In the last article on My Life Experiment I laid out some ideas to think through to help me take responsibility for expectations I am feeling.
While I was laying out the ideas, I began to think about how important expectations are for building the kind of life I desire.
I desire a mental and emotional life that is both stable and creative. I desire quality, healthy relationships. I desire finances that will allow me and my family to continually and rapidly increase our quality of living. These are what I would call my core desires.
To have all these things I desire most, means hard work. It also means putting myself in the position to have other people help me! As well as allowing them to increase the amount of expectation they have for my performance.
Let’s face it, if people around me aren’t expecting much of me, this is a life snuffing ordeal. If people are not expecting much, then what kind of motivation will I get from them? Probably not much!
But I suppose this is only for the type of life I desire to live. Some may appreciate a life with as few expectations on them as possible. I have before as well, and still do often. I have also found out that the ambition coursing through my veins will not allow me to be comfortable with a life of low expectations!
Don’t get me wrong though, most of the time when realizing someone is expecting something challenging of me, I do have that initial thought of “who in the hell do you think you are.” It is too easy of a reaction on my part, and one that I seek to improve.
My reactions tend to keep me engaged in a mindset and behaviors that resist change. So, when someone recommends I do something that challenges my mindset, I usually go to some form of defense mechanism.
I tend to resort defenses like over-intellectualizing or sarcastic humor to try to avoid allowing the advice they may be trying to impart into my skull. I get the feeling I reactively avoid the advice because if I allow them to see it make sense to me, then they may EXPECT me to follow through!
I don’t know about you, but I am not about to allow this person to control me! LOL
I laugh there because there is nothing about allowing the other persons advice to be logical, that says I need to do what they said, let alone have it “Control” me. But I might need to do what they preach if I am going to receive the results in life that I desire!
I don’t know what it is in my brain that has me believing that if other people expect something from me, that they have some sort of control over me. But I am guessing that I am not alone!
The truth is that there are so many people that know a ton more about every subject available, than myself. And if I want what they have to offer, I am going to be able to allow them to influence me.
I need to allow them to expect some things of me and allow them to let me know when I am not meeting those expectations. This can be a very hard pill to swallow!
Let’s look at some ways that we can help this pill go down a little more smoothly!
9 Habits for Allowing my Relationships to Have Healthy Expectations for me:
1. Stay on top of my decision making- I find that it is easier to allow people to help me when I am consistently making the decisions I need to make. I tend to feel people are trying to control me more, when I am not feeling in control of my daily affairs.
2. Find Challenging People- I find it important to have people around me that will help push me to be my most productive self. By having people that will help me actualize my goals instead of push their own on me, has taught me to have healthy relationships.
3. Find out Which challenge style works best for me- Some people may push their expectations for me like drill instructors, and others as gentle as can be. I tend to like a mixture of these, although I get annoyed at both. But if it seems like someone is trying to mother me, that is what I am looking for, the least.
4. Make sure the expectations are healthy- I desire a healthy life so if the expectations people are having for me are not healthy, then I cannot meet them. I also will not be able to continue the relationship.
5. Follow people that care for me- When I know that people have my best interests in mind, it definitely makes it easier to let them have expectations for me. Though sometimes these might be the ones I fight back against the most. But also, who’s advice I will likely end up following.
6. Choose credibility- I find it easier to allow people to have expectations for me if I know they practice what they preach. If someone isn’t willing to follow their own advice they give me, it makes it much more difficult to follow their advice.
7. Stay Reminded of Rewards- If I am having a hard time allowing someone to have expectation, I can keep myself reminded of why I am seeking advice from them in the first place. I am seeking because I desire something. Whether I am desiring the rewards I will receive from emotional support, business advice, parenting advice or whatever other advice I may seek.
8. Do My Own Research- Just because I trust someone doesn’t mean I should just be blindly following their advice. If I have extra questions for them, I ask them. If I need to do further research, then I do that too. If I don’t do my own research, I tend to blame the person I sought to help guide me.
9. Remind myself that its ultimately my decision- No one makes my decisions for me. Even when I feel like they are. Reminding myself that I am not a victim to other people’s guidance, and that I ultimately make the decision helps a lot.
As I have been writing this list, it has come to my attention that I tend to have a bit of a problem with authority!
I have had to do a lot of work on myself to feel like an autonomous human being (meaning that I make my own decisions and take my own actions). But there is clearly more work to be done. Which I am okay with, because My Life Experiment is all about learning new ways to live!
I don’t have all the answers, but other people can help me get at least some more answers. But I need to allow them to challenge my current thinking and allow them to have some expectations for my growth.
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That’s all I have for today. Thank you for stopping into My Life Experiment once again or for the first time! I appreciate you all very much for supporting the growth of My Life Experiment. I couldn’t keep doing this with out you!
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