All my life I have been burdened by expectations others had on me. I have either tried to live up to them OR ran away at the first chance I got. That’s the case with many but for me somehow, my life was/is defined by these attempts. Now, I seem to be facing a new version of this problem.
The expectations that I lived up to or tried my best to do so are those of my parents and those that came along with my job. I have been the proud daughter of my parents for a long long time, thanks to all that effort, whenever I took a turn that might lead to disappointment for them, I quickly changed course and was always successful to turn the tide. I did the same thing with my job. I worked extra hard than everyone else, to be the best. I know that though I may not be the most intelligent person in the room, I can always be the most hard working person and that it would almost always pay off. And owing it to my luck, my hard work have always paid off. Whenever I felt like I was lacking or getting complacent, I doubled down on my effort, learnt new things and bounced back to takeover the best spot. This attitude have always rewarded me with the best and made me confident about myself.
It also makes sense that at work, my value is determined by how well I perform or how good my results are. One thing I never understood is the feeling that I get/used to get at home. I felt as if our bests are appreciated and our worsts are mourned. I never get this. Isn’t the love of parents supposed to be unconditional? Shouldn’t they love us inspite and despite all our failures and disappointments? I know they love me, but why do I feel the disappointment they see in me, so strongly when I fail? Why do I have to live up to my parents expectations of what I am or what I can be! Just so that they’ll love me more? That’s crazy!..
I broke this chain of not disappointing them, when I decided to get a divorce. And I continue to do so by not giving up to their wish/demand to get married again, by leaving my longtime job, by not making any sensible choice ever since. I may continue to do so hereon, but the guilt of doing so and hurting them in the process, coexists. But the point is, I broke the chain and freed myself up.
The other scenario where I ran away from expectations, is/was with my relationships Aka romantic interests. I have been in a couple of serious relationships and a few more minor crush/not serious equations. Now that I recall how they went down, every single time, it is the same story. I got scared of the expectations they had from me and I ran away at the first chance I got. I hurt everyone in the process, including me.
No, I’m not regretting my choices. Given a chance, I may have tried to make my executions painless, but I’d act in similar fashion if placed in same situations. The one thing that I’m trying to understand from this case is, why do I get scared of expectations!.. Would it have been different if I put forth my limits first, thereby limiting the range of expectations they have or might have of me? OR maybe if I had done that, there wouldn’t be any relationships in the first place. Also, some limits are only understood when you are in the game. And I know what they say, open communication is the key to successful relationships. Then the question might be this, “why do I let myself get so affected by someone else’s expectations!.. it should be their problem to deal with and not mine”
I’m so closed in many ways that I don’t know how to open up and talk about this stuff in relationships. Anyways, this isn’t my biggest problem today and can always be revisited if and when I get into this mess again, which by the way is a long shot anyways.
Today’s problem is with the expectations I seem to have about myself. How do I live up to those? There’s no option to run away from myself!
At the moment, I’m doing nothing, out of fear of failing at what I may do! Which means I’m in the flight mode already and cannot be this way any longer. How do I get out of this rut and convince myself that no-game is equivalent to failure? How do I pick myself up and gather the courage to do something again? These expectations that I’m so afraid of, are these even mine? Do I have to succeed at everything I do? Can i not be a failure who failed trying instead of being the failure who never tried?
There must be a way to pick up the pieces and walk ahead. Life is about living and not just idling it away in the fear of failure. Haven’t I lived long and safe enough to risk it all atleast once? Why do I need to repeat the same mistakes of my parents. Let’s make new ones. Let’s risk it all.
I should learn not to measure my worth in terms of my expectations and achievements. I should measure myself in the efforts and hardwork I put in, on the path I paved for myself. Just like how I wanted my parents to love me despite my failures, and how I thought to not care about someone’s else’s expectations of me, I should do apply the same rules of love and ignoring expectations to myself.
Results are dependent on ten thousand things, while as efforts can be completely mine to own. To break the barrier of expectations and to set out, to achieve the frontiers I’ve never even dared to envision, should be my Moto.
😁.. it’s true what the saints say about us humans, listen to yourself, look carefully at yourself, you’ll have the answers that you’ve been searching for all along, within you.
P.S: This is a post about myself written for me, like most of the posts on my blog are. Despite that, if you have managed to read this long story, thank you for walking through the realms of my mind. I understand that it can be tiring and so, I’m always grateful to people who try to peek into my brain & soul.
Let me tell you a secret now. Classic editor seems to appear by default when you type from your mobile app. Well, I can live with that for now!