As humans, we have a tendency to live up or down to people’s expectations of us, and when there are conflicting expectations, we often become paralyzed, not knowing which way to go.
Bosses give us job descriptions in part so we know what is expected of us. Ideally, clear expectations guide our choices and actions. When we do what is expected of us, it reduces conflict and usually makes everyone happier. We get a pat on the back, the boss’s life is made easier and we get to feel like we are on the same page.
How come we don’t do that as parents or in our close relationships? How come most parents don’t explicitly tell us what is expected so there are no misunderstandings as we get older. We are usually clear with little kids, i.e.. “don’t jump on the couch”, or “finish your supper”, but that seems to drop off as we get older. As we age we are also more likely to get mixed or conflicting messages, for example between our friends and our what we learned from our parents.
When we have had clear conversations about it, we can call people on it and clarify, instead of getting anxious, whether it is in close relationships or in our families.
Imagine how your life would have gone if at the age of 13 or 14 yo, you were given this by your parents…AND they reiterated it and lived it with you…
Dear…(insert your name here),
You are such an incredible human being. We love watching you grow and become more and more who you are. We love you and support you no matter what.
We thought we would share some of what we hope for you in your future. It is of course up to you who you become, so we hope you consider this an invitation and just a sharing of what we hope for you in your life. Please recognize that it comes from our love and admiration of you. We know you will find your way with or without this. We just wanted to share.
SCHOOL and WORK
- We want to encourage you to EXPLORE and TRY different things, so you can find your passion and how you want to contribute to the world
- We want you to have the courage to TAKE MEANINGFUL RISKS so you get to feel excited when you get up in the morning. (In our experience, that doesn’t just happen, we have to create it). It is important to be clear about who we want to be in the face of adversity, and if you don’t already, take chances to find out!
- We hope you will always know and trust that even if we disagree with what you choose, we will ALWAYS support you and have your back! ALWAYS.
- We hope you will be curious about what your VALUES are and design your life around them, to the best of your abilities. Focusing on MAKING TIME for what matters first, and letting the other stuff fall into place, even if what you are doing is not what others think you should be (including us!) ;0)
- We want you to know it is ok that all or some of these things will likely shift through your life, and it is OK TO CHANGE DIRECTION when what we are doing doesn’t fit anymore.
- We hope you have the COURAGE TO BE VULNERABLE so you can BE YOURSELF and to treat yourself like YOU MATTER! No one does this perfectly, but we really hope you let being curious and tuned into what makes you feel stronger or weaker be your compass through life. We also wish for you to love yourself enough to act on what makes you feel stronger!
- We want you to treat others with respect, kindness and compassion. Everyone has their demons, whether we see them or not. We are all doing our best with what we have learned so far, and sometimes we need distance between us to stay safe, but we are all in this together.
- Make sure you set boundaries with others that keep you and them safe, and as much as possible, do so respectfully so you can LOOK YOURSELF IN THE MIRROR and know you are a person who carries themselves with INTEGRITY and HONESTY. If you failed at this in the past, you have a chance to do better right now.
- We hope you are willing to FAIL and LEARN every time, over and over, so when you get back up, you are even stronger! We learn the most about ourselves during times of struggle, so experiment, embrace the obstacles, rise to the challenges knowing you will always have a safe place to land with us.
- Please TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS and act on them! Even when it seems irrational or weird.
- We wish for you to FIND YOUR HEALTHY TRIBE, and when you do, we hope you cherish them, make time for them, explore life with them. We also hope you have the courage to LET GO of those relationships where you are not helping each other be better people in this world, out of respect for the both of you.
- We hope you will HELP OTHERS, in whatever ways fit you best. All while remembering that the biggest gift you bring to the world is having the courage to be yourself and all that entails.
- DEAL WITH YOUR EMOTIONAL BAGGAGE! We all have baggage- unresolved hurts, old programming we carry with us, inadequacies, unhealthy coping etc. Address it head on, even if it is about us (and it very well may be- sorry for that), be grateful to those who point it out and expect more of yourself than to let yourself dump or act it out on others. If you need help, get it. Don’t stop looking until you find the right fit and fight to find the right kind of help for you. Persist as if it is your life on the line, because it is, and YOU ARE WORTH IT!
- DON’T EXPECT THINGS TO BE EASY. They are not. There is also no limit on how much crap a person can get in life, but it is ALWAYS our CHOICE to GET BACK UP.
- Work to keep things fair, but recognize that LIFE ISN’T ALWAYS FAIR– we never know what burdens others are carrying because we hide them, especially the most shameful and painful ones. So as much as possible, avoid looking into other people’s lives to see how yours compares and just work on making yours better. Sometimes life is fair, and sometimes it just isn’t. Sometimes bad things just happen. This is a tough one, but life gets a lot better once we accept it.
- When you don’t like something, ACT to make it better. Inaction= Anxiety.
- When you hurt others along the way, (and we all do), despite our best intentions, OWN YOUR PART and make it right in the ways that you can. Avoid disrespecting yourself and others by taking responsibility for their part. We are all on our own journey, stay off other people’s paths.
We love you! xxx
So what expectations do you have of yourself? Of your closest relationships?
Consider exploring and writing them down or discussing them. Enjoy!
As always we would love to hear from you. Send us an email, tweet or post something on Facebook! (icons in purple bar above)