Cara Bowen- Writer and Dreamer. Desires to love people well. Espresso is a part of my everyday, as well as watching at least one episode of Friends. Hope is the essence of my story.
I expected to be married with a white picket fence by the time I graduated college. I expected my dream job to be easier to find. I expected him not to hurt me. I expected that project to be the lead to my promotion.
Expectations are a good and natural part of life, but expectations are where a lot of our hurts and disappointments are surfaced. So does that mean that expectations are actually bad? Maybe “expecting” isn’t the enemy, maybe it is the degree and pressure of expectancy we are putting into circumstances and people that is failing us.
We put expectations on others and ourselves whether we realize it or not. Some are good and healthy; some are not. Sometimes we hold people to their pasts, not expecting them to change. Sometimes we hold people to expectations that are unrealistic for them to meet and we are eventually let down. We cannot control how or what people expect from us, but we can control what we expect from ourselves.
I want to be the type of woman who is true to my word, where people expect me to do what I say I will do because I always do what I say I will do. It is only my job and responsibility to live to that expectation of myself. We teach people by our behavior and actions what their expectations will be of us.
When you challenge someone’s expectation of you, whether good or bad, it brings about change in behavior and change in perspective. Someone may be expecting you to not meet a deadline. When you begin meeting deadlines, and meet it consistently, their expectation of you will change and eventually expect you to meet deadlines. Someone may be expecting you to always answer his or her phone call. When you begin missing their call, whether on purpose or not, they will eventually expect you to not answer their call.
I want to challenge us to begin setting healthy and realistic expectations for ourselves. We may not always meet that expectation, and we may disappoint a few people along the way, but let’s strive to be men and women who live with positive expectancy of others and ourselves.