There are good arguments to support both sides.
On one hand perhaps you should lower your expectations because they’re too high. Examples of this could be expecting to earn £50,000 as a graduate with no experience or expecting a friend to reduce their rates even though you know the quality of their work will be more than worth it.
Then on the other hand, a reason not to lower your expectations is because you don’t want to get into the habit of settling. I think there’s a fine line between knowing what you want and expecting too much. Knowing what you want is great. Believing that it is possible to have more than you have right now even though it might take time is a pretty fantastic thing.
One of the most common reasons that people lower their expectations is because they allow the thoughts and opinions of others to convince them that what they want is unrealistic.
If that is the case, it might be worth being more selective about who you get advice from and who you choose to listen to.
One thing perhaps not thought about often enough is that there is only a small percentage of the population that have a real understanding of science.
The rest of us simply trust what is said or what we read and choose to believe it to be true.
Or on the flipside there are those that choose to form their own opinions.
But this can often lead to a clash between those that choose to beleive and trust in something that they don’t understand and those that don’t.
This isn’t about conspiracies or trying to disprove scientific theory. Instead it is about simply acknowledging that it can be difficult to trust something that you don’t understand.
It’s strange how sometimes you can find yourself resisting the very thing that you know will help.
Maybe, it’s because it feels like too much effort or maybe you’ve forgotten how much it might benefit you.
It could be something as simple as going for a walk when you’re feeling down. Perhaps, the thought of putting on proper clothes, doing your hair and seeing other people when you’re not at your best is enough to make you think that staying inside is the better option.
But the longer you stay inside the more difficult it’ll be to convince yourself to go outside.
Sometimes even when you know something might help you can’t being yourselves to do it because you’re not in a hopeful mindset. You don’t feel like trying to make things better because in that moment you don’t even believe it’s possible.
But why not do the thing that might help anyway and see how you feel afterwards. It might not make things better but it definitely won’t make things worse.
It’s really easy to say, ‘That’s just how I am’.
Some people even use that as a way to justify continually being unkind to others or even themselves.
But the beauty of life is that we have the opportunity to change and overcome.
I recently wrote about not feeling good enough, something I struggled with for years.
As a result of feeling that way I created a life that I was unhappy with and I became someone who self-sabotaged, had little self-belief and would constantly settle for less. Furthermore, I struggled to stand up for myself.
Once I stopped passively accepting those parts of me as just the way things are, I realised that things could be different, things could be better. I also realised that I was capable of changing my own life.
At the time I didn’t feel capable and it was hard to imagine what things would be like if they were different but I started to believe it was possible.
My personal development and growth was an active change that I worked for and continue to work on.
This sort of thing is really at the crux of the message I want to share on this site. What I want for you to take away from this is you that don’t have to accept the way things are.
Sometimes we trick ourselves into accepting things that we don’t want. We make excuses and convince ourselves that we’re so totally content with our current circumstances.
This happens for a variety of reasons but a major factor is our core beliefs. If you don’t think there is something better out there for you then will always settle even if that means being perpetually unhappy.
The wake up call that you’re not as happy as you think will come when you least expect it. Perhaps you will encounter someone or something that represents what you really want. Then suddenly you find yourself wondering how you could have ever thought that you were happy with what you had accepted.
It’s like clearing the colour from your rose tinted classes and finally seeing things as they are.
A great way to stop yourself accepting less is to check in with yourself regularly. When you’re not where you should be you can end up getting so used to the anxiety that you don’t even realise that it’ there until you leave
Make a note of what you want in different areas of your life and think about how it would feel.
Lets say you moved into a tiny apartment in a neighbourhood you don’t like but you tell yourself you’re happy because you’re saving money and you don’t even spend much time at home anyway. That’s you convincing yourself that you’re okay with not feeling comfortable in your local area and that you don’t want to spend time at home.
But if the notes you make on what you want from your home and how you want to feel don’t align with your reality then you might want to make some changes. That might mean paying a little more to be in an area, in a bigger apartment or both.
That’s the power of checking in, it allows you to identify whether the life you’re creating is the life you actually want.
When you discuss a complex issue with someone who has little to no knowledge of the issue, you’re unlikely to get the desired outcome.
More often than not you’ll end up frustrated and they’ll end up defensive.
It takes time to learn and understand complex issues but it also takes some unlearning.
When a person discovers new information that conflicts with their existing beliefs, they will never automatically accept it, it’s too difficult.
The things we believe shape how we define ourselves and the decisions we make so when something effects that, it’s frightening. You might find yourself questioning your entire existence.
On the other hand, it’s can be much easier to just stick with what you know.
If that’s the conscious choice you make don’t pretend that you’re not aware of the complex issues.
We often underestimate the role that belief plays in our development. But the truth is you could be so much more if only you believed.
Take something as seemingly insignificant as walking across a balancing beam. The people that make it from one side to the other will be the ones that believe they can get across.
Sure they might fall off a few times but because they already believe it’s possible they’ll have the determination to keep trying.
On the other hand, the ones who don’t believe, well they’re more likely to fall off and less likely to keep trying.
Or they won’t even try at all.
Do you ever spend time daydreaming about the life you want. The things you’ll do, places you’ll go, where you’ll live and how you’ll earn a living?
What do you do once the daydream is over?
It’s so easy to think that the life you daydream about is far from reach but in reality a good chunk of that distance will disappear once you start believing your dream life is possible.
That belief will come from realising that it’s possible to live the kind of life you want. You don’t have to settle as a result of the expectations of others or because the gap between where you are and where you want to be is too wide.
Once you start believing it’s possible you can move onto the next step, making it happen.
The idea of exploring is one I don’t think is valued enough. I don’t mean travelling and exploring new countries or cities, I mean exploring self.
Being able to know your own limits whilst also being able to put yourself out there and experience new things.
It’s so easy to stay within the remit of what you know because there’s comfort in familiarity. However, it’s also worth considering when you don’t venture outside of that you lose the chance to learn about yourself about and understand yourself.
When you give yourself the opportunity to explore life a little more, you might find that you don’t actually believe the things you thought were true.
When taking a risk pays off, it’s easy to get caught up in the fact that things turned out the way you wanted.
But I think it’s important to also focus on the reason behind taking the risk in the first place.
You did it because you believed it was worth it, you knew it would get you a step closer to where you want to be, you wanted to push yourself and try something new or you had the confidence that it would work out.
Sometimes the reason behind the risk is more important than the outcome.