Living with an overachieving family can be overwhelming sometimes, especially when your beliefs, hopes and expectations don’t match theirs. The problems usually arise when you allow your family’s expectations to dictate how you should or should not live your life. This may sometimes happen with or without your knowledge, it depends on how self-aware you are. Yet, sometimes, people should realise how the rigid systems created by their unreasonable family can undermine their abilities and can even prevent them from reaching their highest potential. Here are a few very helpful tips on how to handle family expectations when you have your own dreams:
1. Always Stay Engaged in the Process of Learning
The best way to deal with your family’s unrealistic expectations is to always try to educate yourself by reading all kinds of books and by participating in different classes or seminars. This way, you will train your mind to engage in critical thinking and you will build your self-awareness so you can learn how to cope with your family's expectations in order to be able to follow your own dreams.
2. Find Something You Are Good at and Develop That Skill
If you have a wonderful passion, skill or talent like writing, singing, reading or cooking or anything else that usually keeps you in your comfort zone, try to develop it. Even if your family wants you to do something else with your life, it’s important to do something you are good at because this will make you happy.
3. Choose the Values That Work for You
Make a list of all the values and traditions from your family that you do resonate with and that you would like to incorporate into your life. This way, you will show your family members that you do respect their opinions but you also would like to do something that you think is right for you, like choosing the career you like and not the one imposed by your family.
4. Have an Honest Conversation with Your Family
If your family is imposing their beliefs on you, but you have a different opinion, then you need to have an open and honest conversation with them so you can tell them where you stand. Just consider building some healthy boundaries and tell them that it’s your right to decide what you want to do with your life (like choose the career your would like to follow); of course, do this in a polite and respectful manner.
5. Be More Grateful for What Your Family Gives You
Instead of always thinking about your family members’ annoying traits, try to focus on the things you like about them, on the things you love and appreciate them for because in their opinion, they do want what’s best for you. Focus on the positive things and be grateful for what your family gives you because this will help you avoid any potential conflicts.
6. Accept Your Family for Who and How They Are
Nobody’s perfect since we are all human and we all make mistakes. Learn to love and accept your family just as it is and be glad for having a loving family who wants what’s best for you and who always thinks about your happiness. This way, you will avoid any resentment and your healthy attitude will strengthen the family bonds.
7. Don’t Let Your Self-Esteem Get Low
Even if you feel like you are always in your brother’s shadow or that you have to follow in your parents’ footsteps, try to remember that everyone is unique and we all have things we excel at. Find ways to boost your self-confidence and to increase your self-esteem and be more ambitious so you can reach all your goals and follow all your dreams.
Rising up to your family’s expectations can often feel like a very difficult challenge, especially when those expectations are unrealistic. In order to maintain your well-being, try to deal with them in an assertive manner so you can avoid any potential conflicts. Do you know any other tips on how to handle family expectations when you have your own dreams? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section!