From the moment we are born there is expectations – our parents expect us to be certain way, a certain type of child. Expectations start with our family, then soon enough the world starts to expect us to be a certain, to do certain things with our lives. These expectations might be to get a high-powered job, have a certain type of body, or even to just be constantly happy. Wherever we look we are bombarded with advertisements, movies, and social media telling us that we have to change, we need to do more or match up to others. All of these are expectations...
Sadly, we are being constantly asked to be more, do more or have more. We are always told to do well. Eventually, these expectations become tiring, upsetting and at times overwhelming.
Below there are some things that will help. But, before you get to those, here are some things you can do to start living without carrying the world’s expectations on your shoulders.
Think about what you want. This can be really hard. We are constantly told what we should want for our lives. There is a million and one opinions, and it almost feels impossible to know what we actually want. Know that you might not find the answer straight away – it may take a long time and lot of hurt. But for now, it might be a good idea to just write down what is important to you. It could be the guitar, friends or climate change. Whatever it is make sure it’s something you really care about and could see yourself caring about for a long time. It doesn’t have to be big or impressive, as long as it matters to you, that’s fine. Be present int the moment, acknowledge the times when you are happy, what about that situation makes you happy, is it the people, what you are doing, etc... These are good things to remember when trying to disassociate from the worlds expectations, and learning to be happy/grateful for what you do have.
Accept what you can and can’t control. As I said before, the world expects a lot from us. Unfortunately, we cannot live up to all of its expectations. We can’t be an international model, who travels the world, manages four companies, and raises money for refugees by the selling the art we make in the evening. Instead, we have to focus on ourselves and what is right in front of us. We have to think about what expectations we can actually live up to right now; and let go of the expectations we can’t. Just do the best you can to be in control of the little things, and the bigger things will take care of themselves.
Talk to others who might feel the same way. Remember, there are other people who are dealing with the world’s expectations too. You are not alone. Find those people - whether it be online or in person. Share what is bringing you down, it helps.
Be gentle with yourself. Dealing with the world’s expectations is hard enough, don’t make it harder by being your own worst enemy. Watch how you talk to yourself. Don’t mentally beat yourself up. You can’t live up to everyone’s expectations and that’s okay.
I hope this helps.
Change your perspective and uncover a way forward for you!
Here are some things that can help you with that.
Emotions! Making Sense of Your Feelings by Mary Lamia, PhD
This will help you understand your emotions and who you are, how you appear to others, and what you can be. While your emotional life may feel out of control, your emotions are valuable. It's time to figure just what your emotions are telling you!
Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling
A girl moves cities for her parents' work - they own a theme park. She is born with a disability. Soon she makes a friend who also has a disability. Together they discover a mystery at the theme park. Do they solve it? Find out.
Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling This is obviously a classic series. If you haven't read it, now is the time. Harry has to deal with the expectations of the wizarding world. If you not that into reading, this is a great place to start.
Followed by a documentary film crew, Cody Maverick, a 17-year-old penguin, travels from Antarctica to Pen Gu Island hoping to win the Big Z Memorial Surf Off.
Zootopia When Judy Hopps, a rookie officer in the Zootopia Police Department, sniffs out a sinister plot, she enlists the help of a con artist to solve the case in order to prove her abilities to Chief Bogo.
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
A boy named Alex has a lot of problems with life. He wishes his family would take his problems seriously. One day they do and things go horribly wrong.
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