How I handled high expectations or lack of (badly)

“High expectations are the key to everything” Sam Walton

When I was young I often set myself up for many disappointments wanting too much and getting too little. As I grew up I learned to protect myself from disappointments by not having any expectations. It worked well for me for awhile until I realized that I was never excited about anything. What a terrible existence I lived not having anything to look forward to, only expecting the worse to happen. If it were to work out then I saw it as a bonus and not an expectant turn of events. I had become such a negative person that it wasn’t much fun being me.

This negative attidude was for events that I couldn’t control but it was a different story when it came to people in close contact with me. I have high expectations for my loved ones and friends. I expect certain results from them and I have not yet been disappointed. Well, not disappointed to the point that I would feel utterly wretched that I would have to rethink my way of thinking and life. I thought I would never find myself in that position, ever. Well guess what? Never say never. I reached that point in my life in the worst possible time and to the person that I had never expected it to happen to. It was the most unsettling, annoying, frustrating and painful time that I have ever had in my adult life. Most of lifes foibles I have managed to sweep off my shoulder and pretend that it didn’t happen but this was one case where if I did not address it now it will definitely come back to haunt me over and over again and one day destroy me and all the things that I have built. Seeing me struggle with myself and getting angry and frustrated my mother once told me “Your expectations are too high most people are like that”. Usually, when she says these sort  of things I would back down and just accept it as the gospel truth but it dawned on me at that moment that I was not going to settle for anything less then what I wanted and if I didn’t get it then forget it. I’d rather live without it. As you know, my wise readers talking about it is easy but putting it into action is a different matter entirely.

I vowed from that day onward that I would be excited for every damn thing that was going to happen to me. My birthday, opening up presents, attending parties, meeting up with friends, going to work each day, going home each day, get the ‘so excited gonna pee in my pants’ feeling while I’m on the plane to anywhere. I will be smiling and anticipating for life to come my way. I will expect to be happy, expect to get what I want (even the things that are not good for me), expect to have a happily ever after, expect to have my cake and EAT it too. I will have expectations as high as the sky if it suited me and damn anyone who tells me otherwise. I will not fear  rejection and disappointment that comes my way. I use to but not any longer, not at the expense of wanting to live my life the way I want it to be.

“By asking for the impossible we obtain the best possible” Giovanni Niccolini

All my life I have been doing things half assed fearing that I’ll get my heart crushed and hopes dashed. Picking myself up was an event in itself and I hated it. I dread putting all my eggs in the basket, getting reality to push me down a peg or 400. But you know what, who cares! I’m still alive and walking. I can still smile and feel alright after a good cry. I don’t know why it took me so long to realise that it’s ok to get broken just as long as I have the strength to fix myself up. Another thing I have learned and I am sure many of you have gone through it is to rely on myself. I always relied on other people to make me feel good. I relied on others to affirm my existence and I would get lost when I didn’t get that affirmation. I would rely on others to get things done but really it is so true (cliché but true) that when you want to get things done do it yourself. I have to be more independent, I gotta be the independent woman and move with the times. But if I feel like having a holiday from being independent then I will. I’ll lean on someone but I won’t be using that as an excuse as to  why I didn’t get things done.

So anyhoo, I digressed. When I found that I had misjudged that person and that I indeed had ‘too’ high an expectation of them (my mothers words not mine) when that person let me down I experienced a downward spiral of epic proportions. Instead of pretending to be strong and that it didn’t affect me I broke down and sobbed my eyes out. I clinged like glad wrap to my family and wish for it to go away. I hated the way I was acting as if it was the end of the world because to me it was indeed the end of the world. Everything that I felt secure in and believed in was turning out to be one big fat lie. I felt like the most stupidest person in the world and I had no one to blame but myself. I picked myself up gave everyone the biggest smile I could muster and went to my room to lick my wounds. I emerged the same and yet different. Even after all this while trying to protect myself from getting hurt I still end up getting my heart slashed to pieces. But here I am still alive, no longer a child but a woman who needs to take control of her life. I would love to say I did but my story has just began and it will take many more ups and downs to shape me up before I can be confident enough to say I have everything under control. Well, as much control as I can pretend to have in this unpredictable world of ours. Has this taught me to not set any more expectations? To dumb down every experience and hope to not be disappointed? Hell no! This made me angry enough to want to change that person, to mold that person into the person that I know they can be! Am I being dramatic? Yes! Am I being unreasonable? Yes! Am I happy? Hell yes! I have a challenge in front of me and what kind of woman would I be if I did not at least try or else my name is not Audrey Chong Chin.

“Few enterprises of great labor or hazard would be undertaken if we had not the power of magnifying the advantages we expect from them” Samuel Johnson

I will not stop having high expectations as it is the reason why I am the person I am today. If I were to settle for anything less then what I wanted I doubt I would have achieved so much. The person in me just does not like to settle for second best and this attitude has helped me in sports and in the work force. Every time I lose I go back and analyse where I went wrong and go back to try again until I reach the stage that I want to be. I don’t think I’m super woman but I don’t think I’m plain Jane either. Why should I? If I am to be the main character in the storybook of my life (duh) then why should I not cast myself as the heroine instead of the sad little figure that never did try.

“High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation” Jack Kinder

Till Then



Filed under MsAudreyC

3 responses to “How I handled high expectations or lack of (badly)

  1. This sounds exactly like me – I have very high expectations, and almost always end up being frustrated or disappointed when something doesn’t turn out the way that I hope or expect!

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