My biggest failure so far has been: letting others’ expectations of me go over mine.
And I don’t like that. Moving to another country, leaving the job that I had, and starting everything from zero. Going from Head of Comms to Shop Assistant. Facing the cost of living in a new country and counting on my husband and my savings to keep on going with our lifestyle.
That’s the life that I wanted (that we wanted) and this kind of risk and exposure was something that we were looking for, knowing that I started saving for something like this when I was 19. Something that makes me happy.
But still, sometimes, I let others’ expectations go over mine. Letting that what people expect from me can become something that I think that I need to do/have even if this won’t make me happy. That’s my biggest failure sometimes because even if I feel like a grown-up woman I let some thoughts enter my mind and doubting about my choices. But thanks to failures I keep learning day by day, that’s the biggest blessing!
Step 1: recognize it.
The first step was recognizing that others had expectations of me. From the little things to the big ones. From the little joke regarding the fact that I’m waiting for my husband to come home while cleaning the house to the big declaration of disappointment. For what. For what others wanted from me?
It’s not easy. It’s not something that happens overnight. I realized it in February and it was going on since November.
And I’m not saying that people don’t like me. That my people try to sabotage me. Nope. The fact is that they care about me and everyone has his or her idea of what is going to bring happiness to my life. But that’s my job. That’s my thing to do.
Step 2: show up to yourself.
Be true. You’re doing things for yourself. What brings joy to your life? What makes you happy? It’s your life, you don’t need to seek others’ approval. You already have yours.
Do your stuff, do your things, try, fail, win, conquer. Say it out loud. When a person is making the same joke about your choices, say it: it’s my choice.
You’re the only one that needs to approve your choices.
Step 3: select.
You don’t have to tell everything to everyone. Keep some info for you. Are you in an important process? Share it with a few people and tell the others when the process is completed. I did it and it was a win!
I don’t like to avoid specific topics, but since I moved to the USA and I left my job people have been putting their expectations on me, hoping that I would have found a specific job, following the career that I had in Italy and be happy. But what made me happy was integrating into this new country and I wanted to do it working in a shop, speaking with people, understanding how to manage USD, and understanding the culture. Was I happy? Yes. Were the people around me unsatisfied because they thought that I could have done something different, maybe something “better”? Yes.
That’s why I decided to share the news that I had found the job that I was looking for once I signed the contract. A few people knew about the process. I disliked not sharing it with people I love, but I had my reasons. And I told them.
Step 4: try to understand.
There are some people that don’t realize that having expectations of others is something that hurts them. They don’t get it because they love you too much. They don’t get it because they think that they know what makes you happy. They don’t get it because they reflect themselves on you.
This is not your responsibility. But think about that: are these people the ones that love you the most? In my case, the answer is yes. And I care about them as much as they care about me. That’s why I wanted to stand up for them too. Approaching them, explaining my reasons, discussing, and being open to understanding their thoughts and fears. Because most of the time they just fear that you’re not happy. Be there for them. Be kind. Be respectful to you and to them. You’ll learn a lot about your best relationships. And the problem would be gone.
That’s all for today! Sending you hugs!