The first role you have when you are born is that of daughter or son, first and foremost. We are the focus of our parent’s world, and even as tiny babies we take up the most room in their hearts. We then extend these roles further to sister, brother depending on whether we have siblings, niece, nephew, grandchild, cousin… the list goes on. As children we are blissfully unaware of the impact we have on the lives of those around us. We are born as a blank canvas; everything we do as babies is what we have learnt or been taught. Some of these things are a natural part of our development, and our brains are working hard behind the scenes to programme, download & store this information. We are quite simply little miracles.
We breeze through the early years not remembering much of the first few, but we are moulded and shaped to what our parents or carers believed was the right way of bringing up a child, and as we grow older, many of these beliefs, values, traditions, disciplines have stayed with us. Many are proud of these, but the truth is, some realise as time goes by that it is not always the right thing to do or the right way of thinking. We then experience life ourselves; what we go through is how we grow, we live and learn as they say. You may have had the best upbringing in life and have been super lucky and have wonderful, happy memories, but there is just something that does not quite feel right.
The truth is… we are trying to be that person we were moulded to be, the person our parents and families expected us to be, and we are influenced by so many things these days in society that, unfortunately, we do not always meet these expectations. Is that wrong? Are we horrible people? Absolutely not! This is when you really wake up to who you are and what you believe in. The expectations we have of others are nearly always unrealistic, and the same goes for the expectations we put on ourselves. We cannot be expected to do a certain job if we do not feel it is a good fit for us. How many people fall into things and feel that they are being true to who they are? Or is it because it was always expected of you to become a lawyer, doctor, hairdresser. Etc.
When we realise this, we quickly learn that expectations, whether of yourself or others, are the number one reason we feel disappointment; we feel we have let people down, and that sense of failure creeps in. What we need to focus our energy on is expecting less. Less from ourselves, and less of others, because as soon as we do, we instantly feel better; we feel lighter in terms of less pressure, we feel less stressed and anxious, we become more accepting of things, and ultimately, we find what we should be doing and what brings us true happiness.
As I always say… the only expectation we should have in life is the unexpected.