Since no man is an island, we all must spend our lives living amidst people, and we grew up with family. Consequently, from cradle to the grave our paths are filled with expectations from those we align with. As kids, we were expected to perform well in school and behave uprightly. Nevertheless, in adulthood, the pressure of expectations gets to its climax.
Though adulthood has its pecks it comes with the burden of immense expectations. These expectations are so grave they make you miss your childhood and the lesser burden you once bear.
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There are tons of expectations placed on our frail shoulders. Expectations to excel in your career, care for your family, find a spouse, birth children, fend for ourselves, and many others.
This topic is very personal because I am sure everyone here has one expectation or the other they are currently shouldering.
Have you heard of the term “Black Tax?”
As Africans, we grew up in a culture that bestows on us the responsibility to care for the needs of our parents, siblings, and even members of our extended family.
Therefore, when we receive our paycheck and construct our budget, we allocate a part of it to shouldering these responsibilities. This system is known as “Black Tax.”
Keeping up with this black tax is another huge responsibility that comes with consequences. Some consequences of black tax are that they have a deep impact on our finances and hinder our saving capacity.
However, expectations are not just bestowed on us by our families. If we just had to deal with the expectations of our families, it probably won’t be too much of a burden.
Society, the church, government, and our workplace all have expectations they expect us to soar above. We equally have expectations for ourselves.
The government expects taxes from us. Society expects us to be law-abiding citizens even in the face of chaos and disappointment, and the church expects us to be Christlike. At our workplaces, we are given targets and are expected to be productive. Fulfilling the above with all the ordeals of life is not simple.
The pressure of expectations can mount to a point that it gets us frustrated. The inability to meet up to expectations can be depressing with adverse effects on our self-esteem.
Frankly, expectations can push us into illegal activities and sin. Little wonder we are advised to have little or no expectations. And pay no attention to the expectations of others.
Consequently, it is very necessary to know how to deal with expectations.
Before we proceed, dear brethren in dealing with expectations remember Prov. 23:18. Our expectations dearly beloved shall not be cut off in the name of Jesus. Amen.
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Back to the Big Question. How to Handle Expectations
“How to handle expectations” is not a mathematical question that can be solved with a single equation. There are multiple responses to this question, and individuality equally plays a role. What could work for Paul might not be productive to Peter.
Nevertheless, I will be sharing some tested and trusted ways of dealing with expectations.
Key Points to Note as Regard Expectations.
- Do not sell a false narrative of yourself. When you mask your realities and paint a picture that does not represent your true conditions, people will expect what you are unable to give.
- It is only the living that can meet up with expectations. Prioritize your well-being. If people have their way they would expect you to create a passage that would lead them to heaven without dying. This is just a glimpse of the unrealistic expectations people sometimes have towards their fellow humans
- The expectations you have for yourself should be prioritized over the expectations others have on you.
- Never be a people pleaser. You can’t please everybody and it is okay not to meet the expectations of all and sundry.
- Don’t fulfill expectations to the detriment of your well-being.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself because you are yet to achieve what you expected.
- Strive to meet the expectations of God.
- Don’t expect much from others. It is the fastest way to heartbreak.
At your workplace be productive but don’t make it habitual to overwork yourself.
In secondary school, I read a comprehension passage titled “The Indispensable.” To date, I can’t shirk that story.
It was the story of a doctor who was a surgeon. He was said to be the best and was overbooked. He rarely rested. His wife complained about his schedule and was told by one of the hospital staff that her husband was the best and they couldn’t do without him. One day while on duty he slumped and died of stress.
Guess what? The hospital didn’t shut down; it kept flourishing even without the so-called “indispensable doctor.”
Brethren, Don’t be used. Give your best at your workplace, but don’t cross your limits simply because of expectations. It could have adverse effects on your health.
If you die today, the sun will still rise in the East and set in the West. Stop pressuring yourself with expectations.
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