This is for you. For those who want to go their own way and those who are looking for a path to happiness and self-love. You are already on your way and I see an even more beautiful person today than you already were. I’m proud of you. Hopefully you will also be proud of yourself sooner or later.
Expectations are your friend and your enemy. They are your friend if you live up to the expectations. Your parents are proud, society is proud and so are you (hopefully). They are your enemy if you fail to live up to expectations. Your parents may be your greatest enemy in these moments. That is, if they only have high expectations for you. As a child, you don’t want to disappoint your parents, so you try to live up to those expectations. But if it doesn’t work out, and your parents let you know they are disappointed in you, it can cause significant damage to you emotionally.
Perform until you drop
We live in a society where children and young people are pushed to perform. It’s always about high marks. As a result, this pressure to perform is prevalent in young people’s society. A six is just as bad as a fail and an eight could also be a nine if you had learned a few hours more.
They have to finish their study within 4 years, otherwise they will be paying their student debt until the age of 60. In my opinion, this ‘performance society’ is poisonous. It is pushing young people toward a burnout or to develop depressive complaints. During my bachelor I have seen several death reports from students who have succumbed to the pressure. “She always had a smile on her face” or “He was very involved in the faculty.” But what’s really going on behind that smile and that commitment? Perhaps the girl was struggling everyday to finish her homework. And perhaps the concerned boy’s parents were pressuring him to be as successful as his older brother.
Am I good enough?
Back to the parents who have high expectations. They probably mean well, because they want the best for their children. But sometimes they don’t realize how much damage it can do to their child’s self-image. For example, children can develop performance anxiety, which can lead to unnecessarily high stress.
They can also question their own skills. They may wonder if they are good enough and are only worthy of love if they live up to their parents’ high expectations. It shouldn’t be like that in my view. No child should wonder if he or she is good enough. There should be more emphasis on the child as an individual and the talents he or she carries with them. Maybe a child can learn very well, but is also satisfied with a HAVO-diploma because they prefer not to do university education.
I think the question “Am I good enough?” should be turned to “Is this good enough for me?”
After all, it is not the future and happiness of the parents who are at stake, but that of the child.
The answer? Yes, you are good enough!