Figuring out what you want

We often get caught up in expectations of the way things should be. But in many cases we’re simply taking on the expectations of others.

When you’re surrounded by people living a certain type of way, you’re less likely to trust a path that leads to a different life. The reason for this is nobody wants to be separate or other.

You might even convince yourself that what you want is no more than a daydream. Furthermore, when others don’t see the vison for the path you’re carving out you’re likely to encounter backlash.

The backlash can be so challenging that you might end up thinking that it’s easier to push your wants aside. Nobody wants to be criticised for being themselves.

We often measure up how well we are doing in life against societies expectations of what we should be doing at certain points of life. However, these expectations leave very little room to experiment and wonder which are the very things you need to do in order to figure out what you want.

Overcoming stuff

Life is full of stuff.

Stuff we get caught up in because we think it matters.

Social media expectations of the way that things should be.

But at the end of the day all that stuff is often a distraction from what really matters.

And so you have to learn to overcome it. No matter how important it might seem to uphold these expectations, it’ll rarely make you happier.

In fact, more often than not it just makes you miserable because it leaves little room for you to be yourself.

Do unto others…

…as you would have them do unto you.

The idea of treating people as you’d want to be treated is all good and well in theory.

But when it comes down to the crunch, is it what you practice in your day to day life.

When people talk about this topic of how we should treat other people, often they’re thinking of how they want to be treated. Yet the same kindness, respect, honestly, understanding and patience is not extended to others.

It doesn’t mean that you’re cruel to people, it could be something as small as not holding the door open for people but expecting others to do it for you.

Sometimes it’s intentional and sometimes it’s by accident. But when you catch yourself treating someone in a way you would not want to be treated, change your behavior.

Disappointing yourself

When you hold yourself to certain expectations it’s likely you’ll end up disappointed if you can’t meet them.

That tends to happen when you put too much pressure on yourself.

Furthermore, how you feel toward yourself will override how anyone else may feel about you falling short.

You could be told that ‘it’s alright, you did your best’, or even ‘it was good, you have nothing to worry about’. But the thing is when you hold yourself to a standard of ‘nothing less than perfection’ it becomes difficult to be comforted by the reassurance of other.

It’s hard disappointing yourself, feeling let down and having no one else to blame. But it gives you a great opportunity to think about what can do better next time.

Different is good

A person might look at your life and tell you that things should be different.

That you should have pursued a different sort of career, that you should have more friends, that your relationships with certain people in your life should look a certain way.

That might be because they they think you’d be better off with things being different.

This is often based on the way things are or what they think is the right way to live.

It can be difficult to not take on the expectations and ideals of others. So if you’re ever close to conformity remember that different is good and sometimes it’s the best thing for you.

The way that things should be

We often go around with this idea in our heads of the way that things should be, in some ways it’s a good thing. When you know what you want you’re much less likely to let life pass you by.

On the other hand when you’re so fixated on the way that things should be you don’t give room for organic growth and development.

Lets say you applied for what you think will be your dream job but when you get there it’s not quite what you thought it would be. If you’re dead set on your ‘dream job’ you might end up leaving after a few months or staying put but hating it because it’s not what you wanted.

But if you take your foot off the gas and let go of the rigid plan created you might find that in this job you’re able to discover something that you’re actually interested in. It might be be even better than what you thought you wanted.

Letting go of expectations and letting things be isn’t always easy to put into practice. It requires patience and the ability to trust that things will turn out okay.

Disappointment and desires

Expectations can be an interesting thing. They often span from our desires and wants or even our imagination.

But they will also leave you disappointed.

As much as it can be good to hold people to a standard, it’s also important to ensure that you aren’t creating this whole other person in your mind of who they should be.

For example, you might expect someone to make time for you because this is someone you enjoy hanging out with. But then you end up disappointed when they aren’t as keen to do what you want.

In a situation like that you need to assess where your expectations are coming from because you might find that what you’re expecting doesn’t even align with what this person was ever willing to offer.

You got so carried away with our own wants and desires that you were no longer willing to see things as they are.

Little wins

As much as it’s great to archeive something big, some days it just doesn’t happen.

Some days are slower, you feel a little lost or perhaps you’re not sure where to begin.

At the end of it you might feel like your day has been wasted or that you should have done more.

You might feel this way because you know you could have easily done so much more if only you put in the effort. On the other hand you might feel like you’ve failed your own expectations even though you tried your hardest.

However you feel, there’s no point beating yourself up about it. Some days are meant for the little wins such as: finishing a chapter of the book you’re reading, tidying your living space and a long phone phone call with a close friend.

Two types of perfectionists

When you think of a perfectionist, what comes to mind?

Almost every time it’s the type A personality who is incredibly organised and competitive. The sort of person who is particular and also explicit about wanting to get things right.

But there is a different kind of perfectionist too.

The second is the sort of person that procrastinates and fears their best will never be good enough.

Beneath the surface they seek perfectionism too. They have such high expectations that they won’t even try if they think they can’t meet them. This sort of person feels disappointed if they produce something that isn’t ‘perfect’.

The difference between these 2 people is that the first is willing to try.

The build up

It’s easy to talk about things that are easy.

But when it comes to comes to feelings, wants and needs, things often get a little more challenging.

Often problems will arise, simply because you didn’t speak up and let the other person know how you felt or what you needed. When you hold things in, they rarely go away, they just build up over time.

So, maybe 6 months later when you feel angry and frustrated towards someone you won’t even consider that maybe things could have turned out differently, if only you had said ‘I want you to make more of an effort’ instead of keeping quiet.

Granted people won’t always meet your needs, even if you desperately want them too.

But you’re better off speaking up and giving the other person a chance, than just holding things in and ending up disappointed that people can’t read your mind.