50 Quotes About Expectations to Change the Way You Think!

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Simran Srivastava

30 May 2022

8 Mins

Expectations are an inevitable part of our lives. They help us gain a sense of direction and motivate us to work towards it or rise to certain standards. But it can be difficult to regulate our expectations, especially the ones we hold against ourselves.

Expectations Can Hurt.

Our expectations can end up influencing our thoughts and actions to a degree where we feel overwhelmed and pressured, and this can have adverse effects on our mental well-being. Our expectations are often unrealistic and unachievable, which can be very demoralizing and induce unneeded self-criticism and stress.

It's important to remember to give ourselves time and not let our ambitions get to our heads. We often get greedy and forget that it's not possible to accomplish our goals instantaneously, which can result in internal conflict and disappointment. We must be more adaptive, be open to changing our expectations from situations or ourselves based on how things change, and try to not react impulsively. It's also vital to be mindful of how we perceive ourselves in this process and not judge ourselves too harshly.

what you should keep in mind while dealing with unrealistic expectations

Managing the expectations of others can feel challenging since they fall out of your control. This is more commonly observed in Indian culture, with expectations from elders and family members being a norm, and not situation-specific. Communication is the key to unlocking these problems, we must be open about what makes us happy and what we're aiming for. It helps maintain relationships while also drawing personal boundaries on how much agency others have on your goals and projects. Remember to not overindulge others, or they may constantly pester you with questions and updates on how your progress is going.

Can some quotes make you feel better?

Advice, in any form, is invaluable. It’s an asset everyone must consider, if not follow, for their own betterment. Quotes are remarkable sayings said by people, who share their viewpoints on what they've learned from their personal experiences. They can offer a broader perspective, awareness, and a glimpse of what it's like to be in the shoes of another. They foster empathy and offer support, empowering people to face their challenges.

50 Transformative Quotes on Expectations That Alter Your Perspective on Life

The following 50 quotes are extremely popular and well renowned for being helpful to those struggling to deal with their personal expectations and that of others.

The expectations of others, and the ones you hold towards them.

  1. “If you expect nothing from somebody, you are never disappointed.” ― Sylvia Plath

  2. “When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are.” ― Donald Miller.

  3. “I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” ― Bruce Lee.

  4. “If you spent your life concentrating on what everyone else thought of you, would you forget who you really were? What if the face you showed the world turned out to be a mask... with nothing beneath it?” ― Jodi Picoult.

  5. “You are most powerful when you are most silent. People never expect silence.” ― Alison McGhee.

  6. “Expectations were like fine pottery. The harder you held them, the more likely they were to crack.” ― Brandon Sanderson

  7. “Look. I have a strategy. Why expect anything? If you don’t expect anything, you don’t get disappointed.” ― Patricia McCormick.

  8. “If you're going to say what you want to say, you're going to hear what you don't want to hear.” ― Roberto Bolaño

  9. “Never idealize others. They will never live up to your expectations.” — Leo Buscaglia

  10. “Most people are not really free. They are confined by the niche in the world that they carve out for themselves. They limit themselves to fewer possibilities by the narrowness of their vision.” ― V.S. Naipaul

  11. “Peace begins When expectation ends.” — Sri Chinmoy

  12. “As gloom and doom have been creeping into their lives, many can’t feel anymore the freshness of their emotions that withered alongside the wearisome path of their expectations.” ― Erik Pevernagie

  13. “I hope you do not let anyone else's expectations direct the course of your life.” ― Julianne Donaldson

  14. “Expectations are a funny thing,” Wen said. “When you’re born with them, you resent them, fight against them. When you’ve never been given any, you feel the lack of them your whole life.” ― Fonda Lee

  15. “People who don't expect justice don't have to suffer disappointment.” ― Isaac Asimov

  16. “Expectations may sometimes lead you to disappointments, but the anger of getting disappointment may sometimes lead you to what you expected.” — Anonymous

  17. “Stay in the center, and you will be ready to move in any direction.” ― Alan W. Watts

  18. “A life that is burdened with expectations is a heavy life. Its fruit is sorrow and disappointment.” — Douglas Adams

  19. “No expectations mean there is no risk of disappointment.” ― Jude Morgan

  20. “You can’t expect everyone to have the same dedication as you.” — Jeff Kinney

  21. “To wish was to hope, and to hope was to expect.” — Jane Austen

  22. “I do know one thing about me: I don’t measure myself by others’ expectations or let others define my worth.” — Sonia Sotomayor

  23. “Sometimes we expect more from others because we would be willing to do that much for them.” — Harriet Morgan

