The harder you work, the more the people around you will expect of you. This can be a double-edged sword, but if you find yourself becoming overwhelmed by the expectations placed on you, change the dynamic entirely, rather than trying to simply lower expectations.
Picture: Patrick Lauke/Flickr
Whether its your boss, your friends or your relationships, lowering expectations always comes with some negative side effects. If you're feeling overwhelmed, rather than trying to convince the person who expects things of you to expect less, try shifting them to something new entirely. As author Seth Godin explains, this can be difficult, but it can also give you some control over you life:
Raise expectations forever and even Superman is going to let us down. One possible path is to do what Bob Dylan has done several times -- destroy them. Veer left when everyone expects you to veer right. Launch something that makes no sense. Reset expectations instead of raising them.
If your boss has you overworked, ask if you can be transferred to a different position or cut back to work on a new project. If you have too many friends who want to see you and you're travelling around too much, invite them to your place instead. Showing initiative and changing the situation in a way that benefits them in a different way (that's easier on you!) will almost always be viewed more positively than trying to lower existing expectations.
The paradox of rising expectations [Seth Godin]