A fierce attitude, what’s it look like? Unshakable self-belief what is this at home? Defeatest, is this always wrong?
In TOTAL HUMAN AWARENESS, you learn to adapt to different environments. You fight a battle against corporatised personality testing, steriotyping and limitations placed on you that make your boss’ job easier.
No doubt you’ve experienced much of this in your life. Parental expectations is where it begins, but it flows through all walks of amateur life where the expectations of others become the mantle by which we measure ourselves.
My father was Mr Do it Yourself… he was awesome at making anything work. He could build bikes, make cars work, turn a piece of junk into a racing cart. My dad could do anything that needed a practical, hands on fix. And he expected me to do the same. Hence, without even thinking twice, so did I expect me to be the same.
I built cars, and bikes, and houses, and repaired electrics. But my cars caught on fire, my bikes broke, my houses were out of square and electrics never worked. I had the best tool kit, in fact my Dad bought me tools for Christmas and birthdays. It never even entered my mind that I was shit at all these “be like dad” things. But I was shit at them.
When my Dad got old and I went to visit, he’d show me his workshop and then recruit me to hold the ladder or shovel the dirt for his next project. Even he’d come to realise that his son was a great disappointment because I didn’t do what he expected, I wasn’t a real man, I wasn’t in his eyes, a handyman. I tried. But the satisfaction of doing an ordinary if no poor job of all things involving tools made me over ambitious and therefore accident prone. I’d always shave too much off the door frame, or hit the brick just a bit too hard or tighten the bolt just one turn too many. It was, a day of letting go and a massive release when I shouted to the sky, “fuck it, I hate working with tools.”
The expectation of the parent becomes ingrained in the child. At first, we do it to get their approval, a sad compromise on the sense that we are worthy of love no matter who or what we are. Then, this dna deep expectation becomes our own and we de-identify with the parent, we run to another country, get married, have babies, get jobs do all sorts of crazy stuff to become our own person, but we travel with our expectations of ourselves, the parent is hidden within.
Expectations block love, but never more than when they come from a parental embedding process from those formative years. No matter how hard we reject the parent, no matter how often we deliberately do the oppposite to what they want, the expectation, whether positive or negative is embedded in our DNA, OUR GENES, OUR MEMES.
Anger is an old method of breaking free of the stifling and disappointing expectations of others. Often in divorce and separations from parents, anger is used and abused as a mechanism to become free. But in that anger is a prison. Anger doesn’t take us anywhere except to build a paper wall between us and the target of our anger, ultimately, through destruction of the cells of our body, anger self destructs the holder and leaves the target unchanged.
Hate is another mechanism of breaking free of the stifling and disappointing expectations of others. As those expectations are always embedded in ourselves even deeper than the source of them, we turn that hate, or it’s more user friendly partner, judgement, in on ourselves and begin the process of self-sabotage. Judgement of others is ultimately judgement of self, and most often in self help, which tries to leverage positive from negative in a motivation to achieve, we shoot ourselves in the foot. Here’s an example:
The coach might say “ARE YOU WEAK OR STRONG?” or “DO YOU WANT THIS OR NOT?” Creating a hate for the “weak” and a passion for the strong… or a hate for the “non committed self, and a celebration for the tenacity of the “WANT IT at ALL COST” self. This divides the individual into a state of rejecting a part of themselves.
Being in a Rugby final and rejecting the soft cuddly part of ourselves is great. It’s a window of time and in that window we need to tap into something very polarised. Being at work and rejecting the so called harmonious romantic part of ourselves will save us hours a day. Being at home with our lover and rejecting the logical critical self that thrives at work while accepting the romantic sexy, warm fuzzy self is brilliant. But, what happens is something very different.
We reject bits “OUTRIGHT”…. meaning, at work, a personality profile will say we’re logical, introvert, thinking, judging… “fuck, really” – I’m this? It’s not a selected series of qualities and personality traits that I’ve chosen to use at work because I use the oppositie at home? Surely, that seems harsh.
Go back to my dad, Mr Fixit. His expectations and therefore my expectations that blocked love for my whole self (remember expectations block love) were that I’d be like my dad, practical, problem solving with my bare hands… and when I realised I really wasn’t up to the standard on that aspect of my life, I felt sad, angry and disappointed because I couldn’t even meet my own expectations of myself. I therefore rejected me… at some level and got rejected by others as a result. I even got angry at Dad for wanting me to hold the ladder or be interested in his workshop. I faked interest for a while but in the end made excuses. I hated that stinky smelly mouldy old workshop… ewwww … so much dust and grease. Dad loved it. he wanted me to bond with him down there fixing the wheel of his walking frame while having a beer. I’d rather be set on fire with a blow torch.
So, was I doomed to “reject” that expectation for the rest of my life, so deeply ingrained in my DNA? No….
You see nothing is missing. Sure, I’m not Mr Fixit like my Dad, but I am Mr Fixit when it comes to the lives of millions of people. My Dad’s expectation was locked and loaded in the form he wanted to see my actions, in the workshop with a hammer and drill. Mine however, can adapt, unlike his narrow view of “fixit” being a garage mine can ask, “nothing is missing so what form is this fixit?” and find it. I can, instead of asking dad to love me without expectation, do it for myself. I can love my dad for his “solo view” and love myself too.
Expectations block love. The parent buries a treasure in us by accident by expecting us, most often, to be better than them. To achieve more, to do more, to not make the same mistakes, and by doing so, set us on a trajectory to reject ourselves. We reject in ourselves what our parents reject in themselves. Their expectations of us are their self rejections turned upside down. If the parent was lazy, they expect us not to waste our life. If the parent married the wrong man or woman they expect we will not do the same. If the parent didn’t achieve what they wanted, they expect we will. But in their expectation, there is self-judgement and in their self-judgement what they pass on to us through their expectation, is actually the judgement, not the opposite.
What the parent rejects in themselves, they expect of their child the opposite. What the child inherits is the expectation of themselves the same as the parent, and therefore the child rejects the same as the parent does in themselves. Self-love is blocked in both parent and child, on the same topic. We inherit more than just the family jewels.
- You have every human trait and when you are asked to reject some and display others, it’s a circumstantial request, for a particular situation, and we must make sure we do not transport that rejection of some qualities outside that space. The rugby player must tap their soft cuddly self to be a great parent and lover. The rugby coach isn’t worried about that. So, too, the boss at work will review your behaviour and recommend certain qualities come to light at work and others be discarded, but you can’t bring that sort of guidance and coaching home. it’s the fastest way to destroy a home-life.
- Whatever expectation of yourself that has been handed down accidentally and permanently by your parents, you are already doing it perfectly but maybe not exactly as your parents, in their tunnel vision of it, expect. So at some point you are going to have to allow them their opinion of you, but take the power away from them and realise you’ve evolved past the “form” of what they expect, you need self-acceptance and I’d be suggesting this normally happens for a healthy life before you make babies but it must happen before it causes early menopause and or a seriously disruptive midlife crisis.
- Treat yourself as a total human. It is too easy to start to measure your strengths and weaknesses, and listen to personality profiles or idealise a guru who suggests that the more you behave, say kindly” the more lovable you are… this is absolute bull-shit, manipulation and is designed to recruit sick people, who still seek parental approval to find solace. That kindness, in an ashram or social welfare group is essential, but in everyday life, you’ll actually need to be both kind and unkind in equal measure, and love yourself for it.
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