  24. “Imagination is your expectation.” — Anonymous

  25. “It is easier to make our wishes conform to our means than to make our means conform to our wishes.” ― Robert E. Lee


  1. “Today expect something good to happen to you no matter what occurred yesterday. Realize the past no longer holds you captive. It can only continue to hurt you if you hold on to it. Let the past go. A simply abundant world awaits.” ― Sarah Breathnach

  2. “I have learned that as long as I hold fast to my beliefs and values – and follow my own moral compass – then the only expectations I need to live up to are my own.” — Michelle Obama

  3. “My expectations were reduced to zero when I was 21. Everything since then has been a bonus." ― Stephen Hawking

  4. “If you expect great things of yourself and demand little of others, you’ll keep resentment far away.” ― Confucius

  5. “Expect everything so that nothing comes unexpected.” ― Norton Juster

  6. “There’s a victory in letting go of your expectations.” — Mike White

  7. “The secret self knows the anguish of our attachments and assures us that letting go of what we think we must have to be happy is the same as letting go of our unhappiness.” ― Guy Finley

  8. “I have high expectations of myself. I always have, always will. That will never waver. I always believe in my talent – always have.” — Russell Wilson

  9. “Live your life, sing your song. Not full of expectations. Not for the ovations. But for the joy of it.” ― Rasheed Ogunlaru

  10. “Positive expectations are the mark of the superior personality.” ― Brian Tracy

  11. “We're wired to expect the world to be brighter and more meaningful and more obviously interesting than it actually is. And when we realize that it isn't, we start looking around for the real world.” ― Lev Grossman

  12. “You are your own worst enemy. If you can learn to stop expecting impossible perfection, in yourself and others, you may find the happiness that has always eluded you.” ― Lisa Kleypas

  13. “Never get too attached to anyone because attachment leads to expectations, and expectations lead to disappointment.” — Anonymous

  14. “There were two ways to be happy: improve your reality, or lower your expectations” ― Jodi Picoult

  15. “When one’s expectations are reduced to zero, one really appreciates everything one does have.” — Stephen Hawking

  16. “Would you like to know your future? If your answer is yes, think again. Not knowing is the greatest life motivator. So enjoy, endure, survive each moment as it comes to you in its proper sequence… a surprise.” ― Vera Nazarian

  17. “A wonderful gift may not be wrapped as you expect.” ― Jonathan Lockwood

  18. “That was the thing about the world: it wasn't that things were harder than you thought they were going to be, it was that they were hard in ways that you didn't expect.” ― Lev Grossman

  19. “Set the standard! Stop expecting others to show you love, acceptance, commitment, & respect when you don't even show that to yourself.” ― Steve Maraboli

  20. “I'd rather be pleasantly surprised than fatally disappointed.” ― Julia Glass

  21. “Our brightest blazes of gladness are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.” ― Samuel Johnson

  22. “We all have expectations. We not only have them, we need them. They fuel our dreams, our hopes, and our lives like some super-caffeinated energy drink.” ― Tonya Hurley

  23. “So the secret to good self-esteem is to lower your expectations to the point where they’re already met?” — Bill Watterson

  24. “Let your dreams outgrow the shoes of your expectations.” — Ryunosuke Satoro

  25. “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” — Buddha

Managing Expectations

We must strive to manage our expectations to avoid disappointment, self-criticism, and loss of motivation. The lack of this can severely impact our self-esteem, aspirations, ambitions, passion, confidence, and overall mental well-being. It’s important to know what your priorities should be and not rush ahead in a fit of greed. It can make us more prone to self-doubt, stress, and anxiety.

tips for managing expectations

Now&Me: Join Us!

Share your favorite quotes, tips, and advice on how you manage your expectations on Now&Me today! We’re a free-of-cost platform for peer support. Tell us about your experiences and find like-minded people.


1. How Do I Stop Having Bad Expectations?

Be mindful of what you're expecting and if it's a realistic outcome that can be achieved. Try to keep your focus on all the things that you can control instead of fixating on what is out of your hands. Expectations can be good for you if you know what you’re capable of.

2. Why Do Expectations Hurt?

Expectations can bring feelings of anger, resentment, and disappointment. It's worse when we're struggling with expectations others have placed on us since it's not something we can easily change or control. Unable to live up to such expectations can make us feel hurt and self-critical.

3. Is It Better to Have No Expectations?

While it can be good for us to lower our standards and not put a lot of pressure on ourselves, we shouldn't let go of expectations altogether. They're a powerful driving force that can build our confidence and help us achieve our ambitions, we just have to learn how to manage them well.

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