Expectations from our society are making lots of people to live in a stressful, depressing, competing and envious life. A lot of people are losing themselves, compromising their integrity just to match up with some social and group standards. My question is who set those standards? Have you asked yourself for once, whose approval you are seeking to live? Which “opinion leaders” are you living your life to please? Who even cares about what you do and don’t do?
So many people are living a live circumscribed by the expectations of others. They are giving in to social pressures and allowing their lives to be controlled and dictated by the standards and expectations of society, small groups, families, employers etc. Most people are trying to live a perfect and ‘mistake-free’ life, just to please and satisfy these standards. Others are setting unrealistic goals which in return, makes them feel worse of themselves than they already were. Some people go about competing with people who don’t even know someone is competing with them. We do forget that there is no such thing as a ‘perfect life’; those who portray to live perfect have got some stinky side of their lives they are dealing with, which we don’t see.
Sadly, our close families we seek support from, do indirectly contribute to these social pressures. Some parents feel the best way to motivate their kids is by comparing them to one another. Some parents’ compares their kids achievements, behaviors and performances with other kids without realizing the impact it’s having or would have on them as they grow.
Most parents think they are doing the right thing for their kids, they feel it’s a way to challenge them, empower them, toughen them without watching the negative side effect it could have on the child. The disappointing part is when kids behavior get to what they call “deviant”, we tend to blame it mostly or entirely on social media and “peer pressure” instead of putting part of the blame on “family and parental pressure”. Young people are competing unnecessarily among each other because of the high standards they have “allowed people” to set for them. Yes, they have allowed people to set for them because they entertained and accepted it.
Looking in our work places, there are lots of unrealistic tasks set for people, tasks that the manager himself/herself cannot achieve. If a person fails to achieve it, then they say he/she is not good enough, if a person is able to achieve the task faster than expected, then the task isn’t challenging enough; leaving people feeling depressed and hating themselves because of one silly standards and expectations. We forget that everyone is different and each individual on this planet has their own unique abilities and limitations.
The pressure on people to outperform and expectations from society are among the causes of depression and stress, leading some individuals to quit their jobs, attempt suicide or travel far away and never return.
It’s about time people stop living in a fake life and be real. Seek first your happiness and set your goals according to your abilities, on what you can do and not what others think you should do. Quit living your life to please society and its standards, live up to your own standards. It’s hard enough to please yourself and hard enough to achieve your own goals. You cannot please everyone, setting goals are good but it should be goals that are within your capabilities; also getting encouragements from families, friends etc are good but, it shouldn’t be a form that makes you feel pressured, stress and horrible to think you aren’t good enough or not doing much. That I will say you are harming yourself by embracing peoples’ bullshit comments and opinions.
Whatever goals you set for yourself, don’t forget you are human and you have your limitations. Set a practical and a realistic goal, stop setting unrealistic goals all because of what people will say. One commonly known statements I have heard people made about setting goals is “if your goal doesn’t challenge you or is easy to achieve, then it’s not good enough and you aren’t ambitious enough”. In my opinion, this statement is nonsense. Setting goals is about you, your capabilities and resources, it’s about time people start thinking about themselves, what they want, the skills and resources they have and what they can do with what they have; rather than giving out what they don’t have by compromising and lowering their standards to please society and people. Don’t forget that as long as you live in a society surrounded by people, people will always have a say or an opinion in whatever good or bad you do; even if you seek their opinion or not, you’ll still find people who will voluntarily give you their opinion. Just embrace yourself to criticism and develop a death ear to people opinions so it doesn’t get to you. It is good to set goals and have a plan, but, don’t set a social and people pleasing goal that makes you end up living a complex and fake life.