“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.”
I have been thinking a lot lately about expectations and how they can affect us. My thought on this subject started when I took my oldest, who is in junior high, to a meeting with his counselor to help in the decision of choosing classes for ninth grade. As she was going through what he needs to do to stay on track for graduation, and what he could be eligible for, I realized he has a lot on his plate. He has always been someone who likes to do well in all that he does, but is part of that because he is feeling added pressure and expectations from his parents?
I was talking to a friend about this, and about the stresses I have seen him go through and also others his age who are dealing with stress and anxiety. Some much more than just stress. My friend immediately asked if she could send me a link to a great article she had read on a teen counseling website. The article, titled “Pressure to perform, how the pursuit of excellence is killing our kids” has some great suggestions. (link to full article below)
Let them know you care more for them, rather than the outcome of what they are doing. Ask if they had fun, or how they felt, rather than for what grade or score they got. Let them share with you what they have been working on. Help them know how they can use what they love later in life. Another thing we can do is be their example. We can show them it is o.k. to not be perfect in every single thing we do in life, just doing our best is great! Also, celebrate both the successes and the “failures”. Having a little of each helps us to learn.
Sound advice! This advice is not only great in helping our youth, but for each of us as well. Let’s take a moment to think……………(thinking)……………………….. How much pressure, and what kind of expectations do we put upon ourselves each day? Do we feel the need to have the perfect house, the highest paying job, and the healthiest eating habits?? Are we letting the expectations of others, or our own unreasonable expectations for ourselves run the show? I know I sometimes can be guilty of this, and it’s not fun. All of the added stress and anxiety of trying to achieve ultimate perfection is unhealthy. I don’t think expectations are bad. In fact, they can lead us to do great things. Why not keep our expectation realistic? Why not work toward a goal where our expectations are set by our personal desires, interests and talents we possess?
Let’s start pushing away the ideas of what we think we should be like, or what others think we should be like, and focus more on our individual strengths and how we can succeed in being us. We can do it.
To your healthier happier life,
link for article :
Wife, mom and Health Coach. Lover of life and learning. (and my dog Steve)