There are some people who have clear expectations in life and then there are others who just ‘go with the flow’. When someone is clear about what they want out of life, it may give them the chance to fulfil their needs.

Whereas, if they don’t have this outlook and they just coast along, they may end up experiencing a lot of frustration. This is not to say that someone’s expectations will always be met, but when someone is clear about what they are it will give them the chance to meet them.


When someone has expectations, it could be said that they are going to have a certain level of attachment. In this case, if they achieve what they want to achieve they will be fine, but they will end up feeling let down when they don’t.

Yet, if someone goes with the flow, they are not going to have the same level of attachment. Having said that, forming attachments is part of being human, and this means that it is not going to be possible for someone to completely let go.


Through not having the same level same of attachment, it may allow them to experience less pain. However, the pain they avoid through not being attached could end up being replaced by the pain they experience through not having their needs met.

Not having expectations could be a way for them to stop themselves from being let down. On one side, this may allow them to experience a sense of control, but on the other, this may set them up to feel hopeless.

A Sense of Direction

When someone has expectations, they may have a sense of direction in life, and when someone doesn’t, they may lack direction. Through having a sense of direction, it will give them a sense of purpose, and while there will be moments of frustration, there will also be moments of satisfaction

As a result of this, it will be important for someone to take a deeper look into what they expect from life, and this will give them the chance to see if their expectations are realistic. And if someone doesn’t have any expectations, it will be important for them to look into why that is.

Two Extremes

If someone with high expectations was to meet someone who has low expectations, they may come to the conclusion that they are completely differently, and while this may be true, there may be more to it. At a deeper level, they may have the same view of themselves; with the difference being how they have chosen to deal with what is taking place within them.

When someone feels worthless, it can set them up to do everything they can to prove themselves wrong or they can simply accept how they feel. One way to prove themselves wrong is to externalise their self-worth and this can take place through achieving things.

Never Enough

However, because of how they feel on the inside, it won’t matter what they achieve; their sense of not being enough is not going to disappear. And when their expectations are too high and they end up crashing down, there is a strong chance that they will feel like a failure; without realising that this could be a sign that their expectations were unrealistic to begin with.

If they have accepted how they feel, they can end up having no expectations whatsoever. In this case, there is no much chance of their needs being met, and no matter what they achieve, it won’t change how they feel.

Unrealistic Expectations

On the inside, they may feel as though they are insignificant, and they may believe that the only way for them to change how they feel is to achieve something significant. This will then allow them to stand out and to finally feel as though they are valuable.

And because their sights are set so high, they may have moments where they achieve big (and then feel compelled to achieve big again shortly after) and moments where they will aim high and never achieve the level of success they desire. The pain they experience thorough feeling worthless is likely to be what drives them to achieve.

In The Eyes OF Others

Even though it is not necessary for them to achieve so much in order to be accepted, they are likely to believe that other people see how flawed they are, and the only way for other people to accept them is for them to achieve in a big. Therefore, they might not even realise that their expectations are high.

They might just feel compelled to achieve more, and if they don’t achieve, they may feel as though other people can see that they have not matched up. What this shows is that it is not possible for them to a human being; they are a human doing.

What’s going on?

When it is not possible for someone to accept themselves as an adult, it is likely to be a sign that they were not accepted as a child. During their early years, they may have only been accepted when they met their caregiver’s needs.

If their needs were rarely, if ever, met, this may have meant they were abused and/or neglected, and it would be normal for them to feel worthless and to act like a human doing. These experiences would have caused them to feel ashamed and this means they may be carrying toxic shame.


In order for them to be a human being, they may need to mourn their unmet childhood needs and to receive the positive regard that they didn’t receive all those years ago. This is something that can take place with the assistance of a therapist and/or a support group.

And as they let go of what they don’t need and receive what they do need, they will no longer need to feel as though they worth depends on what they achieve and they won’t need to have unrealistic expectations.

Author's Bio: 

Prolific writer, thought leader and coach, Oliver JR Cooper hails from the United Kingdom. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation; love, partnership, self-love, and inner awareness. With over seven hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behavior, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice. Current projects include "A Dialogue With The Heart" and "Communication Made Easy."

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