Personal Blogs Blog Directory The Daily Brain Shelter: Unrealistic Expectations

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Unrealistic Expectations

"I should have a big house, a BMW, two kids and a great spouse to come home to by now!" How many times have you heard statements like these? Better many times have you made statements like these? While sometimes powerful exclamations such as the one previously mentioned will motivate us, more often it serves as a catalyst for a downward spiral in our self esteem(s) and our patterns of thought.

Before I go any further, let me clarify one major issue. Having high standards and expectations for oneself is a good thing. It is when we lose sight of OUR individual reality that expectations become unrealistic and pressures become overwhelming. "Jimmy Smith from high school was making six figures at 21 years was Sally Morgan. I got better grades and had more friends than either of them. I should be making six figures by now too.....after all, I am twenty-five." Here is another example of an anonymous person placing unrealistic expectations upon themselves. Now is it unrealistic for this person for this person to make a six figure income like Jimmy and Sally? No. Absolutely not. What is unrealistic is comparing your reality to theirs and expecting to be where you want at this very moment.....especially when we are talking about people who are younger and less experienced(yes, I fall into this category too). This is a very important lesson to learn.

While we can make unrealistic expectations of ourselves, we are not always the only ones who have fallen a few footsteps short of reality. Sometimes it is other people who have unrealistic expectations of us. "I was a doctor, my father was a doctor, and his father was a doctor.......You are going to be a doctor. Understand? No more screwing up. No more wasting time on this Shakespeare get out of here and hit the books." Here's another example of unrealistic expectations and insurmountable pressure that is often bestowed upon many of us. People often neglect to realize that their reality may be much different than yours. Their love for modern medicine and healing the sick may not be a love of yours, just like your love for teaching Literature and changing impressionable minds, may not be a passion of theirs.

Each and everyone of us is very unique. We lead different lives and have different journeys that we go on. Why do you think that there are so many different types of career titles out there? Why do you think that we can specialize in so many different areas both in or out of school? We are all contributors to a greater global equation. That being said, it is so important for us to realize that equations are solved in steps. Each step takes time.....just like the pieces of our lives. We will figure out the equation called life as we go, and each step will start making more sense. There is always more than one way to solve an equation, just like there is more than one way to live a life, so don't be surprised if you get a job before someone else or they fall in love before you........ or everything in reverse. Your time will come. Just keep hope alive and work your tail off in a methodical way. Realistically, all you need to do is be yourself and live the best life you know how. That is good enough! Take care everyone!!!

See you next time!!!


  1. It's the 'shoulds' isn't it? It's nice when we prefer to reach our goals but by putting all that pressure on ourselves with unrealistic goals, we are only setting ourselves up for failure and therefore disappointment.

    You write really interesting posts and very psychologically relevant ones. May I ask what is it that you do? (profession/study)

  2. Thank you once again for the great comment Psych Babbler. To answer your question, I am a business owner and now a student on top of that. I am studying business, but my change majors to something psychology related. First and foremost.....I am just an average guy who really likes to help other people. Take care!

  3. Unfortunately, the pressure from society can be too strong for most to resist. Job, Marriage, and kids can all be dictated by what other people want from you.

    It requires real balls to go it alone - and it can get lonely. But it's worth the effort to do what YOU want to do - even if you're the only one.

  4. I completely agree. In fact, many of the famous and prosperous guests being interviewed on shows that I've seen on shows such as Larry King, Charlie Rose or others have said "If you really want to be successful or make a lot of what you love". This basically boils down to living life on your terms....not another person's. Thank you for your post!