Expecting Frustrations

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I heard a quote the other day that struck something inside of me. A man said that frustrations are caused by unmet expectations. The more that I thought about this the more that I could identify that frustrations in my life are often due to expectations not being met.

I am a person of high expectations. I have high standards, both of myself and of others- especially for leaders. My parents have instilled in me a huge sense of character and integrity, and I expect the same for others. As I have learned more about myself I realize that I am an intuitive leader. I just intuitively know what to do at times, and how to lead— not that I am a fantastic leader, or even a mediocre leader, but that I just do it by intuition. The problem is that this is not the case for everyone, which is perfectly okay.

As I have learned these things about myself, and learned to be a better leader, I have learned some things about frustrations and expectations.

When it comes to this I have identified three questions I have to ask:

1) Did I clearly communicate my expectations?

Since I am an intuitive leader, I expect others to be as well. I just expect leaders to act a certain way, and have not always clearly communicated what I expected. This has caused me some frustration, and relational conflict in the past, and ultimately it was my own doing. If I do not clearly communicate my expectations it is not the most fair thing to hold someone to those expectations.

2) Are the expectations realistic?

It is good for us to evaluate our expectations to see if they are actually realistic. I can expect someone to act like Jesus, and to give 100 hours of week into ministry— but that’s just not realistic. There have been many times that I have laid out some expectations only to realize later that they simply aren’t realistic. I am so grateful for my wife because she is often the person who is able to point out these unrealistic expectations.

3) Have I communicated my frustrations?

As crazy as it may seem, there have been times that I have become frustrated over and over with people for not meeting the expectations I have for them, even though I actually have never told them I was frustrated! It’s rather silly to think about getting upset with someone again and again about something they don’t even know is happening! If I do not communicate my frustrations the person will often not even know they are failing, and they cannot fix the issue. To communicate this means I have to be willing to confront an issue, which is another huge area I have been learning about, and something that I think we all need to do a better job on (more on that in a later post).

I have high expectations, and that will not change. Biblically speaking the expectations for leaders is very high, but the expectations for all Christians is not lower. I think it is perfectly fine to have these expectations, but if I want to eliminate frustration at unmet expectations I must be willing to do some communication.

What are sources of frustration in your life? Could you tie it to unmet expectations? How do you process these frustrations?

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