In addition to writing blogs, I also do life coaching and business coaching. On one occasion, I was coaching a young mother and she started talking about her son.
In my coaching, I only concentrate on the person in front of me. I’ve always come from the approach that when someone wants more “success” in their lives, there is something inside of themselves they need to work on.
But this young mother was distraught so I listened to her plight. Her 12-year-old son wasn’t acting in a way that she wanted him to. He wasn’t meeting her expectations. She wanted him to act a certain way, do things a certain way and just plain be who she wanted him to be.
As she talked, my mind went back to when my children were her son’s age. Sometimes I too felt that I was at “wits-end” and felt distraught. Fortunately, I came to the realization one day when dealing with my children’s challenging behavior is that they just wanted to BECOME expressions of who THEY are, and NOT who I want them to become!
I made a conscious decision that for their betterment as well as my peace of mind that the best way to deal with this was that I would have no expectations of what they would become. My role was to love them enough and to support them and let them figure out who they wanted to be.
Of course, I was there to give guidance, ensure their safety and to give them some of what I’ve learned from experiences over the years that could be helpful in their growth in BECOMING. Once I turned from the idea of expecting them to be a certain way and to always do like I would do, both their lives and mine became much more peaceful and happy.
Expectations of others lead to disappointments and unnecessary pressure on others. Releasing my expectations gave my children the room to grow and discover themselves. And I couldn’t be more pleased with ‘how they turned out’ than I am…indeed they’ve made this dad very proud of who they’ve BECOME!!
Donald Miller once said, “When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are.” And might I add, that you can love them more fully.