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What’s your personal minimum expectation?

What’s Your Personal Minimum Expectation?

As part of my work as a therapist and coach, I have accepted that I have relinquished my life to learning. That old adage, ‘the more you learn, the more you realise you have to learn’ rings true on a daily basis. When I was a lecturer, I often said that the day I thought I knew it all, was the day that I needed to quit. After 24 years working with children and young people, they love to pull out a surprise and I find myself reading, researching and on courses as a weekly task.

However, something that I was never taught was the importance of, not only having expectations of others e.g. following up on goals, promises and tasks, but also doing this with myself.

Anger and disappointment are all about UNMET expectations.

However, we can often have high expectations of everyone else, and very low ones of ourselves.

Before the ego in us all gets irritated by that comment, stick with me.

What’s your expectation?

Have you ever noticed how, whether it is personally or professionally, we can find ourselves irked by something someone else didn’t do that they either promised to, or we expected them to psychically know about?

Or, perhaps you have noticed that we will find ourselves irritable at someone who does do the things that they said, because it irritates a level of guilt or inferiority in us?

Funny isn’t it?

But, how often did you set yourself expectations?

And, I do NOT mean to do the housework!

I’m talking about the minimum expectations that we set OURSELVES to ensure that we are mastering our own:

  • Mood
  • Satisfaction
  • Happiness
  • Selfcare
  • Personal Growth

What do YOU need, every week, to ensure that you keep yourself in the best place to:

  • Manage your own needs
  • Meet work expectations
  • Keep yourself present
  • Enjoy the company of friends and family
  • Achieve your own goals

How do we do it?

Often, I hear the comment ‘but I can’t do that’ – but here’s the thing, whether it is cast in guilt, fear or anxiety

Can’t = Won’t 

But, if we want young people to have better mental health, it starts with us modelling what that looks like. Taking the time to make it a minimum expectation to take a walk 4 days a week, or to exercise, or to take an hour out to go to a dance class, or attend a course isn’t something to feel guilty about. It teaches children about self-care, self-preservation, and personal development.

If our minimum expectation for ourselves is that we do nothing for us, we cannot expect to achieve our goals. Which often leaves us feeling neglected, fed up or in some cases, even resentful.

If we want to feel better, we need to identify what our own needs are, so we can show up and feel our best.

Burnout is not healthy for anyone. If we want to avoid it, we need to start considering – what is my minimum expectation?


  • Physical exercise
  • Nutrition
  • Hydration
  • Social needs
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Learning
  • Personal development

Consider what you need to keep your soul alight, and feeling good. If you could build the life that you wanted, and feel more satisfied, what impact would this have on your well-being and presence with others?

So, what’s your minimum expectation for you?


Want to learn more? 

If you want to learn more about emotional literacy you can join our Level 4 training (here) or keep an eye out for our online emotional literacy courses coming soon (here).


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Further help 

For more articles about mental health visit – ARTICLES 

To learn more about child and adolescent mental health visit – COURSES 

For resources to support child and adolescent mental health visit –RESOURCES 

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