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Stress and Expectations

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Women are notorious for using other peoples' expectations of them as a guide to their behavior. Women tend to admire females who use their OWN expectations as a guide and, often, don't understand how they a) have the necessary gumption to do that, exactly, or b) how they do that, exactly.

While women who follow their own expectations are sometimes known as being less-than-pleasant, there is still something profoundly interesting, especially for women, to see other women who hold themselves to their own standards.

So many of us grew up hoping that somehow being "good" would get us off the hook. We were taught to relax when we knew that we'd done what it was we were supposed to do. The problem with the complexity of life is that these ideas and the clarity we sought as children seem to slip through the looking glass almost every other minute. Those things we thought were small and of no consequence suddenly become very, very large and if we're not careful, can cost us our marriage or our job, our children's health or our partner's feelings of safety.

If we continually place our sense of self worth and self esteem in the hands of other peoples' expectations of us, we will never have it. The expectations others hold for us can change as frequently as the wind. It is crucial for our own health that we begin to measure ourselves according to our own understanding of the best way to proceed.

Operating under the assumption that you have good intentions and that you're able to improve if given constructive criticism, are not a diva or impaired with flagrant narcissism, it would be in your best interest to begin taking an inventory of your own standards. Figure out what they are.

On your job, do you feel you have what it takes to move ahead or do you simply want to stay put, stay under the radar? Are you putting in enough time and energy at work? Do your answers to those questions align with your standards or someone else's?

This type of self-reflection can be an awakening experience and can carry over from your job as a mom to your job as, well, whatever outside job you may have.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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