and the list goes on…..We also develop our own set of expectations of both ourselves and of others. But sometimes we can set our expectations too high and the result can lead to pain and disappointment.
Sometimes we expect too much perfection; we believe that our way is the only way or the best way. We can judge others and ourselves harshly if our own set of standards is not being met. We might feel we give out so much to others, but we do not get enough in return. But is anything or anybody really perfect?
When we find ourselves in this cycle of disappointment we have an opportunity to look within and work on reframing our set of beliefs and standards. It requires letting go of your image of yourself and of others.
Reframing our expectations
Here are a few ways we can work on reframing our expectations:
Don´t judge yourself or others too harshly
Really nobody is perfect! We are all individuals, with our own sets of beliefs, personalities and personal issues. We are not the same. Accepting our differences goes a long way to helping reframe our expectations. Rather than judging harshly try to show yourself and others more love and compassion when expectations are not met.
Look within at what is possibly underneath these expectations; is there something that needs to be worked on?
Sometimes we look outside of ourselves to fill a void. Maybe we feel abandoned, lonely, lacking in love. By working on our underlying issues we can start to fulfil our own needs and not rely so much on others to fill a void that often they are not able to fill.
Pleasing others in hope they will return the favour
Similar to the point above, at times we look to others to affirm us rather than trust ourselves. We may try hard to please others and expect the same from them. But when they do not return the favour and meet our expectations we feel let down. Turn some of that energy into pleasing others into doing what pleases you. You know what is best for you!
Choose to look at another perspective
Rather than focussing on the negative aspects of a person or situation, try to look at a different perspective. What aspects of that person or situation exceed your expectations? What are the elements that you appreciate? Every person or experience brings us something, even when it is difficult, we can learn something from it.
Know your own worth and don´t look outside for that
This is similar to some of the points above. By working on our own self-esteem and self-worth we build our self-confidence. When we feel more confident we don´t need to look outside for confirmation of ourselves we do not have so many expectations of others as we are fulfilling them ourselves.
People do not know what you are thinking
We can carry a whole list of expectations in our heads! Often silent ones. If we are in a relationship or situation that does not meet our expectations, discuss it. Can you work together to change something?
Do not expect sudden change
When we communicate our needs and expectations, especially in relationships, we should not expect sudden change. Asking someone to change can be asking him or her to change a habit of a lifetime. Give people the space they need to grow and see things from your perspective.