How to Overcome Parents’ Expectations and Follow Your Own Path


Even when you are still a kid, you can already hear questions like ‘who would you like to be when you grow up?’. As you get older, those become more specific and get complemented with some serious expectations. ‘Where are you going to study?’, ‘have you chosen your major?’ ‘well, you’re going to be a great doctor!’.

On top of that, there are parents who may want the best for their child without knowing what ‘the best’ includes. As a result, they often impose their own views upon their children. All of that is a lot of pressure for one person, especially for a teenager who may not be sure yet what exactly they want. So, finally, one may give up and just listen to and do what their parents want.

Does it mean the child will be satisfied with the outcomes? Of course, it doesn’t. First, it will be easier because, basically, someone else made a hard decision for them. Yet, making decisions yourself is a part of growing up. In addition, living up to others’ expectations may make you miserable. So, unless you plan to make someone else decide for you all the important stuff in your life, you should learn how to do that yourself as accurately as possible.

Ask Others to Share Their Experience

When you feel that there is too much pressure from the same people trying to give you advice on how to live your life, look around for extra advice. For instance, when one needs to find the best writing service, they check essay writing service reviews or ask classmates and friends for recommendations. So, why not do the same when deciding what your future will be like? Finally, there are always people who have been through the same. All you need is to look properly.

Think about the people you know who enjoy their job/hobby and life in general. There are high chances they had to overcome the same pressure you’re dealing with right now since doing what you love doesn’t come to you without struggle. Do not mistake this for looking for people with perfect lives, though. They don’t exist, not in this universe. And this is also not about asking someone else to make a decision for you!

Read Also: 5 Things You Can do Today that Your Future Self Will Thank You For

Decide What Values to Stick to

Only you know what’s in your head and what you really want. But you may have to undig that information first. In childhood, we mostly inherit the values of the people we are surrounded with. As we grow up, new values start to appear, and they may conflict with those we have stuck to since being a child. It’s okay.

The easiest way to distinguish your values from the ones you struggle to share with others is to write down all the values you try to follow. After that, scan the list for opposites. As you find one, look into it and think what part of it is yours and what belongs to the people you grew up with.

For example, maybe your parents always tried to be secretive, hiding personal details from others, and you try to follow suit despite feeling that being sincere and open works better for you. This is where the conflict is. As soon as you reject that value you don’t fancy, the conflict will be resolved. As a result, you will become more confident about the way you should live your life.

It’s Never Too Late

Suppose you have already followed the path your parents have planned for you. You have a degree in law, but you don’t fancy this area. You’d like to be a writer. What stops you from becoming a law essay writer, at least for some time? The chances are you will like it and make a career out of it, but you can also write some essays just to make a buck while moving toward your goal bit by bit, because nowadays many buy essays.

The point is, if you think thoroughly, you will see that the knowledge you already have is not useless. They can even benefit you or simplify the process of entering a particular industry. So, even if you are not a teenager anymore, there are still opportunities to switch to another industry, gain more knowledge, and make your life brighter and become happier!

Learn How to Set the Boundaries

This final tip will be useful not only when deciding your own future but throughout your whole life. Parents are not the only people who may try to impose their views upon you, but they are probably the least dangerous of those who might do that.

If someone is too pushy about giving you advice, explain to them that. Learn how to say ‘no’ when you keep being asked to do this and that just to satisfy someone’s ego. You can’t change a person, but you can give them a warning that you are not going to follow their wishes blindly.

Yet, when you have to deal with pressure from your parents, it might be harder to say ‘no.’ Sometimes, you have to be sneaky and push the right buttons so that your parents start really listening to what you say. So, think about what can weaken your folks’ stubbornness. Why would they expect this and that from you? Often, it’s about their own missed opportunities. Therefore:

  • try talking to them about how they chose their path
  • ask them what went wrong (or right)
  • ask them whether they regret some missed opportunities

Make them say all that out loud so that they think and understand that their expectations are not about you and your future but about them and their past. Good luck!


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