Email # 180 - 31st July 2022 - "THE WEIGHT OF EXPECTATIONS"

Hi Team,

Why are we so much harder on ourselves than we are on others when it comes to expectations?

We all have hopes and expectations for the future, but our personal expectations often become a burden that we carry around that other around us are unaware of.

"Personal expectation is the weight we carry around that no one else can see." Unknown

Certain personality types are more prone to high personal expectations. Highly ambitious people and perfectionist/control freaks tend to have very high personal expectations. But let's face it we all have perfectionist tendencies to some degree.

Ambition and expectations go hand in hand and fuel each other. But they also often get confused.
Ambition is a strong desire to do or achieve something.
Expectation is a strong belief that something will happen.
So your desire fuels your belief and vice versa.
Put simply, expectations are mental models we create in our mind for how we want something to play out.

However, problems start to occur when our mental model is not based on reality. If our personal expectations are set too high, they can create stress, anxiety, self-doubt and can rob you of the joy of achieving something.

"The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy." Senica

I recently experienced the impact of having ridiculously high personal expectations. A few weeks ago I had a psychological melt down when Maryanne suggested that I should go and help my son who was starting the demolition for his apartment renovation. My reaction to Maryanne's suggestion was a total dummy spit and was completely irrational and out of proportion. Maryanne was completely shocked and dismayed as to what was wrong with me, and where had this reaction come from? 

After some reflection and a lot of apologizing, I realized that this melt down was the result of me having some long held specific expectations of myself. I saw myself as this super experienced builder "that has been there and done that" when it comes to renovations. Somehow, I had made up my mind that labouring and demolition work was beneath me. The reality was so far from this construct and the following day I spent labouring alongside my son and his partner. It ended up being a great rewarding day, and I am very glad I buried my expectations. 

"Expectation feeds frustration. It's an unhealthy attachment to people, things and outcomes we wish we control, BUT DON'T." Steve Maraboli

According to Caroline Garnet McGraw, author of the book "You Don't Owe Anyone" we all have high personal expectations and the key to moderating them is to change your perspective and be grateful for what you have.


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