An event that has really affected me in my life is when I got my first detention. I never did see it coming. One minute I was just messing around with my friends, the next I had a detention at quarter past one in the afternoon. I couldn’t believe it. The shame was like a brick to the face. I felt as if had let everyone down but I felt like I had let myself down the most. And this wasn’t a familiar feeling. So this made me start to question myself. Why did this particular event make me feel like this? Was it because I had got caught? No. Was it because it was in front of my friends? I doubt it. Or was it because it wasn’t what I expected from myself? Absolutely! I was disappointed in myself because what I had done went against my own expectations of myself. This led me on to think of what do I really expect of myself, how do they make me feel and how does it affect me now in the present.
When I think about it, what I expect of myself really does influence what I do and, at the time, it also affected how I felt. What I had done made me feel sad and ashamed. Two feelings I don’t feel very often. When my friends get a detention it doesn’t make them feel any of these feelings. In fact, they don’t care very much about getting a detention. But when I get a detention, I begin to feel down, ashamed and sorry for myself. And this doesn’t just happen when I get a detention; it also happens when I misbehave in general. I think this is all down to my high expectations of myself. They really do control how I think and feel during certain situations. And, to be honest, this isn’t really a bad thing because it stops me from making the same bad choices over and over again. In a way, it’s like a line which I should never cross.
Thinking about it a bit more, what I think of myself also has an effect on my expectations. For example, my ambitions. I believe that after I have left school I will go to university, get my qualifications and then get the job that I want. Then, later on, I’ll have a good house, a good car and maybe even have my own family. If I thought very low of myself then I wouldn’t have these ambitions. I quite a lot of myself and I know that if I put a little time, thought and effort into something, I can accomplish anything. Another example is how I treat other people. I think of myself as a kind, caring and friendly person so I expect myself to be kind, caring and friendly towards others too. If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t be a very nice person and I would think quite low of myself. On reflection, I think quite highly of myself so I also have high expectations of myself as well.
When I look back, I realise that I was actually quite glad that I got a detention because I was beginning to let things go a bit so it actually acted as a wake up call. I was becoming unfocused, unorganised and too relaxed. And this would have been a bad thing for me because I like to be ready for anything that comes my way. This is what I expect of myself: to be ready for anything at all times. I think this is a really good expectation to have for myself because life is unpredictable and you never know what might be around the corner. For example, if I had a test I had to revise for and I wasn’t focused enough to revise then I would fail that test. This is why my expectations are important to me. They keep me on the path to success.
In retrospect, I could have chosen various other experiences to reflect on but I specifically chose this one as it is a prime example of a mistake I have made. Mistakes aren’t one of my expectations and this is one of my drawbacks because everyone makes mistakes (including myself).