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Living up to my own expectations

December 9, 2021

Hey, thank you for reading this. I’m Karma, i turned 20 about a week ago and i’m really struggling with anxiety and something that i don’t really know how to explain. I’m constantly feeling stuck and disappointed about myself because i’m not living up to what i expect from myself, i expect to be a good, strong and honest man but sometimes all i feel is that i’m just an insecure crybaby playing an adults game… i’m just so tired of this, of not being who i want to be, who i’m supposed to be…

Whenever i get into an argument with my girlfriend i ask her “please, tell me what i can do better” and then promise i’ll do better but then i keep doing the same thing over and over again, it’s frustrating and i just don’t know what to do. I’m always trying so hard to be the best version of myself but i can’t even get close to it, i always end up doing mistakes and feeling even worst about myself. Once again, thank you for reading this and i’m sorry if there’s something you don’t understand, english is not my first language.

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Post Information
Title Living up to my own expectations
Author Karmalr
Upvotes 16
Comments 9
Date December 9, 2021 5:12 AM UTC (2 years ago)
Subreddit /r/MenSupportMen
Archive Link
Original Link
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[–]SaracensFlanker 7 points8 points  (3 children) | Copy Link

Hey there,

This sounds like a lot to deal with and I want to reassure you that you are not the only person that deals with thoughts like this. I'm 30 and also deal with thoughts telling me that I am not good enough and not where I should be in life by now.

The first thing I'm going to tell you is to cut yourself some slack. You're 20. The reality is that no-one who is being reasonable expects you to have everything lined up by 20. And if that is true, then it is also true that what you are telling yourself is not reasonable.

There are a lot of people who have 'imposter syndrome', or who feel like they are faking their way through life. I hope in the coming years that you become more comfortable with yourself - and with the idea that you can only do the best that you can.

The second thing I'm going to say is that your girlfriend either needs to be supportive of you or she needs to go. Life is too short to have energy sapping people in your life. If girlfriend is constantly criticising you, you should think about breaking up for your own sake.

The final thing I want to say is that the progress we make as people is painstakingly slow. It takes a long time to get the job you're aiming for. It takes a long time to get skills, licences, qualifications, etc, that you need to succeed. It takes a long time to build up enough money for a house and car, etc. It will all come - but it will come in frustratingly small steps.

Don't give up on yourself. And if there is specific advice you'd like into achieving one of your ambitions, feel free to reach out on this forum. Chances are someone will have some useful information for you!

[–]DelRMi05 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Imposter syndrome. It's the absolute worst. And we're at a time where social media can amplify it.

Great response.

[–]Karmalr[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy Link

Hey, i’m so sorry for not replying, i logged of social media for a while after a couple of mental breakdowns. I know i shouldn’t have everything lined up, i mean, you said it yourself, i’m 20 and no one expects that from me but i just can’t stop thinking about how everyone around is getting their life into what seems the path of success and i’m falling behind… My girlfriend is very supportive, she’s always there for me and is constantly trying to make me feel better about myself, i just beat myself up a lot after an argument. Thank you for your response, i really appreciate that you took your time to read what i wrote and actually replied with some good advices and helping me put my feet on the ground again.

[–]SaracensFlanker 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Hey there,

No problem at all. It sounds like detoxing from social media did you some good!

[–]DelRMi05 1 point2 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

Hey Karma,

Thanks for your post. A lot of us go through what you're describing. Sometimes we set such a high bar for ourselves that we drown in our own expectations. What you are experiencing is certainly not limited to you, and that's a good thing.

Let's peel back the curtain a little bit and maybe talk about some specific examples if you are willing?

But let's get one thing out of the way immediately. You are not an insecure crybaby. You are someone that wants to be better than they currently are and I really think that should be celebrated.

I suggest being a little more forgiving to yourself though. You are only 20 years old and still developing as a young adult. Literally speaking, your brain hasn't reached its peak yet. Figuring out yourself and who you want to be is always a challenge so let's not add that undo pressure on yourself.

Personally, I use aspirations on a daily basis to make incremental change. Change is great, but sometimes our expectations are that of having to do it all at once. Life is very much about routine and breaking routines and creating new ones.

Let's use being honest as an example. If someone that doesn't tell the truth, or at the very least conceals the truth (isn't open about their feelings) and wants to change, it may be difficult to break that habit. Start small; make it a point every day to think about how you feel, and share that feeling with someone you trust. Put it in your calendar to do every day. Before long, the person finds themselves being more honest and open.

A common theme I have noticed since being involved in this sub, is that a poster will acknowledge something about their life needs to change, however they are under the assumption that the change needs to happen overnight.

I think you can make great strides in picturing who you want to be, and then trying to take small actions on a regular basis that would be associated with that kind of person.

[–]Karmalr[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Hey, first of all thank you for taking your time to read me and actually replying, i really appreciate it. Well, i guess i wanted to have a lot of things sorted in my life by now, like being close to finish college, having a job, those kind of things because most of my friends and former classmates have that and i feel like i’m falling behind… there’s that, it’s a constant thought that i have. Maybe i need to be patient, learn that things won’t change overnight and i have to work everyday to accomplish those expectations i have of myself. Thank you so much for your words, they really helped me.

[–]DelRMi05 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I’m glad friend. Keep us posted.

[–]BrainPicker3 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy Link

I realized something recently when I was very frustrated at myself for about to roll down and buy some beer even though it was self destructive and I didnt want to.

I remembered something the vietnamese mono thich naht hanh said about accepting our thoughts and emotions. I told myself "it's ok, you can go buy them. But why do you want to? Let's get to the bottom of this." Almost immediately after I let go of those frustrations my urge to drink dissipated.

Idk if this will help or not though beating yourself up for not living up to your expectations will stress you out and likely end up to fall back into the pattern. Even if it seems cheesy, try some self affirmation or self love. Consciously compliment yourself on things, it feels cheesy at first though can make a world of difference. Good luck bro

[–]DelRMi05 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I mentioned affirmations as Well. They are incredibly powerful. Cheesy? Maybe, but cheese is pretty awesome.

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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