In our society, it is not uncommon for parents (or other members of the family) to start making career choices for their children the moment they are born. While they generally wish to see the child happy and successful, their dreams can overwhelm the child and even cause him/her emotional distress. A few points to keep in mind are
1 It is a part of life: Do not disregard the expectations of family and teachers entirely. Respect how they feel, strive to do your best and learn to take their expectations in your stride.
2 Set your targets: What matters is whether you have achieved what you yourself set out to. Do not judge yourself on benchmarks set by others; set your own goals.
3 Share your feelings: If you feel overwhelmed by the pressure, do not bottle up. Talk to your family.
4 Prioritise: No one knows your capabilities better than you. It will always be an uphill battle for you to succeed at a task if it is not a priority for you. Understand your aptitude, prioritise and pursue your interests.
5 Be realistic: Every significant person in your life has different expectations from you. Try as you may, it is next to impossible to come through on each and every one of these.
6 Manage expectations: Do not be disappointed if you think you have let someone down. Focus on your targets and performance.
7 Motivate yourself: Expectations are a sign that people trust your ability. Use the expectations to motivate yourself to always do better.
The author is director, Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Healthcare