How much do other’s expectations of you drive your life?  Have you ever stopped to look at that? Very few of us live a life where we don’t care about anyone else’s opinion, even if we don’t do what they want us to do.  We are social animals and we live in an interconnected world of relationships.  And those relationships can be as tight as fraternal twins and as distant as the seven degrees of Kevin Bacon.  But they are there.  And they are part of our decision-making process and the structure with which we have constructed our lives.

Our parents expectations were built into the fabric of our being from infancy.  Not only the spoken, but the unspoken.  Their perspectives, assumptions, and beliefs were our world and whether we rebelled against them or wholeheartedly embraced them, they are the fabric from which we began to build a life.  Then there are friends, acquaintances, co workers, peers, employers, educators, authority figures, significant others, significant other’s family and friends, friends of friends, friends on Facebook, and I could keep going here.  All of these people have expectations of us whether it is through direct association and experience or via roles, stereotypes, careers, and/or reputations.

So how much of that have you incorporated into your worldview or your understanding of yourself?  How much of that is part of the voice in your head that evaluates whether or not you’re  good enough, doing the right thing, being the person you were ‘meant’ to be, etc, etc, etc?  How much do expectations from who you think you are or should be?  Check in with yourself today and see what expectations have formed just the thoughts you had about your day and have guided you in choosing your actions.  How much did they influence how you felt about your day, yourself, and the world at large.  If you don’t like what you see, time to recycle those expectations and get some new ones.  Or even choose to live without them for a while.  Freedom is a good thing too.