In academics, I see a lot of students changing their entire narrative- of the world and themselves- in relation to their expectations and their perceived success in meeting those expectations. I see this in us all. We don’t often realize this, but our expectations and our perceived success shape our reality.
Think of something you did recently; something that you were either successful or unsuccessful with. Whether you are aware of it or not, your perception of yourself, your ability to complete a task, your internal narrative and even the world by extension are influenced by your success or failure. Meeting your expectations, or sometimes those of others, is like a maths problem. When one plus one equals three, you start to question: “Where did I go wrong? What is wrong with me?“, we critique, we realign our expectations for the next time we attempt a task we previously failed in. We will be more cautious, less sure of ourselves, unconfident.
When a task or challenge lies before us, we establish some expectations depend on how proficient we perceive ourselves to be in said task even before we begin. These expectations are based on our previous experiences in completing similar tasks, as I mentioned before. We cannot really control the outcomes; sometimes we will be successful and sometimes we will fail, but we can control our expectations. By being kind to ourselves with our expectations, by being realistic and objective, we can spare ourselves the rod of self criticism.
By releasing ourselves from expectation, we free ourselves from self-imposed pressures to perform or to pursue specific results. This allows our mind to completely immerse itself in a task without distraction or hesitation.
Our perception of ourselves is often closely tied to to our perception of the world. Ever noticed how toxic people tend to attract more toxicity? Or how the asshole constantly finds themselves surrounded by assholes? Our perception of ourselves, even on a subconscious level, shapes how we see the world around us.
This is one of the reasons I focus so much on the growth mindset, gratitude and positivity in this blog: We manifest our reality through our perceptions and expectations. Think about the expectations you have of yourself, release yourself from them and take control of your reality.