High Expectations

4 Ways to Manage High Expectations in Life [Work/Relationship]

We all have expectations in life. Whether it’s our career goals, relationships, or even hobbies and interests, having high expectations can be a great motivator to keep pushing ourselves forward.

“Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m possible’!” ― Audrey Hepburn. This quote perfectly summarizes how having high expectations can be beneficial in life. High expectations motivate us to strive for more and push ourselves further than we ever thought possible.


Jared Rice

Remember that setting realistic goals is critical when striving for success. But sometimes, these expectations can become too much for us to handle. When this happens, we need to take a step back and find ways to manage our expectations, so they don’t overwhelm us. Here are four tips on adequately working your high expectations in life – whether in the workplace or within relationships. 

By following these tips, you’ll be able to stay focused on what truly matters while still waiting and motivated by your goals!

Don’t Set Unrealistic Expectations: Recognize the Difference between What is Possible and What is Not

Setting high expectations can be incredibly beneficial to understand the difference between what is possible and what is not. Unrealistic expectations can lead to disappointment, discouragement, and even self-doubt.  

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” 

British Author Douglas Adams

In other words, you may want something more than you can achieve in a certain period. If you set unrealistic expectations for yourself, it will be hard for you to stay motivated and reach your goals. Setting realistic goals that are achievable within a reasonable amount of time is the best way to ensure success. Rather than looking at unattainable outcomes or too far out of reach, break down your objectives into smaller chunks so that they are easier to achieve.


Take risks when necessary and try new things, but also know when it’s time to take a step back and evaluate the situation before moving forward with any plans. This way, you will only be setting yourself up for failure by demanding less from yourself or others around you if you give them adequate time or resources to do so. High expectations can propel us toward our goals, but understanding what is realistically achievable will help us see the bigger picture more clearly. 

American actor Henry Winkler once said, “The most important thing about having high expectations is daring to fail big and get up again.” Recognize your limitations and embrace successes and challenges as opportunities for personal growth along our journey toward our desired outcome. We must continually dare ourselves if we hope to achieve greatness in any area of life. Still, we must also remain humble enough to realize when our expectations might not be rooted in reality or attainability.

Communicate Clearly: Make Sure Everyone’s Understanding of Expectations is Aligned 

Having high expectations for those you work with or manage can be a powerful motivator. As American industrialist, Henry J. Kaiser said, “The fewer rules a manager has to enforce, the more effective he can be as a leader – because his people will have internalized high standards for themselves and their work.”

This speaks to the importance of inspiring others by setting clear goals and providing encouragement along the way. When people know what is expected from them, they are more likely to rise above their own limitations and achieve great results. Engage with others while also providing space for their ideas and opinions rather than merely delegating tasks without consideration or discussion. 


Noah Silliman

Listening intently provides an opportunity for each person’s perspective on a given task or project to be heard and respected. As French poet Antoine de Saint-Exupery noted, “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”

More: How to Stop Feeling Overwhelmed and Start Working Toward Your Goals

Find a Balance Between Work/Life/Relationship Expectations

Finding a balance between work, life, and relationship expectations is a challenge that many people face in their daily lives. In today’s modern world, where there is an emphasis on productivity and working hard to achieve success, it can be difficult to find time for important things such as family, friends, and leisure.

“Balance involves focusing our attention on all aspects of life. We don’t want to ignore any one part; we want to give each aspect of our lives its rightful due… Balance is not about ignoring or avoiding something; rather, it’s about learning how to manage those areas in a way that allows each area to grow.” 

Alex Alvarez

It may seem difficult at first, but with a bit of effort and dedication, it can be done – balancing work, life, and relationships doesn’t have to be an impossible task. Here are some tips for finding that equilibrium: 

1) Set realistic goals: Setting realistic goals for yourself will help you stay focused and organized when it comes to managing your time between different aspects of your life. This means taking into account the amount of time required for each task or activity and setting reasonable deadlines for completing them. 

2) Prioritize: Once you have set realistic goals for yourself, it is important to prioritize tasks so that you can manage your time more effectively and make sure all areas of your life get the attention they deserve.

Prioritizing tasks also helps prevent procrastination – if you know which tasks are most important, then you are more likely to get them done first before engaging in activities that may not be as beneficial in the long run. 

3) Take breaks: Taking regular breaks throughout the day helps ensure that we don’t become overwhelmed by our workloads or feel like nothing ever gets done. Breaks allow us to step back from what we are doing and clear our minds so that we can come back feeling energized and productive again.

They also give us an opportunity to take care of ourselves physically, mentally, and emotionally by engaging in activities such as exercise or meditation, which can help reduce stress levels significantly. 

4) Make time for relationships: Making time for family members and friends is essential if we want to maintain healthy relationships with them – no matter how busy we may be with work or other commitments.

Whether it is setting aside a few hours every week just for catching up with friends or going out on a date night once in a while with your significant other – having quality time together should never be neglected if possible! 

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive… And go do that because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” American theologian Howard Thurman.

To strike this balance between work/life/relationship expectations requires understanding how best each component affects us emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually – so we can bring more aliveness into all aspects of our lives!

More: 7 Office Distractions that Slow Down Your Productivity (and How to Fight Against Them)

Have Grace for Yourself When Struggling to Meet Goals or Facing Challenges

Many of us have high expectations for ourselves and feel disappointed when things don’t work out the way we hoped. Despite this feeling of disappointment, it’s essential to remember that mistakes and missteps are part of the learning process and should be embraced rather than viewed as a failure.

“The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” -Michelangelo.


averie woodard

While having ambitious goals can drive us to succeed, if our expectations are too high or unrealistic, then they can lead to stress and feelings of inadequacy. Try to temper these expectations with a healthy dose of self-compassion. As American singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette said:

“Having grace for yourself means trusting that you have done your best in any given moment, even if your best is far from perfect.” 

By understanding that progress takes time, we can give ourselves more grace while working towards our goals. 

Practice self-compassion instead of harsh self-criticism when things don’t go as planned or when we fail at an attempt. This encourages resilience and allows us to keep moving forward despite setbacks or obstacles.

“You must learn how to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. You don’t want fear to stop you from taking risks or trying new things.” -Motivational Speaker Les Brown.

Taking risks helps us grow and become better versions of ourselves; sometimes, these risks will pay off, while other times, they won’t – but no matter what the outcome is, extending grace towards oneself will help foster strength rather than feelings of defeat or inadequacy. 

It’s also helpful to remember that life isn’t always linear; some days will be filled with success while others may be plagued by failure – both are equally important parts of life’s journey.

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward” – Steve Jobs.

Therefore instead of beating yourself up over failures or mistakes, recognize that even if something doesn’t work out at the present moment, ultimately, those experiences will help bring greater understanding and insight into your future endeavors.