How to regain your power from the high expectations of others

by sol ballard

Do you feel like you are expected to do more in less time with very little room for error? Does it seem that there is always more to do and it needs to be damn near PERFECT?  When I got this question from a lovely reader, I knew it was time to put these pressures to rest.

Hello Sol,

I’ve been having trouble dealing with the pressures of being a “SUPERWOMAN”- having to handle every aspect of my life at a very high standard. I really feel pressured by my family members and when I don’t meet their expectations, I feel disappointed in myself. Could you provide me with some guidance?


I totally get it, Jess, and guess what? It’s time for you to regain your power.

I am going to give you a few scenarios then you decided which one(s) fits you best so you can then act accordingly, agree? Good!!

Scenario One: You are a people pleaser. Make a good analysis of the situation and determine if you just love to please people. Perhaps people demand so much of you and set the bar high because they feel that you like to meet their every demand. If so, pump the breaks. Communicate that your people-pleasing days are officially over and going forward you will only respond to expectations that are reasonable in nature. You reserve the right to refuse any demand and do your own quality control.  Tip: Say this gently and kind.

Scenario two: You really are Superwoman. Could it be that people come to you to get things done because they are highly aware that you not only get shit done, but also get it done flawlessly? You may be intuitively aware of this yourself so you feel disappointed when you let others down. If this is the case then first you need to realize that being a bad ass Superwoman is amazing but it doesn’t mean anything if you are letting others dictate your life around. If this persists, then you will be putting yourself on the fast track to unhappiness. There is nothing wrong with having a little chitchat and discussing ideas on how things can get done within your own means and setting realistic expectations together.

Scenario three: You are surrounded by insensitive people. It could very well be that the people around you are not aware of the pressures that they are putting you under with their unrealistic expectations.  Even though your family could be insensitive, it does not mean they don’t love you. So with effective communication there’s likelihood to reach a happy medium. If that does not happen, then it’s time to do the best you can and ignore their unreasonable expectations.

I know you can feel disappointed when you don’t meet someone’s expectations or even worse you feel like a failure, but in the long run, and for your own sake and sanity, it is best to set your own expectations of yourself. There is nothing wrong with setting them high enough to where you are challenging yourself while keeping them attainable. You can then work on getting better little by little. You will be happier and more fulfilled when you do this than to pursue the unquenchable expectations of others. When you set your own expectations you will also know when you have reached them instead of throwing darts in the dark and crossing your fingers hoping you hit the bull’s eye.

Maybe you fall into one scenario or a little of all three.  What’s important is that you regain your power and decide what is best for you.

Hope this helps,


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