197. Expectations

What expectations do you have for yourself? If you set the bar too high, you are vulnerable to disappointments and unhappiness…followed by frustration, anxiety, and stress. 

 Let me give you an extreme but actual example. When I was attending college in California, I engaged in a conversation with another student before class. He had such high expectations for himself that he said to me, “If I were ever to receive a B in any class, I would consider suicide.” I had high expectations for myself academically as well, and achieved a grade point average of 3.7 in my undergraduate degree at a mid-sized college in Northwest Minnesota. 

 But when I enrolled at the University of Minnesota in a graduate program, I thought I had suddenly become dumb, for no grade lower than a B would be credited to my degree, and I was struggling to achieve even that. I became frustrated, anxious, and somewhat depressed with my academic achievement.  Then one day I realized I was at a higher level in the educational ladder, like the difference between the minor leagues and major leagues in baseball, and I had best lower my expectations. When I did so,  I relaxed and earned a master’s degree in English Literature in less than two years – barely above a 3.0 average, but what difference does that make now?

 My advice is an old saying that sounds cynical, but it’s really freeing: “No expectations, no disappointments.”  

About Patrick Day

triumphoverdepression.org This blog is my ministry to support those who are depressed, in gratefulness for my having overcome major depression. Read "About Patrick Day" just to the right of "home" on the top of the blog site to find out more particulars about me. I retired from a career in higher education, where I served as Dean of Instruction, and promptly moved into a life of purposelessness and despair for five years, finally coming out on the other side. I am now an author, a business and life coach, a writer of this blog, and a volunteer for various organizations. What I write about in this blog is not hypothetical comments on depression. I have been there, felt the horrible pain, had my life disrupted, and experienced everything that I write about. I pray that I may be a blessing to you.
This entry was posted in Making Changes in Your Life. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s