Yesterday’s post has made me think a lot about ‘expectations’. Yes, I do believe hormones are responsible for some of the issues between men and women. And really, what are we ever going to be able to do about that?
But the more I think about it, the more I realize there’s another culprit. One we can do something about: EXPECTATIONS. And even when we factor the opposite sex out of the equation, I believe there are adjustments we can, and probably should, make to our own, individual expectations. And not only as they relate to men or women, and our relationships with them.
To life in general.
So I’m going to go out on a limb here, and say we (men and women alike) are often our own worst enemies. We are often the source of our own disappointment.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m one of the most positive human beings you’ll ever meet. And confident. I have always believed if you want something badly enough, and you set your mind to it, your hopes and dreams can come true. Provided, of course, they are realistic.
Aha! The caveat.
Which brings us to the crux of the matter. What’s realistic?
The million dollar question. The billion dollar question. The trillion dollar question. The gazillion dollar question.
Do we know?
What’s realistic for you, may not be for me. And vice versa. It might be realistic for you to train to climb Mt. Everest. It is not for me. There’s a lot of soul-searching involved to ensure we don’t set ourselves up to fail.
Let’s re-visit relationships for a minute. Between men and women. Between same sex couples. Between friends. Siblings. Parents and children. Employers and employees. Are we always on the same page? Are we always truly honest about our expectations? Equally, if not more important, are we always truly honest with ourselves? What we want out of the deal. What we’re prepared to give. What we’re hoping for, in return. What compromises we’re prepared to make. What’s a deal breaker for us. What an acceptable time frame is; and isn’t. What we are truly capable of achieving.
I am not a personal trainer. I am not a career coach. I am not a couples’ counsellor. I am not a therapist. I’m not a mediator. I’m not a negotiator. I’m not a headhunter, or a human resources expert.
However, I have experienced enough of life to know if you are unwilling, or uncomfortable, digging deep within yourself in order to identify and confront your true feelings, desires and ambitions you will end up disappointed. I have experienced enough of life to know if you are unwilling, or uncomfortable, to be completely frank with your partner, spouse, boss, sibling, whoever, you will end up disappointed. Even if, in so doing, you risk immediate rejection anyway.
And if your dream truly is the impossible dream, well, you know where you’re headed, don’t you?
If your heart’s set on having kids and your lover wants a vasectomy, you are in the wrong relationship. He won’t change. And, most likely, neither will you. Your expectations are not aligned. Which makes them unrealistic. Get out while the getting is, good. If you’ve always dreamed of running in a marathon, yet the furthest you have ever been able to get, is to the end of the block you live on, you might want to consider walking a 5 or even 10k instead. You’re being unrealistic. And you could end up getting hurt, physically, never mind feeling like a failure. And what would that accomplish?
If it’s your dream to run a company one day, and your boss has three very able kids actively involved in the business, move on. Your dream and your reality are in opposition to each other. Either lower your expectations or find a job with more potential for growth.
When I was a kid, my dreams revolved around art. First I wanted to be an artist. Then an art director in an ad agency. I did get accepted at an art college. I did get good grades. Yet when I was looking for a job, a creative director I met with suggested I consider becoming a copywriter. He never told me why, and I never asked. So I will never know if he didn’t think I was good enough, or because it was easier for women to get jobs as writers (which it was, but it didn’t have to be his reason for making the suggestion).
All that matters is, I thought about what he said. I adjusted my goals. I adjusted my expectations. I got my first job. And then my second. And the rest. I’ve had a fabulous career. He did me a HUGE favour.
He helped me find my reality. Of course, I was willing to find my reality. So I also helped myself.
How about you? How would you rate your expectations on the reality scale?