“It's so easy to get caught up in what people expect of you. Sometimes, you can just lose yourself.” (Sarah Dessen, "Dreamland")
In those moments when you take a deep look into who you are and the life path you’re creating, what elements of your choices are being determined by the expectations of others? How often are you stuffing the truth of your own desires in order to fulfill the desires of others . . . your partner, children, parents, friends, employer, the world at large?
For me, the journey of living up to the expectations of others was another manifestation of people-pleasing, of feeling “safe,” and certainly one of losing my own voice. As I reflect on it in this moment, it was so much about looking and acting a certain way that our culture decreed was acceptable for a girl growing up in the 50s and 60s. And I kept playing out that way of being in all my relationships for many years.
As I make my way now, I’m ardently committed to listening for expectations from others and also those that come from within myself. I’m seeking to release attachments to any particular ways of showing up, except those that feel true in my heart. Sometimes it’s tricky. The old patterns are so familiar, aren’t they?
What are your feelings about expectations? How do they affect your self-perception and the way you live your life?