How do you shake the expectations of everyone else? (Help?)

2 years, 5 months ago

Hey guys,
Bit of background, I’m 20 years old and studying a Bach of Commerce (majoring Corporate Finance) as recommended/pressured by my Dad. I’m new to the site and I’ve been thinking alot lately, especially about how you shake the expectations of everyone else (i.e Mum & Dad, friends, old school mates, family, extended family, SOCIETY).

I feel as though the only way I’m going to be percieved or judged as successful is if I make alot of money throughout my life, have a big ass house and drive fast cars. I’m nervous when I think about my life somewhere down the track and worry if I’m not rich I will appear as a failure to other people. :'( Am I being silly? Does anyone else feel this pressure? Is it a legitimate worry? Anyone have some wise words for a young lad on his journey through life :-)

August 14, 2012 at 12:37 am

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Profile photo of Kidd Kidd (@kidd) 2 years, 5 months ago ago

I feel the exact same way.

I’m starting my senior year of high school soon and I’m a good student with great grades and potential to go to whatever college I want to. My family acknowledges this and they are super supportive of the idea. I feel like if I don’t go to college and get a good job, I’ll be letting them down. I feel like if I don’t reach the “potential” I have, I’ll be a failure to those closest to me.

Like, they’ll say, “I thought she was going to do something with her life.”

:S The pressure’s tough. I’m afraid to even say I’m considering NOT going to college.

Profile photo of ashtonbrainwavelove ashtonbrainwavelove (@ashtonbrainwavelove) 2 years, 5 months ago ago


I thoroughly understand what you are talking about and what the problem is here! We are all ‘inserted’ into a matrix where we are being trained by our family and society to perceive various things in a way they want us to perceive them. They teach us their perceptions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’, their perceptions of ‘successful’ and ‘failure’, and at some point they become our perceptions, too. This produces great pressure on us, and most of all – guilt, if we don’t fit into all these frames!

The mere fact that you have been questioning yourself whether this is the right way to live you life shows that a deeper knowledge is still accessible to you. Try to look into your selves, your souls, and ask yourselves these questions – is it really money that makes life worthwhile? Is it really this job, or this degree that is going to give you the respect you have for yourself? It does sound lame, but you need to turn deep within yourselves and start exploring realms that are going to unveil the real ‘you’. And in fact, we do live in a material world, and once you start following your soul, your heart, and your intuition; once you break free from all norms… you will still have the money and ‘successful’ life others want from you. But you will attract it in a different, effortless way, because while you are worrying so much about it, you are actually driving it away from you…Once you start living for a higher purpose, the material things have no choice but to help you achieve this higher purpose!

Profile photo of paul_g paul_g (@paulg) 2 years, 5 months ago ago

a good family will love you first no matter where your passion in life lies. they will want you to find out who you are rather than defining this for you. unfortunately, few of us have been given this gift. and even when not, our families still love us in some ways, even though they may not see clearly on the matter of what is beneficial in life and what is healthy and what feels good and is good for their children. you two are young, and going from HS to college and work is and can be a _major_ source of brain ache. be bold, open, and interested in the world. think for yourself, look, feel, and think outside of the ordinary. discover and go down your own route without completely breaking with your parents and flushing everything down the drain. do something bold/crazy/clownish every once in a while. take the questions of your soul seriously. it’s a long path and this is only the beginning. but never die in your soul, follow your heart. part of what you are looking for will come automatically, just by pure distance. other parts will only come by building up a circle of friends who know what is important in life, namely, solid human connections. all the best, paul

Profile photo of Richelle Richelle (@richal) 2 years, 5 months ago ago

Yes of course! I’m very glad my parents were not like this so much, but we all exist in a society with expectations of success where success is measured in a very specific way. The best thing you can do is learn to ignore these measurement systems and create your own. In a perfect world, what would your job be? What is your passion? What would you do for free, all the time, every day? Do that. Your parents will learn to understand if you stay steadfast and consistent. Start to establish with them a raport of independent decisions from their suggestions, while respecting their suggestions. “Well, I don’t think I could be happy with that career. I’m glad you believe I could do it, but I’d rather do X,Y, and Z.” That’s just my style, though. I have no concept of your interpersonal relationships, but I’m sure you can, if you so choose, break free from the constraints of expectations and make your own path. Best of Luck!

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