Dealing with Expectation

I had a tough act to follow. Playing runner up to an older brother that excelled on the classroom and on the football field, earned a full athletic scholarship to Stanford University and then went on to play four years in the NFL was no small task. I remember the first time I got caught skipping class in high school. The first thing the teacher said while she ushered me to the office was "I don't expect this type of behaviour from you, Kern."  It’s a phrase I would hear countless amounts of time during my teenage years. At first I took it as a compliment; that my defiance against how I was supposed to behave in some strange way made me cool. And in high school, who doesn't want that title?
But as I matured and the opinions of my acquaintances mattered less and less, I learned how to handle that expectation. Actually, it went beyond that; I craved that expectation. I stole those preconceived ideas of me being intelligent and talented with a gift for expression and focused all of that into my passion for writing.

"EXPECTATIONS ARE DANGEROUS ONLY IF YOU LET OTHER PEOPLE CONTROL WHAT THOSE EXPECTATIONS SHOULD BE."

Now I had new standards, and instead of worrying about fitting in, I concerned myself with meeting the enormous expectations I placed on myself. Today the standards people place on me is not based on familial affiliations. Instead they are based on the standards I created for myself. The way I carry myself, the way I speak, the quality of my writing are all expectations people instinctively (seemingly) place on me only because I have placed them on myself.

 

Reflecting back I realize that expectations are dangerous only if you let other people control what those expectations should be. If you create your own standards, your own set of beliefs, and then live everyday by those measures, people will come to expect what you already demand of yourself. Meeting those demands..well that's another post.
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