In the rule book of educational institutions, you will most likely see statements that start with ‘You are expected to… ‘.
Your parents must have said to you more than once that they expect a certain result or work from you. It does not even stop with this two categories. You still have family members, friends, church leaders, teachers and even strangers who expect something of you.
When someone tells you they are disappointed by your actions, there was an expectation before hand. To make it more complicated, if you happen to be a perfectionist, you expect perfection in all you do. Expectations can be burdensome. The strain can be so much that you end up doing nothing at all.
The thing about expectations is that there is no room for mistakes. Every mistake is termed failure and disappointment. This is an unhealthy way of life. Maybe you are that teenager everyone sees as being hundred percent but in actual fact, you are not. Do you want to disappoint? No! What do you then do? You struggle to be just that and when you don’t get it, you fake it. Your life then becomes one of pretense, acting to be what you’re not.
People around you think it’s cool for everyone to think highly of you but they do not understand what it does to you, do they? With every step you take, you are scared, scared that you will not meet up. Every mistake you make must never come to light. You then make the same mistake over and over again because you are too ashamed to talk to anyone about it. You are not even you anymore. You have become a scripted human.
Am I asking you to settle for less or dream dreams as big as the sky? Am I telling you how being perfect is impossible or that it can be achieved? Am I telling you to go against the rules or follow them strictly? Am I telling you be unruly? Am I telling you to then be reckless?
All I know is that I need you to stop for a moment, breathe in, breathe out and read this. Expectations, believe it or not, limit you. Stop trying to live up to expectations. Do not let your focus be on what is expected of you. Just do your best. Simply do your best every single time.
When you make mistakes, instead of hiding under a rock, get people who can correct you and get you back on track. Forgive yourself. Don’t live in fear of being exposed for being you. You can be better.
There is no shame in having faults, rather, be intentional about being a better person daily. Change is possible and because somehow, I think I know you, I must add that ‘change is progressive’.
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