Setting high expectations for yourself is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it can be extremely productive when it comes to finding success in your career, your relationship or even your home life. True as that is, when you move past a simple goal to placing high expectations on yourself and others, you might be setting yourself (and them) up for failure and disappointment. That does not only create feelings of disappointment and shame– even depression–, but it also creates stress among relationships because very often people with high expectations of themselves also have high expectations of the people around them.
Here are 3 ways to tell if your expectations are ruining your happiness and possibly the most important relationships in your life.
- Your loved ones often feel criticized and attacked by you- Because your high expectations carry over to your relationships, your spouse or other family members feel like your expectations for them are far too high. They’re frustrated because they cannot reach the goals that you have set for them, but they don’t want to disappoint you. It creates a wall between you. And never feels good to feel like you disappoint the ones that you love. Be careful that you don’t lose the people who love you the most as a result.
- You are too critical of yourself- No matter what you do it’s not good enough. You are not pretty enough. You are not smart enough. You are not successful enough. Everything you do is a failure. The people around you hate you. And yes this is all true because you have placed far too many impossible expectations on yourself and others around you too. You may even materialize your own thoughts into other people’s attitudes. You may assume that they see you as a failure when that is most likely not the case at all.
- You are unhappy and depressed by your status quo in life- instead of taking the time to enjoy your life, instead, you are angry and upset because you feel like you are not where you should be in life. You think that you are too old, and not successful. Being successful is not the most important thing in life. Sometimes we just need to learn to sit back and go along for the ride and appreciate what we have and love what we have in our lives. That’s the true key to happiness. When we become too focused on ourselves, we forget to enjoy our “outside” lives.
It may be cliche, but it’s true! Sometimes we need to stop and smell the roses. Life is hard and there is no book that tells us that we need to be a certain way, look a certain way, or be in a certain place at a certain time. Most of these expectations are expectations that we place on ourselves. When we take the time to appreciate what we have, to see the good in ourselves and to see the good in the people around us, the world opens up to a better place of existence. These things that we care so much about; these expectations, they become not so important in this new better world. Why? Because they’re not. Don’t sweat the small stuff and give yourself a break. Give yourself some love and some credit because you are a good person. And be wary of becoming so self-absorbed that you can’t enjoy all the amazing experiences that are knocking at your door.
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