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Do expectations really lead to disappointments

Can we say that the first cry of a new born baby is that of trauma caused by the world, already?

Just after 1 second of coming out of the mothers womb?

Actually not, the baby simply cries because the doctor whacks it only to make it capable of breathing on its own.

So the hospital is not where it begins, it begins when the baby goes home.

Home where everyone starts asking the parents questions and put down their thought like the famous 3 Idiots movie dialogue “ This child will become an engineer when they grow up”

Here we begin our journey with expectations.

So what are expectations?

Expectations are beliefs or assumptions about what is likely to happen or what someone or something should be like in the future. They are based on a combination of past experiences, cultural norms, personal desires, and external influences. Expectations can be conscious or subconscious, and they often shape our thoughts, emotions, and behaviours.

In various aspects of life, such as relationships, work, education, and personal goals, individuals and societies have expectations. These expectations can be specific or general, realistic or idealistic, and they can vary widely depending on cultural, societal, and individual factors.

Expectations can influence our perceptions and judgments. When our expectations align with reality, we may feel satisfied, fulfilled, or pleasantly surprised. However, when reality doesn't meet our expectations, we may experience disappointment, frustration, or even a sense of failure.

It's important to note that expectations can sometimes be unrealistic or unreasonable, leading to unnecessary pressure, stress, or dissatisfaction. Managing expectations and maintaining a flexible mindset can contribute to a more balanced and positive outlook on life.

When these expectations become unrealistic or unreasonable, like expecting a child to focus on becoming an engineer right after they are born, we tend to put a lot of pressure on them and even on their parents for that matter.

Expectations can have a negative impact on mental health in several ways:

1. Anxiety and Stress: Unrealistic or high expectations can create excessive pressure and stress. When individuals constantly feel the need to meet or exceed these expectations, it can lead to chronic anxiety, worry, and a sense of being overwhelmed.

2. Perfectionism: Expectations can contribute to the development of perfectionistic tendencies, where individuals set extremely high standards for themselves. Perfectionism can lead to self-criticism, fear of failure, and a constant feeling of never being "good enough," which can significantly impact mental well-being.

3. Self-Esteem and Self-Worth: When individuals repeatedly fall short of their own or others' expectations, it can negatively affect their self-esteem and self-worth. They may internalize a sense of failure or inadequacy, leading to feelings of shame, self-doubt, and low self-confidence.

4. Relationship Strain: Expectations within relationships can be a significant source of tension and conflict. When individuals have unspoken or mismatched expectations of their partners, friends, or family members, it can lead to disappointment, resentment, and strained relationships.

5. Depression: Persistent feelings of disappointment and unmet expectations can contribute to feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and despair, potentially leading to depression. Individuals may lose motivation and interest in activities they once enjoyed due to a constant sense of dissatisfaction.

6. Reduced Well-being: When expectations consistently overshadow the present moment, individuals may find it challenging to experience genuine happiness and contentment. They may constantly be striving for future achievements or circumstances, leading to a reduced sense of well-being and an inability to appreciate the present.

Managing expectations and cultivating self-compassion, mindfulness, and realistic goal-setting can help mitigate the negative impact of expectations on mental health. Seeking support from loved ones or mental health professionals can also be beneficial in navigating these challenges and promoting overall well-being.

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