What do you Expect?
If you want to go far in life you must have expectations for yourself. Unfortunately, we so often listen to and adopt the expectations others have of us as our own. In some cases, this can be helpful. However, this can also lead to someone falling prey to the bigotry of low expectations. In my own transplant experience, I have seen this all too often. What is worse is that these expectations are often projected on us from those we least expect. Regardless of who perpetuates these low expectations, you have a choice. You can either feed into these low expectations or set higher expectations for yourself. In these next few blog posts, I am going to share about my own experience when it comes to dealing with low expectations. More importantly, I am going to share how I chose to not let the low expectations of others predetermine my future potential.
Dealing with Low Expectations
Throughout my transplant journey, I have seen what can happen when someone chooses to feed into the bigotry of low expectations. At one point or another in our lives I think we are all faced with this dilemma. On one hand, we have expectations for ourselves. However, these expectations may be dramatically different than what others expect from us. I remember the first time I had to deal with the low expectations others placed on me. At that time I had just started highschool. At my school there was a test every first year student in highschool had to take. The idea behind this test was to determine the highest preforming students at my school. After taking the test, I knew that I didn’t do as well as I hoped. However, when I took the test to a school administrator that was tasked with helping each student understand the test score implications, I was shocked at what the administrator said. In short I was told by the administrator that the scores I got indicated that I may need to reconsider college. As I was going home from school that afternoon I kept wondering if what the school administrator said to me was true. If it was, then I had some serious thinking to do about my future.
When I got home from school tat afternoon, I told my parents about the test results and what I had been told about reconsidering college. When my mother heard what all had occurred, she was livid. In my view, this test scores and words of my school administrator were an indictment of my weaknesses and further evidence that I just wasn’t good enough. However, this was far from the truth. On the other hand, my mother helped me see just how hard I had to fight to simply live. My mother helped me see that by all accounts, I should have been dead. However, I was alive. I should have been blind. However, I could see. This conversation was like a revelation redirecting my dreams. That day I determined that I would never let another individual, test or entity of any type predetermine my future potential and define who I could one day be. Only I could do this. Only I could dare to be different.
Dare to be Different
No matter where you are in your transplant journey, we all will deal with low expectations others place on us. These expectations may come from a diagnosis, a teacher or from your own family. No matter where these low expectations come from, I challenge you to not let the words of others alter how you view yourself. Instead I challenge you should surround yourself with those who have your best interest at heart and are willing to help you realize your full potential. Even if you are facing many challenges, remember that what you are facing today does not define you. You are more than a number. You are more than your diagnosis. You were made to be more than a carbon copy of mediocrity. You were made to go against the grain. Will you dare to be different?