Expectations & Egos

I was talking to a friend today & she was sharing about a situation she was in the middle of between two people. These two people have to work together but they just can’t seem to get along. Both want to do their best & both want the best for the organization they are a part of. They just both have very different ideas of what that looks like, and they both think their way is best.

Their egos can’t get out of the way.

Our egos get in our own way sometimes. A lot of the times actually.

Here’s the thing though. Our egos are not who we are. Our egos are our false self. They are the mask we wear because we think that’s who we are.

And our egos would love nothing more than for us to continue believing that.

And our egos are what tricks us into thinking that our expectations are the end all be all and that if they aren’t met then we should be offended, judge another person, get angry with another person or situation, or that we are victim.

I’m just as guilty of this as anyone.

You often hear gurus, leaders, influential people, say that you want to set high expectations. That when you set high expectations people will rise to meet them.

Yes. And no.

Too often we attach worth to those expectations, to the outcome, to the behavior or success we have placed on those outcomes or success.

Because what happens when those expectations aren’t met? We become hurt or offended or angry or disappointed or etc etc etc.

What happens when we attach a person’s worth to the expectations we have of them? Of course we will say we aren’t attaching their worth to those expectations, but subconsciously we very well could be.

People are always, always, going to let us down or not meet some of our expectations. Always. It’s called life.
The key is to set those high expectations but don’t attach someone’s worth to what we expect of them.
And as my friend told me today, “that’s so hard.”

Yes. Yes it is. But it is so worth it if we will train ourselves not to attach someone’s worth to the expectations we have of them.

What do we do when someone doesn’t meet those expectations? Depending on the situation, it may be best just to acknowledge we were equating their worth to our expectations & then with grace let it go. Don’t wish for things to be different. They are what they are and spending our thoughts and internal energy on wishing the person or situation was different is just making ourselves suffer.

If it’s expectations of someone you lead and the expectations have to do with their job performance, then addressing the issue with grace and love is paramount. This doesn’t mean you don’t address it or help them understand what they need to do moving forward, but do it with the utmost encouragement and grace. This will go a long way in helping them do better next time. Most likely they will want to do better.

Of course when it comes to job performance there may be reason after continual issues to release that person, BUT it still needs to be done with love and grace.

After talking this through with a friend I came to the thought that really everything in life comes down with our ego and our expectations.

When we become aware of how our ego likes to take over and do the work to live our of our true self instead of our egoic false self, we can better begin to let go of the value we place on our expectations of others.

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Copyright © 2023 Amy Nabors.