This morning I read about Ronda Rousey, someone many of you probably have never heard of, but she is one of, if not the most famous woman in mixed martial arts and is the current female bantam weight champion.
Last week Thursday she hinted in a MMA article that she may retire early and possibly have a baby. A simple consideration for a young lady in her twenties, but many of her “fans” didn’t take it that way.
Many of her “fans” were irate and took to Twitter angry that she could even be thinking about retiring early, when she is still in the prime of her fighting career, and even more so, to retire and have a baby as if even thinking about a life outside of fighting was a sin.
She fought back on Twitter with her own angry comments and disappointment that even her talking about, thinking about retiring had her receiving backlash. She went on to say basically that she isn’t going to continue doing something if she feels like she’s accomplished what she set out to accomplish and/or doesn’t enjoy doing it any more.
That got me to thinking about a lot of things, including how we are affected by other peoples expectations for us and plans for us. You see, many of her so-called “fans” had put Ronda into a box and couldn’t even imagine her stepping outside of that box until they were ready for her to do so.
People will always have expectations and plans for us and a lot of times those expectations and plans will go against our very own expectations and plans. As long as we are living up to other people expectations and plans for us and our lives (living within their box) then things are very copacetic, but once we go outside of those boundaries, then things can get complicated and even heated.
We know this from being children, especially teenagers and young adults.
Maybe your parents expected you to go to college to be a doctor, but you decided to follow your dreams of being a fashion designer. How did that work out? Did your parents still support you or did they show their disapproval the way Ronda’s “fans” have at her decision to not fight until she is physically beat to a pulp with no life outside of fighting?
The same thing comes with friends and relationships. Maybe your husband expects you to stay at home with the kids, but that’s not what you want for your life? Is he going to support you in your decision or is he going to make you feel bad for even considering working outside of the home?
Most of us are influenced to some extent by other people’s expectations and plans for us and often times we don’t even know it. When we make plans for our own lives that go against what other people already had planned for us, it can send across waves of anxiety, even amongst those who are supposed to have our best interest at heart.
Take for example if you and all of your friends are stuck in a dead end job, but you decide to go back to school, switch jobs or are given a promotion. These same friends may resist that change, try to prevent you from making it or have animosity towards you for doing it.
One reason is that when we do something for ourselves that goes against other people’s plans and expectations for us, it causes them to reflect on how that change will effect them and forces them to think about themselves, their lives and about what they are and are not doing.
That’s why you can’t always expect your friends and family to encourage or celebrate your changes and accomplishment because your new direction may cause them anxiety which usually causes people (instead of focusing with in) to lash out either by not supporting your decision, plotting against it or having bitterness towards you for something as simple as buying a new car or getting a new hair-do.
When you do something that is different, they have to ask themselves, “now what for me?” and/or “What does this say about me?” Does your new car make them wonder what are they doing wrong so that they can’t afford a new car? Does your new hairstyle make them wonder why they can’t be as courageous as you are (instead of looking inward and recognizing that unconscious thought, they are likely to “dislike” your new hairstyle and try to make you dislike it too).
So, when making plans for your life, I think it is good and healthy to expect some resistance from those who are supposed to care about you the most. Hopefully all you will get is support, but don’t be surprised if you meet resistance or what some people call “hate”. Don’t get frustrated by it or allow it to distract you. All it is is a mirror being reflected back on them that makes them have to question their life and that is a good thing when they use it for motivation instead of “hater-ation”.