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What Has My Disability Taught Me About Expectations?

Life requires us to draw certain lines that are thinner than a piece of paper.

One of the thinnest lines that we will have to draw separates realistic and unrealistic expectations, a line whose location depends on who is in the mirror.

It’s up to me and you to decide where to draw that line in our own lives. Some of us have trouble accepting that the line isn’t where we had hoped for ourselves or somebody significant in our lives and others of us are okay with it and work around the line.

I am one of those people who understand exactly where that line is in my life and I am completely happy with it. As a disabled individual, I have learned that you can have high expectations for yourself while being logical.

Our expectations dictate how satisfied we are with our lives.

The line in my life absolutely cannot be crossed.

Even though I know that there are a lot of things on the other side of the line that I would really like, trying to get over the hump and wanting to get on the other side of the line would be asking to become disappointed.

But, at the same time, I have very high expectations and put a lot of pressure on myself, which has stemmed from my experiences with my disability. The difference between my expectations and what some people expect from themselves is that mine are meant to push myself, but I know they are realistic.

It’s a difficult thing that you constantly have to balance, but, you have to know and always be honest with yourself.

I have learned that I am the one who knows myself the best and you are the person who knows yourself the best. Saying that, you are the one who should take the initiative and make yourself realize that some expectations just set you up for disappointment.

Once you do that, you have to push yourself and then you have to believe and have faith in yourself, which is where the hardest part is.

Believing in yourself and having illogical expectations are two completely different things and are the things that my disabled peers and I have to blend together on a daily basis.

The invisible line that separates realistic and unrealistic expectations has a location that varies depending on the person it’s following,

4 Comments

  1. Lindsey

    Your expectations are realistic. You know what you want and will achieve it. Will you run and jump, I don’t know, only time will tell. With the technology we have today and medical advances, anything is possible. But what you want, from what you told me, you will accomplish. God Bless you Joe!!!

  2. Terry

    Joe you are such an inspiration. Your insight into your own self and what you want to achieve amazes and humbles me. Thank you for being you and the gift that you are in my life and in many others. Your always in our thoughts.

  3. Gina

    I think that this concept of expectations can be a hard for many people. I agree that the line you mentioned, is very fine at times. I believe that as individuals, it is important we have expectations of ourselves- this is what keeps us motivated. But when those expectations are set too high, they can be really problematic for a person who becomes fixated on achieving an unrealistic goal. The fact that you have figured this out at such a young age is a blessing! How did you get so smart? I am always so impressed and moved when you share your own insights and lessons you have learned from your disability. Please keep writing……

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