coffee session: on expectations.


(for le blog aesthetic / not mine)

You know the drill.  Grab a cup of coffee, listen to some music, and let’s have a chat.  (My side of the conversation is below; feel free to share yours in the comments!)

*sips coffee*

Ohhhh, expectations.  Don’t you just love them?

It’s one thing to have expectations and standards for yourself… and another completely different thing to realize that others have expectations for you.  It doesn’t matter if they’re lower or even equal to yours – it’s still ridiculously daunting.

Because of Recent Events (which, for the time being, will be referred to as simply that), I’ve been feeling especially aware of these things.  We want to do the best we can, and holding ourselves to that – daily – is, more often than not, intimidating.

If anyone else read Do Hard Things religiously in their teens, you’ll know what I’m talking about.  We want to be more than mediocre.  We want to do things with our lives – which often unintentionally translates to “big” things.  (I once read an essay somebody wrote about this, and it’s definitely worth reading if you made the same assumption.) (Don’t feel bad if you did because I did, too, and sometimes doing hard things is working through the daily grind of school or work or unemployment {*waves*} with a cheerful, optimistic spirit.)

*sips coffee*  (Today I have some weird “roasted southern pecan” coffee my dad bought and it’s… interesting.)

Adulting doesn’t help with this.  You start out so excited and ready to conquer the world, and then Real Life hits and you’re left staggering under the pressure.  (This isn’t personally relatable at all.  *nervous laughter*)

So how do we avoid getting daunted by the expectations and standards?  What do we do when they feel too high?

In all honesty… I don’t know.  I’m still working through this myself.

I don’t like disappointing people.  I really don’t.  And all it takes is someone dropping a responsibility or opportunity on me for my confidence to crumble like a poorly-made gluten-free cookie.  (Seriously, if anyone has any gluten-free cookie recipes they can share… please.  I’m dying over here.)

The only answer I’ve come up with is to just… do your best.  (And let God do the rest.)

And that sounds stupidly cliché and I’m insanely sorry, but it’s all I have right now.

So… turning this conversation over to you guys… what have you found to be the best answer to this?  What do you do when you feel like you’ve been given too much and struggle with holding to everyone’s expectations of you?


11 thoughts on “coffee session: on expectations.

  1. I’m getting to the point where I don’t care about other people’s expectations of me which comes I think with getting older, more life experiences (& for me 3 months of living out of home!) However life is a compromise and it’s not wrong to recognise there are expectations others have of you which you should meet – eg in a workplace, or certain aspects of living at home etc. Keep in mind that you’re human and will inevitably mess up but if others fail to realise that, well then that’s their problem not yours!

    Also, having been gluten free for 20 years, the best biscuit (we call cookies biscuits) advice I’ve ever read is to add half a cup extra flour than the recipe calls for 👍👌They will never have the same texture as gluten biscuits do but are still yummy. Poor gf biscuits… They’re probably feeling very daunted and pressured by all your EXPECTATIONS 😂

  2. 1 cup of peanut butter, 1 cup of sugar (white or brown), and 1 egg all mixed, formed into cookies, and baked at 350 make pretty decent, gluten-free (I think?) cookies. You can also add some vanilla or cinnamon for flavor.

    I can’t solve your other problem for you, so that *points above* is all I’ve got.

  3. well I’ve been struggling with this a bit….I only realised about six months ago that I was about to graduate and I needed to make life changing decisions in the matter of months…People were expecting me to decide what college I wanted to go to, what I wanted to study, and to get a job so I could pay for college. I’m definitely daunted by these expectations, and don’t really have any advice (I’m not even 18 yet, so I’m really new to this whole realm of adulting). But, I have learned that I can fulfil these expectations if I try hard enough, so I’m hoping on working a bit harder in the future to complete my goals.

  4. Well, I can’t relate to this post AT ALL. Not ONE LITTLE BIT. Nope, nope, nope . . . nope.

    *cue dying hyena noises*

    What do I do when struggling with others’ expectations? Hm. I think what helps me most is just sitting down and trying to sort out a) what, precisely, others expect of me; b) whether or not said expectations are valid; and c) whether or not they line up with my expectations for myself. If the answer to either of the last two is “no,” I throw ’em out. They have no place in my life.

    It might help to start writing it all down, maybe? Take some time and write out a list of your own [valid] expectations for your own life; and then if somebody else starts putting additional expectations on you which don’t line up, it becomes much easier to just glance back at the list and be like, “HA! No way.” 😉

    We can get through this together. I believe in us. *high-five for morale*

  5. I’ve definitely struggled with this. (Heh, and I’m only 16! :P)
    There are three things I always find to be a helpful reminder:
    1. The most important thing to keep in mind is God. He loves you, and if you are His child, nothing else really matters. Nothing you can do will make God love you any more, and nothing you do will make God love you any less. He already loves you more than you can fully know.
    2. The saying “People who mind don’t matter, and people who matter don’t mind” is pretty accurate. If they are really your friends, they will still love you. And even though it may take them some time to warm to some things, that should never change.
    3. At the end of the day, it is YOUR life, not anybody else’s. They get to live their lives the way they choose, and you get to live your life the way you choose. You can’t please EVERYBODY, so do what you think is right, living as a child of God, and don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow can worry about itself. ❤

    • Pfft there’s no “only” – your age doesn’t invalidate your feelings! 🙂
      BEAUTIFUL. Thank you so much for that advice. Completely agree with all of it! ❤️

  6. I think that for me, struggling with that is one of my hardest battles. I’ve found that by focusing on what God’s expectations of me, and a few select people, that helps. 🙂

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