Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Stuck in a Nation of Expectation

By. Amber Lynae
When you mix the rain with the sunshine you get rainbows
Today my thoughts are on expectations.  It is very hard for me to live up to my own high expectations.  So why do I set them so high?    Are high expectations a good thing or a bad?  I think it can be both.  Sometimes our expectations get in our way and sometimes they push us to try harder.

Often in my youth my parents' high expectations discouraged me from making poor choices.  Through the power of their expectation I was inspired to push harder. On the other hand, I have been buried under the weight of unrealistic expectations set for myself. With the undoubted certain of failure, I felt paralyzed.  There have also been times when my high expectations have kept me from enjoying the journey.

What are you thoughts on high expectations?


  1. I think that high expectations are good to push ourselves to do our best work, but when they get in the way of our ability to function or if life conditions are too overwhelming, it is okay to just do the best that we can in the time that we have and focus on the basics.

    There was a time several years ago when I had a lot of obligations and high expectations for myself and started to feel paralyzed by the anxiety caused by my expectations. A friend helped me see that I can only do one thing at a time. The one thing I do now does prevent me from doing the other things—working on my paper for class X now means not studying for class Z at the same moment (or doing any other of my obligations). However, class X is important and that time is well-spent. Working on only one obligation at a time was okay (though of course I tried to be efficient). I would make to-do lists and try to schedule my time, then move forward on one thing at a time and do the best that I could in the time that I had.

    Later, when I was in graduate school and was very sick due to pregnancy, I again felt overwhelmed by what I needed to do but didn’t always feel well enough to do. That semester President Utchdorf spoke in the Relief Society general meeting with the talk “Of Things that Matter Most.” It helped me relax and realize that in times of duress (like I was experiencing) it was okay to scale back and focus on the basics.

    When high expectations lead to productive work, then they are great. When they paralyze, it is time to change our expectations.

  2. I'm with you, they can be motivators, or soul-crushers, depending on who set them. Each circumstance needs discernment, I think. There's no cookie cutter template for how expectations are going to pan out.



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