Saturday, May 28, 2011

Expectations - Whose Are They? (GBE2)

Whose expectations are you living up to? Your parents? Your own? A significant other? Or maybe a blend of all of them? 

Sometimes it's hard to get away from what others expect, even when those expectations are negative. If you tell a child they are a failure from early on, that they will be a failure, that you have no faith in them, that they will never succeed in anything they try, whose expectations do you think they'll follow? In all likelihood, they'll follow yours. Every stumble, every fall, will remind them of what you've said and will only provide more proof that you were right after all. They are failures and always will be failures. 

There are actually people who believe that insults are a way of building someone's self-esteem. They believe that the person will learn to be tough and rise above and stand tall. I find that incredible and mind-boggling. After having been on the receiving end of decades of verbal abuse (and that is what it amounts to), I fail to see how any words meant to tear down can be deemed to be of good value. 

Once you have come to believe that you are nothing and always will be nothing, the rest is self-fulfilling prophecy. You set yourself up for failure because there is no other way it should be. When you do find that you are succeeding beyond all expectations, you sabotage your efforts because that's just how it's supposed to be. You're a failure. How can you succeed? That's not part of the road map you've been given for life.

It's difficult to overcome such a rocky foundation in life. Sometimes, it cannot ever be completely overcome. Even when you realize that the things that were said to you were false and cruel, you tend to relive them over and over and over again every time you hit a bump in the road. You become that child again suffering the verbal blows that reiterated your inability to achieve. You berate yourself and blame the past. 

But, there comes a time when you have to realize that no one has the right to control you. Not someone in your present and definitely not someone from your past! You need to find something in yourself to be proud of, something that you know, without question, is valuable and worthy. And, stand your ground! Don't let someone else knock you down. When you trip, get back up and brush yourself off. Are you a fantastic mother? Be proud of it!! Can you cook? Are you good with numbers? Do you write well? Then, love yourself for it!! Do you have things you don't do well? Embrace them - accept the fact that you won't ever do everything well. Remember, there are things that you do better than someone else, too. Everyone has something they can't do well. EVERYONE!! Don't ever let someone put you down because you don't meet their expectations. 

The only expectations you need to worry about are yours. Believe in yourself. Like who you are. Never again give the past permission to control the present!! 

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful message!

I'm so glad that you're blogging with the GBE2!


May 28, 2011 at 6:31 PM  
Blogger Langley said...

My friend, what a powerful post. I am glad you are such a strong and positive woman.

May 28, 2011 at 7:21 PM  
Blogger DrHoneyDew said...

BELIEVE!! Nice post..easy reading first i thought you were offering marriage counseling!! : )
Great post

May 28, 2011 at 9:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful blog.

May 28, 2011 at 9:36 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

This is a great blog post on expectations. You seem so your approach to making sure that we set our own expectations and not live under the expectations of others. Such a refreshing read!! Cheers, Jenn

May 28, 2011 at 9:52 PM  
Anonymous Angela Parson Myers said...

Can't remember what old-time movie star it was, but he was raised in poverty. An interviewer asked him how he became the dashing, sophisticated gentleman he was, and he told her, "I acted as if I was the person I wanted to be until I became that person." I think of this every time I hear myself say, "I wish I was...." I think this applies to your words about "deciding" not to let verbal abuse shape our life.

May 29, 2011 at 12:22 AM  
Anonymous Tony Payne said...

Nicely written.

You made me recall my Mother's horror when she found that I was leaving my first job after graduating from university after just 2 years.

She could not understand why I did not want to stay there for the rest of my career, after all, that is what people had done for years, having found a job, and the idea of not seeing me get a gold watch after 25 years of service rather disappointed her I think.

Back then it was more beneficial in IT at least to change jobs every 2-3 years, to gain more experience, to get a promotion, and of course more money.

Now of course, with corporate acquisitions and company downsizing being the norm, actually managing to hold on to a job for more than 5 years is quite an achievement.

I am finally working with a company that is still family owned and very stable, and where I am hoping that my position will last until I retire, and so my career has pretty much come full circle.

May 29, 2011 at 4:27 AM  
Blogger Mojo Writin' said...

It has taken me far too many years to understand that the only expectations which matter are the ones I impose on myself. I can never be what other people want me to be, so I have to learn to be who I am! A great post :)

May 29, 2011 at 10:31 AM  
Blogger Kathy29156 said...

What a lovely blog! Well done!


May 29, 2011 at 11:12 AM  
Blogger Joyce Lansky said...

This was a wonderful and strong message. To gain any worthwhile job, one needs to go to school and get certified. Unfortunately, any bobo can be a parent--the most important job in the world.


May 29, 2011 at 12:43 PM  

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