EP 5: Do you have high expectations?

In this episode of the Greatness Together Podcast, we have a delicious conversation about how high expectations can affect you and those around you, and we’re serving up a side order of coping mechanisms!

Quote: “So much in life does not go according to plan!” Sarah McVanel


Greatness Moments:

  • High Expectations. 0:00
  • A family of high achievers. 2:30
  • It’s a Clark W. Griswold thing. 5:00
  • Nature and nurture. 8:00
  • High expectations are rarely met. 10:30
  • Are your expectations too high? 15:00
  • You can only control so much. 19:00
  • Let’s look from a student’s perspective. 23:30
  • Sometimes you just have to laugh. 27:00
  • Next episode…Perfectionism. 30:15

Over lunch one Saturday, Simonne was giving Sarah some ‘therapy.’ High expectations are not, perhaps to you listeners, a surprising characteristic of both Sarah and Simonne and, in fact, their whole family. Unfortunately, however, those high expectations can permeate our worldview, and before you know it, you have an entire story in your mind that’s not helpful or realistic

In her insightful and direct way, Simonne provides a helpful strategy for Sarah and you, dear listener, the next time high expectations rob you of happiness, balance, fulfillment and connection. Check that strategy at 17 minutes in.

Our conversation emphasizes the importance of Social Learning Theory, which adds to our understanding of behavioural psychology. Here are three key concepts:

  1. Psychological situation – how you interpret or define a situation which isn’t objective but a perception.
  2. Expectancy – what you imagine the effects of something to be.
  3. Reinforcement value – attributing value to what you get from something; we may praise or criticize ourselves.

If you’ve ever felt disappointed but someone cannot understand why, it seems to be out of proportion to the situation, or a response that’s extreme, given the context, you may find this podcast insightful.

Here’s one more definition to keep in your back pocket. Brene Brown’s book, Atlas of the Heart, defines disappointment as unmet expectations and notes that the more significant the expectations, the more significant the disappointment will likely be.

The next time the stakes are high, be more prepared with Simonne’s juicy strategy. Dive in with us…now.


Clark W. Griswold
Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown
Greatness Magnified
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