One of the hardest things that I’ve had to grasp has been learning how to manage my expectations.
I dream big. I think big. But most importantly, I do big. This pertains to not only myself but for those in my inner-circle. When you are my friend or loved one, I go hard for you and I spare no emotional, physical, or financial expense. I do for people how I like to be done for, if that makes sense. The only problem with that is that most people in my inner-circle do not or are unable to rise to the occasion for me when the shoe is on the other foot.
I once was told by a friend that they felt blessed because they “had a Danyelle” in their life. I then-asked my friend who was the Danyelle in my life, and for that, he couldn’t answer.
During my 43 years on this earth, I have shown up for so many people, and yet they have rarely shown up for me.
This used to bother me and it made me resentful and bitter to those who I went all out for and who rarely reciprocated. It would frustrate me and anger me that I continued to be there for people who could never seem to be there for me.
One afternoon last year, I broke down. I cried hard and yelled and lashed out after being let down again by someone who I thought would come through for me just like I continuously came through for them. After I wiped my tears away and took a long, hard look in the mirror, I decided to get real with myself.
I can control my behavior. I can control what I do and do not do for others. I can learn to show up for myself when no one else would be able to. This is when I had my breakthrough.
Reciprocation is polite, but it’s not the rule of thumb. When you act in expectation that someone is going to act in a way that you do, you set yourself (and them) up for failure. When something is out of your control (i.e.: the behavior of others), why get upset? Why be miserable over something you cannot control?
I learned a valuable lesson and that has been to show up for myself. Being my own ally and representing for the peaks in my life were my responsibility—not any one else’s. I can’t fault others for not being able to show up for me—oftentimes when they were unable to was because they didn’t have the ability to.
Showing up for myself is one of the greatest gifts that I can give to myself. I am worth that.
How can you show up for yourself?
Manage your expectations and the results you want to achieve. Expect the minimum, because when more is done, you will appreciate that much more.
Value yourself and what you bring to the table. No one is able to play down what it is I do because I own who I am and what I represent. Learning self-love was a gateway to valuing myself.
Don’t give excuses for the results you achieved, good or bad. Always be honest with yourself and with what you will allow yourself to get away with.
No tit for tat
Do things for others because you want to do them—not because you hope they will be reciprocated.
Honesty is the best policy with others, but also with yourself. This will save you from being frustrated because you failed to see the entire picture.
Showing up for myself has given me a newfound sense of self-love and self-confidence that I didn’t have before. Be a blessing to others—but more importantly, be a blessing to yourself. Without guilt.
Photos by Chip Dizard