Afraid to live up to your own expectations? Not when you know this!

Photo credit: Autri Taheri (StockSnap)

Living up to your own expectations can be a scary thing! It is almost guaranteed that by doing so you will be disappointing some of the people in your life. When you’ve come to the point when not living up to your own expectations starts to look scarier than disappointing others, it is time for you to start figuring out this: your values!

Caught up in living up to other people’s expectations, we can find we put some of our values on the back burner. Even our core values! It may be they’ve been there for so long we’ve pretty much forgotten what they are.

When that happens you may find yourself wondering what your values even are.

There is a couple of questions you can ask yourself to figure out what they are:

  • What two people do I really admire?
  • About which topics or events do I get all fired up?
  • What three things will I bring along when I have to leave on a moments notice never to return?
  • What are you doing when you are in total flow?



Two people you really admire

We tend to admire qualities, values in people that we either have ourselves or aspire to have.

For example, the two people I really admire are Winston S. Churchill and Katherine Hepburn.

Coming from two very different worlds (British early 20th century politics and the golden age of Hollywood respectively) these two people share a trait I really admire:

They were not afraid to stand out from the crowd. They both were strong, opinionated people. They fearlessly spoke their minds. Even when their points of view were unpopular with their contemporaries.

Who are the two people you really admire? What qualities do they have that make you admire them so much?

Related Post: 4 Things to do A Lot When Learning to Live Your Own Life

(Current) Events or topics you get all fired up about

The things we get all fired up about are the things we can spend hours debating with anybody who will listen. Usually there is a lot of emotion involved and the topics are as diverse as are people.

Anything from politics to the education system. From the environment to the arts. From the protection of endangered species to cancer research. The possibilities are endless.

One of the things I can get all fired up about is African elephants, the matriarchal ‘societies’ they live in and the way they are being poached.

Just goes to show you it doesn’t have to be high-minded or grand. It can be small too. As long as it is something you can get all excited about.

Then ask yourself: what about these topics makes them so important to you?

Three things you’d bring along

Just imagine for a minute you’re told you have to leave your home and will never again return there. Then they tell you, you can go in one last time and select a maximum of three things that you can bring along.

What are the three things you will bring and why?

Having given this quite some thought myself, the things I’d bring along are my dog, my phone and my passport. These objects all represent an aspect of family for me.

When you are in total flow

There are times when you are doing something you totally forget where you are. You don’t notice how much time you’re spending on it. You’ve completely lost track of what time it is. Doing whatever it is you’re doing while this happens, leaves you feeling content and fulfilled.

Ask yourself: what it is that you’re doing when this happens to you? What about what you are doing makes you feel the way you feel?

Start living up to your own expectations

The expectations you want to live up to are most likely grounded in your values system. They are grounded in the values that you hold dear! Knowing your values therefore is important if you want to live up to your own expectations.

Now that you have insight into your values, you can start using them as a kind of yard stick. Every time you consider doing something or are asked to do something, hold it up against your values.

It’s not hard to make decisions once you know what your values are

When things align with your values, by all means go ahead with whatever it is you want or are asked to do.

When things don’t quite or only slightly align, there can still be perfectly good reasons to do them anyway. However, doing them now becomes a conscious choice on your part.

When things actually violate your values, in my opinion, it’s time to say “No!” to whatever is being asked of you. Disappointment and pain often is the result when we do things that violate our values.

Knowing what you’re values are makes it – as Roy Disney implied – a lot easier to make decisions.

From now on be sure to base the decisions of your future in yours.

As always….

Go dare greatly!