The other day I went out to lunch with one of my kids and two other people. A HUGE bowl of ice cream came with my child’s meal and begrudgingly, they offered to share it with the others at the table. Everyone declined but we kept it in the middle in case anyone wanted a bite. I then witnessed my child joyfully eating the ice cream, but in a way that would result in no one else wanting to take a bite. They didn’t eat it this way on purpose, but because of another reason I suddenly realized as I watched.
At first, inside my head I was getting upset with their lack of manners but then it dawned on me…
I NEVER TAUGHT MY CHILDREN THE ART OF SHARING A DESSERT!
I EXPECTED my child to know how to share a dessert in a way in which others would want to take a bite at their leisure.
Think about it…it’s really an art.
As the “owner” of the dessert, you want to be gracious and share and continue eating the dessert, but in a way that’s not disgusting and is respectful of everyone’s “dessert areas” as portioned off by the imaginary lines.
This got me thinking…
What else do I expect my kids to know even though I haven’t taught them?
What else do I expect MYSELF to know yet even though I haven’t been taught?!
What do YOU expect yourself to know and are beating yourself up over?
As a business owner, do you expect to know how to run a successful business?
If you’re a mom, do you expect you should know how to …well…do everything?
As an employee, do you expect yourself to perform at the highest level all the time, even though the company keeps changing the rules and their focus?
Do you think someone else has expectations of you and that it’s your job to fulfill those expectations and make them happy? What are those expectations? Is it true they expect you to do those things or is it YOU who expects you to do those things?
You may think others have an expectation of you. But it might not be true, and in fact you may be the one who has the expectation of yourself.
Let’s look at your expectations you have for yourself and those you believe others have of you.
Identify Where Your Expectations are Coming From
1.) Make a list of five things you think are expected of you (It is expected of me to…).
2.) Next to each one, note who expects you to do it.
3.) Look at each item and ask yourself if it’s really true that person has the expectation. Perhaps you can talk to this individual and determine if they do.
4.) Do the same process for expectations you have of yourself (I expect me to…)
5.) Now look at the two lists in their entirety. Where are you being hard on yourself? Is it true you need to do or be those items on your list?
You may see the list you have for yourself and realize how much pressure you’re putting on yourself. Perhaps you never learned how to do some of the items on your list. Maybe the list is so long that you realize you have an opportunity to prioritize and turtle step your actions (turtle step: to do one very small thing at a time toward goal).
You also can do this exercise in regard to what you expect of others. List what you expect from your spouse, kids, friends, colleagues, boss. Is this list fair to them or to you? Do they understand these expectations and agree with them?
What do you expect from yourself?
Keep the conversation going on Facebook – no expectations 🙂
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