Goal Setting – Do Other People’s Expectations Matter?

There are lots of elements to take into consideration when you are goal setting, and one of them is whether other people’s expectations matter or not. This article delves into the answer…

Well, I can tell you right off the bat that the answer is ‘yes and no’.

Before you start rolling your eyes that I haven’t answered the question, I say ‘yes and no’ because it depends both on what stage you are at with your goal setting, and also your definition of ‘expectations.’

When you right at the start of the whole self improvement, goal achievement, personal development process, you should try and put as few limits on yourself as possible. At this point, if by ‘other people’s expectations’ you mean ‘other people’s limits on you’, then no, they don’t matter.

It is not up to anyone else to tell you what you ought to be doing, and it’s not up to anyone else to tell you what you can’t do. It’s up to you!

That may seem obvious, but so many people never achieve what they are capable of because they take on these limits, set by other people, as beliefs. Those beliefs in turn, lead them to think they aren’t good enough or aren’t clever enough.

Simply deciding to ignore any limiting beliefs at the start of the process is essential. It won’t be easy at first, in fact it may seem impossible, but a combination of using affirmations and taking action will make it easier as time goes on.

I’m not saying you should set impossible goals, but at the early stages you must allow your dreams the room to take flight. It’s later in the process that you bring in the ‘realistic’ judgement, and that’s a judgement to be made on other factors than expectations.

So, that’s a situation where other people’s expectations don’t matter. Going back to my original answer of ‘yes and no’, let’s look at a time when they most certainly *do* matter…

Once you’ve set your plan to get to your goal, you will have a general set of steps to take, and then have it broken down into much more specific steps. It’s here when other people’s expectations can be absolutely critical.

It comes down to gaining knowledge. That’s a massive part of goal achievement, because although it may go without saying that you will need new knowledge to get to your goal, you will often have to show that knowledge to others.

It may be a degree qualification for example. Plenty of job opportunities are only ever open to those with certain qualifications. You can’t make it up as you go along, you can’t fake it – you will need to produce cold, hard, certificated proof.

You may not think it’s necessary to get the qualification, you may think you know enough without it. But it’s not what you think that counts, it’s what the person offering the job or the opportunity thinks that counts!

Get that wrong, and it can stop your goal achievement in its’ tracks.

It may not be an actual qualification, it may be a certain level of skill, but the expectation, and demand, will be there.

So to sum up, you’ll see why I started off by saying that other people’s expectations sometimes matter and sometimes don’t when goal setting.

In the initial broad brush stroke phase, then you must ignore all expectations or limits, even your own! Further along the road though, there will be times when people will demand a certain level of knowledge, and then they definitely do matter.

Goal setting is only 1 part of the goal achievement process. Grab your free copy of the 8 step formula that I use.

Do leave a comment!

Leave a Comment