cantbuysense ([personal profile] cantbuysense) wrote2010-12-27 01:59 pm


Everybody has them. Of themselves. Of others. They can be internal expectations, ones we choose. They are at least as often external expectations that we allow others to put on us.

Some of these expectations are positive influences in our lives, such as expectations of honesty and integrity of ourselves and others.

Some are generally agreed upon as standards. I am expected to show up to work as scheduled and perform my job duties in a professional manner. I expect work to pay me regularly.

Some expectations are less obvious. What about the social expectations of your peers or coworkers? What has the media shown you to be the "right" way to act or dress? How much of this have you taken to heart and incorporated into your own expectations of yourself and others?

What about what you expect of people in your life? Is it fair to have some of the expectations you have?

Sometimes expectations get out of control. Some are just plain unrealistic. Others are more subtle and become clutter in our life because we have too many of them.

While a lot of people don't bother to apply heavy thinking to everyday situations, I'm finding that it helps immensely. Here's just two examples of recent applications of this thinking that have made me feel better.

I found myself fretting over something as trivial as a costume for a New Year's Eve party. I found that when I stopped and reconsidered it, it wasn't really that I wanted to dress up to the theme. It's that I thought I would feel out of place if I wasn't dressed to the theme. I let what I perceived as my friends' expectations put pressure on me. I wouldn't have felt comfortable dressed to the theme, so the expectation wasn't constructive. I've settled on something fancy that I'll be comfortable wearing and dismissed the expectation as superfluous.

On the other hand, I agreed to DJ for the party. While I feel some amount of pressure over it and the short timeframe, I know that I find joy in helping others have fun. I know there are some expectations surrounding the dance music and how the evening should feel music-wise. I expect myself to bring joy to others and I hope I will find joy in return. It makes the work worthwhile. I don't, however, expect my music selection to be perfect or think everybody will always be dancing and that the party will be uber-awesome because I put together just the right songs and people will constantly complement me on my 1337 beatmixing skillz. I'll be happy if some people dance and have fun.

These may not sound like much, but since it happens to be my week's major event, they could easily have overshadowed the rest of my day to day activities.

Do what I'm doing this week. Constantly reconsider your expectations. Are they...
external or internal?