Expectations and Conditional Worth

Expectations and Conditional Worth are part of our every day life, not only at work and at school, but also in family and relationship. We are constantly comparing and measuring other people and we are also constantly evaluated almost everywhere. Expectations and conditional worth could be good as they motivate us to work hard for achieving great success. However, on the other side it can lead to frustration if we are unable to fulfill expectation sand we are considered worthless and unaccepted.

How to Reduce Expectations?

Expectations are very high in all areas in our life (work, school, family, sport and etc.). Everywhere are competitions, grades, aims, and titles, while feelings and inner values are often ignored. Accomplishments, talents and the profit are the main values (meritocratic and materialistic society – capitalism). We want to prove we are good, worthy of love, position and respect. We often make a huge effort to fulfil all expectations. It is often impossible.

Some of the obstacles to fulfil expectations:

  • You are new in the field and you lack certain skills and knowledge (So what? We cannot be experts in everything)
  • You are asked to do things that you do not want to do or it is against your belief
  • Double expectations, which leads to frustration. For example, one of your bosses wants quality, while the other one wants quantity (target). Or your colleagues and managers want you to finish each client in 15 minutes, but you have demanding clients who need more time.
  • Besides, maybe you feel that everyone criticise you (and maybe you blame yourself too)

Get Free From Conditions of Worth

These conditions can have a huge negative effect on your self-esteem, which can lead to further difficulties and anxiety. Many people are afraid to question these systems that place conditions of worth (COW) on them. They are usually obedient, suppressed and they are unable to stand up for their rights. Therefore, they are silently supporting the status quo. They are afraid of losing their status, job or position. It would be good if we can learn to free ourselves from fear and find our self-esteem. You are your self-esteem. Be open and realistic about your skills and discuss your work conditions. It does not matter what they think, express your worries and problems. Even if they do not understand you, you can get more understanding of your situation by discussing it.

Try to experiment with yourself. Ask yourself these questions:

  • How do I feel about myself?
  • Am I expecting things from myself?
  • Do I also expect things from others?
  • Am I disappointed with some people?
  • Would I feel the same if I do not have any expectations from them?
  • Why I want to fulfill all the expectations?
  • May I reduce the expectations in any way?
  • Are there other options or opportunities?
  • Do I have any freedom of refusing challenges or expectations?
  • Am I bothered what they (are going to) think about me?

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