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 in 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 said before, the world expects a lot from us. Unfortunately, we cannot live up to all of its expectations. We can’t all be an international model, who travels the world, manages four companies, and raises money for refugees by 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.
We hope this helps.
Change your perspective and uncover a way forward for you!
The World According to Mister Rogers by Fred Rodgers Fred Rogers is an enduring presence and beloved American figure; his inspiring collection of stories, anecdotes and insights reminds us there is much more in life that unites us than divides us. This book is highly recommended for anyone feeling a little out of touch or left behind.
We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
We Are Okay centres around college student Marin as she attempts to move on from a tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Marin struggles through the transition into adulthood from her teenage years, and after returning home for the winter, is forced to confront her acute sense of loneliness and disconnect.
Normal People by Sally Rooney
Marianne and Connell are from completely different worlds, but both find common ground in their sense of restlessness and disconnect from the others. This story explores the electric draw of a first love and finding consolation in the unexpected.
Young Jesse Owens becomes a track and field sensation . With guidance from coach Larry Snyder, Owens gains national recognition for breaking numerous records. He the Olympics in Nazi Germany, to show Berlin and the the world that he's the fastest man alive.
A Knight's Tale William Thatcher is a peasant but discovers that his master Sir Ector is dead, he wears his armour to impersonate him at a jousting tournament in which he wins. He founds living up to a new world of expectations.
Lost in Translation
A neglected young woman and faded American actor, meet in Tokyo. They both feel lonely, alienated, and disconnected from themselves They characters experience a sort of ‘romantic melancholy’, finding solace in each other before having to depart.
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