Expectations. They can drive us to achieve new accomplishments. But, they can also hold us back. As a fifteen-year-old girl, there are already so many expectations to live up to, whether they are set by my family, or by society, or even by me.
I am an only child, meaning that my parents expect a lot from me. Because I have no siblings, they sometimes compare me to other people that they know. My friends, classmates, relatives, basically anyone that is my age. “I bet you he doesn’t have any B’s”. “Look at him, his stuff is always clean and organized”. “You know, she is such a good child”. “Why can’t you be like that?”. That phrase, “Why can’t you be like that?” is such a harsh way to motivate someone to do better. Sure, for some people it makes them want to do more to improve themselves. For me, however, that makes me think that I am never good enough, that there is always someone better than me. Why does it make me feel so downgraded if I don’t reach someone else’s standard?
Society’s expectations are no better, however. On social medias, we see people that are, what we define as, beautiful. “She has the perfect waistline and she has a thigh gap too!” “Her makeup looks so good, just look at that highlight!” “I love her hair, it’s so long and shiny!” This is what society says is beautiful. But did some of us ever realize how hypocritical society really is? They want us to be thin, but not “too skinny” because then they’re promoting anorexia. For our face, they want our skin to be perfect, our eyebrows to resemble “Instagram eyebrows”, our lips to be full, and the list goes on. But if we put on “too much” makeup, it’s “false advertising”. They want our hair to be thick and long. But if some of us need extensions or a weave to achieve that kind of hair, then we’re fake. Why do I feel the need to have these features that society defines as beautiful?
Before, I used to set my expectations based on other people’s views of perfect. But, I realized that this unsatisfactory feeling in me wasn’t caused by my parents’ expectations or by society’s expectations. I caused this feeling. I let other people set my expectations and goals for me. Yes, there are probably a lot of people that are much more capable of greater things than I am, but why do I have to be just as good or better than someone else? I know what I am capable of, therefore I know what I can achieve. I will set my standards, my goals, and my expectations, and I will reach them.