So after looking into my fears and goals in the pursuit of finding mindful peace, this morning I was experiencing some anxiety on waking, which is quite against my usual habit. I was still a little in that meditative state between sleep and wakefulness, and I asked myself the question, what is this anxiety? The answer that came was 'the expectations that others place on you'.
Which has left me examining for most of the morning what it is, the fact that contact with others places certain expectations on you and the different facets of that. For example I see myself as a good person, and so I don't want to disappoint other people who I encounter, even if I don't share a familial bond with them. Because I don't want to disappoint, I kind of accept their expectations of me as internal goals to live up to. An example is I'm very rarely late for appointments or meetings, because I don't want to disappoint. But I think this is also the source of some of the stress I feel at job interviews.
In a way these are expectations or goals I have set for myself - being a good person - which are causing me to put pressure on myself and they ultimately cause me some anxiety. So it seems to me I end up importing other people's perhaps faulty views, where I might be better off just accepting myself as I am. Making your own view of yourself dependent on others' views of you does not strike me as being very healthy. Self-acceptance is really important.
On reflection, I've found that I've struggled with this a lot during my life, especially when I was young. It probably has its roots in my childhood where I moved house often during my early teenage years and never got to prove myself in a social group until work situations in my late 20's. After that things changed, I became less uptight about it. But it seems there are some remnants.
How do you find you relate to your own expectations of yourself, and others' expectations of you?