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Truth: You Will Never Meet Everyone’s Expectations, So Why Try?

Managing the expectations others put on you is exhausting. There is a constant need to prove your worthiness to your family, employees, customers, vendors, and friends.  Others’ expectations were one of my greatest struggles. The expectation to be everything to everyone was constantly being thrown at me. 

From the family: 

Kathryn, there is no crying in business! 

Failure isn’t an option! 

I am not your dad in these walls, I am your boss! 

From others: 

“You better do what your dad expects you to do.” 

“Your dad wouldn’t have done it that way.” 

“I would rather speak to your dad.” 

The point of view of others led to my identity crisis. I had allowed the world to create a fill-in-the-blank version of me. It was time to stop trying to be everything to everybody. Constantly striving for perfection. Striving to be perfect only caused undue stress and unhappiness.   

The realization that I had spent my entire adult life striving for perfection made me angry. It was time to let go of the anger. Once the anger was released it was easy to determine who I wanted to be as a daughter, wife, mother, sister, friend, and leader. Discovering who I wanted to be meant that I needed to make changes in my life. This came by setting boundaries, changing my perception, removing temptations, learning to say ‘no’, and creating time.  

Setting boundaries meant only having late meetings on Wednesdays and not working events on Sundays.  

Changing my perception allowed me to see the world through the eyes of others. In other words, understand their perception. 

  1. Parents want what all parents want, for their children to be happy and prepared for life. 
  2. Employees want security and confidence in their leadership.
  3. Customers/Vendors want the consistency that they have always received.
  4. Friends and Family just want you.   

Removing the temptation to work 24/7 meant leaving my computer at the office and removing emails from my phone.  

It is okay to say 'no', if you don’t you will just end up bitter and angry. Entrepreneurs are ‘yes’ people. Due to this, we overextend ourselves. When you are over-extended, nothing you do will be 100%.

Prioritizing your obligations and delegating tasks will create more time. You don’t have to do it all.

Trying to meet the world’s expectations will always lead to ultimate unhappiness. It is impossible to control the world's perception of who you are or who should be. The only thing you can control is your actions or reactions to those around you.  Controlling your actions will allow you to have a clearer understanding of the world. By having a clearer understanding of the world around you, you will be able to become the person you were always meant to be.  In the words of my high school principal, Dr. Ruth Kane: “Make it a good day or not, the choice is yours.” 


Kathryn Albarado

Generational business and life coach

As a third-generational family business owner, Kathryn spent 22 years navigating the hills and valleys of leading a family business.

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