Living Up to Expectations

I’m a huge disappointment to some people. I don’t know who exactly but I’m sure I’ve disappointed some people along to way to where I am, which is right where I want to be. 

While I may have not lived up to other people’s expectations for my life I’ve most definitely lived up to mine so I’m good. In fact, very good. 

I’ve known plenty of people who have lived a stress filled life. Much of their stress was caused by trying to live up to other people’s expectations for their life. They didn’t want to disappoint anyone. I would frequently try to help them by pointing out that they were someone too and their expectations for their life mattered most.

If you truly want a happy life the first thing you need to know is that you are not obligated to live up to anyone’s expectations except your own. Your needs and wants matter! You may not live longer but you’ll live a lot better if you do things because YOU care about them. If you do things because YOU feel they are the right thing to do. You’ll be a ton happier if you stop doing things because someone else expects you to.

Sometimes living up to your own expectations will mean going it alone. That’s okay, you don’t need someone holding your hand every step of the way. You don’t need anyone’s permission to live your life. Some people who begin your journey with you will fall way before you finish. Don’t feel bad that they are in their own path…that’s why we are called individuals. 

Don’t let anyone tell you what’s possible for you. People will try to put their expectations on you with seemingly harmless little phrases like, “be realistic.” If people like Steve Jobs had been realistic I wouldn’t be writing this on an iPad right now. Trust your instincts, only you know  what’s possible for you. Trusting yourself, believing in yourself, is the most realistic thing you’ll ever do. 

One of my great mentors once told me that every person has three versions of themselves. The version that other people think they are. The person they think they need to be, that’s the version of ourselves that we try to portray to other people. Then there’s the third version, that’s who we really are. We rarely show that person to other people, sometimes we even try to hide it from ourselves.

When we try to live up to someone else’s expectations it creates huge “gaps” between those 3 versions. Those gaps create stress in our lives. Living up to your own expectations closes those gaps. But you must be honest with yourself about what and who you want to be. You must also be willing to disappoint a few people who think they know you better than you know yourself.

The best advice I’ve ever received is the best advice I can ever give. That advice is to be you. The right people, the people who should be in your life will find you. The right people will accept you as you are. Their expectations for you will be what YOU want for yourself. The people who care about you will help you along the way. They will finish the journey with you. 

It’s hard to completely shut out other people’s expectations for your life. But the more you can live your life according to YOUR own expectations the better your life will be.