Episode 23: Managing Other People's Expectations

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Episode 23: Managing Other People's Expectations

Oh, the weight of other people’s expectations. Wouldn’t it be just wonderful if people stopped pushing their expectations onto us? Wouldn’t our lives be so much easier?

What if there was another way to handle other people's expectations?

That's what we're talking about today.

You don't want to miss:

  • The limiting beliefs you may have about what other people expect of you

  • How to finally free yourself from the weight of what other people want for your life


 

Oh the weight of other people’s expectations. Wouldn’t it be just wonderful if people stopped pushing their expectations onto us? Wouldn’t our lives be so much easier?

I used to think that people were wrong to expect things of me. Expect me to talk a certain way, dress a certain way, believe this, believe that.

Part of why I felt that way was because I thought, I felt like a disappointment if I didn’t conform to their expectations. For example, if I thought someone wanted me to be funny in a way that I was not, I felt small, icky, and judged.

I refused to even share I started a business and a business of this kind for a few months because I believed that's not what some people expected me to do.

And then my perspective changed. I started practicing the belief that people’s expectations of me have absolutely nothing do with me. Because they don’t. In the same exact way my expectations of other people have absolutely nothing to do with them.

Often, we feel like people are being unjust, inconsiderate, unloving for expecting things of us. But it’s never really what they want of us, but of what we think and believe about what they want of us.

Other people’s expectations are not the problem. It’s the belief that you are beholden to those expectations that are the problem. It’s the belief that you owe someone else your life. You do not.

You may have a parent who expects you to be racking in the stacks by now. You graduated a few years ago now and you should know what you’re doing with your life. And the evidence should be the money you’re getting paid. But you’re not. And you just feel the weight of all of those expectations. So what’s the problem here? That your parent is unloving? That they shouldn’t expect these things from you.

No, the problem is that you are believing thoughts that keep you stuck, frustrated, and disappointed in yourself. So the solution isn’t that other people stop with their expectations. The solution is that you change your own feelings about their expectations.

Well, these same feelings are changed through the model I keep talking about. The feelings and the thoughts that drive them are not permanent, real structures. I want you to sit with that for a moment and feel the weight of what I’m saying. Those feelings of disappointment that haunt you, that keep you either in a job you hate or in a hateful relationship with yourself or even the person with those expectations. All of that stuff is not real. Those thoughts are not real. They are optional. It hurts and I want you to honor your feelings, but none of that is objectively real. And if it’s not objectively real then there is freedom. You can unburden yourself from that weight.

So I challenge you today to turn those thoughts around.

I want to leave you with a question from the incredible Byron Katie: Who would you be without the thought that you should not disappoint people? Who would you be? 



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Danielle Callendar