We all have to face expectations from everyone: our parents, relatives, teachers, peers, and so on. Unfortunately, sometimes we fail to live up to their expectations, and it saddens us. But no blow is more destroying than not meeting your own expectations. Because we all hope great things from ourselves. But many times, we overlook them, and then it leads to confusion, dejection and discouragement.
By asking the one simple question, “How do I respond to expectations?” we gain an exciting insight into ourselves. And when we know how other people respond to expectations, we understand them far more effectively, as well.
According to Gretchen Rubin, the esteemed author of “Four Tendencies”, we all face two kinds of expectations—outer expectations (meet work deadlines, answer a request from a friend) and inner expectations (keep a New Year’s resolution, start meditating).
Our response to expectations determines our “Tendency”—that is, whether we fit into the category of Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel.
Knowing our Tendency can help us set up situations in ways that make it more likely that we’ll achieve our aims. We can make better decisions, meet deadlines, meet our promises to ourselves, suffer less stress, and engage more deeply with others.
Just as important, knowing other people’s Tendencies helps us to work with them more effectively. Managers, doctors, teachers, spouses, and parents already use the framework to help people reduce conflict and make significant, lasting change.
Upholder: “I do what others expect of me—and what I expect from myself.”
Questioner: “I do what I think is best, according to my judgment. If it doesn’t make sense, I won’t do it.”
Obliger: “I do what I have to do. I don’t want to let others down, but I may let myself down.”
Rebel: “I do what I want, in my own way. If you try to make me do something—even if I try to make myself do something—I’m less likely to do it.”
By following a simple planning procedure, you can easily make the changes you want to see in yourself and more so in the expectations you have.
Everyone has their own priorities. Apart from your usual activities, what is something that you always want to do? What keeps your mind at unrest? What is it that you dream about yourself?
List the things that lie in your heart, the alterations you want to bring in yourself in order to achieve what you wish to. Take a moment to analyze your expectations, dreams and reality, make a mental list of each of these, almost as if one would have anatomically looked into your thoughts, try to have different, unbiased perspective.
And when you have done that, you will have passed the acceptance stage that- yes, I do have expectations for myself, and want to achieve them.
2. Plan It
Planning can alter things, but its power to alter lives is often overlooked.
Being college students, we all know the importance of planning. But why only restrict it to our college assignments? Why not use it for strengthening our personality?
For some individuals, their changes would be living a more confident life. For some, it may be being able to say no to people. For some, it can be helping others. Whatever you write on that paper, keep your eyes fixated on those changes for a while. And then begin listing the sub-points that’ll help you achieve your desired change.
Planning precisely is very important since you’ll be implementing it in your life, so it should be clear.
3. Execute it
This is the step where you will enforce the alterations you would want to see in yourself. Try your best to achieve them. Since you want those changes to happen in your life, no doubt you’ll do it with complete devotion.
But in case there is no motivation to drive you ahead, don’t wait for it. Just start doing it, you’ll get motivated soon enough. The first nudge has to be you, and then when you get on the path, you won’t need any other driving force.
Those modifications you want in your personality will never happen overnight. Only with consistency, positivity, belief and efforts- you can be the change you want. Also, with this, you’ll be able to improve your personality, achieve an organized life and hone your management skills! Talk about killing three birds with one stone!
Many times we live our life the way others expect us to. But it is very important for us to stay true to ourself and achieve contentment.
No materialistic resource can ever make us happy if we are disrupted from within.
Having satisfaction is a great privilege and only a few people enjoy it- by changing themselves in a positive and rational way, and by living in their own moment.