50 Expectations Quotes to Help You Set Realistic Standards

If you often feel frustrated due to unwanted results, these expectations quotes will guide you in turning your hopes into reality.

Every so often, we expect so much from ourselves. As a result, we burn ourselves out and become anxious. This state can be damaging to our self-esteem and well-being. 

But, despite the downsides of having expectations, they are not wholly bad for us.

Setting realistic expectations, after all, is key to getting closer to our goals.

We must also remember that it is crucial not to let other people’s expectations affect how we set standards for ourselves.

If we master these skills, we’ll face fewer disappointments and reach more goals in the future. It will be quite a challenge.

So, to help you out, we’ve prepared this list of the best expectations quotes!

Let’s begin.

And don’t forget to check out these quotes to live by and positive quotes.

Best Expectations Quotes

1. “Expectations were like fine pottery. The harder you held them, the more likely they were to crack.” – Brandon Sanderson

2. “Whatever it is you’re seeking won’t come in the form you’re expecting.” – Haruki Murakami

3. “The expectations of life depend upon diligence. The mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.” – Confucius

4. “I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” – Bruce Lee

5. “A master can tell you what he expects of you. A teacher, though, awakens your own expectations.” – Patricia Neal

6. “Live your life, sing your song. Not full of expectations. Not for the ovations. But for the joy of it.” – Rasheed Ogunlaru

7. “Become aware of your negative expectations and practice replacing them with positive expectations.” – Debbie Ford

8. “We love to expect, and when expectation is either disappointed or gratified, we want to be again expecting.” – Samuel Johnson

9. “It’s the weight of expectation that’s the hardest to deal with, really, from my point of view.” – Kevin Pietersen

10. “Life’s under no obligation to give us what we expect.” – Margaret Mitchell

11. “There were two ways to be happy—improve your reality or lower your expectations.” – Jodi Picoult

12. “When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are.” – Donald Miller

13. “Life. It tends to respond to our outlook, to shape itself to meet our expectations.” – Richard M. DeVos

14. “Expectations are a form of first-class truth. If people believe it, it’s true.” – Bill Gates

15. “He was swimming in a sea of other people’s expectations. Men had drowned in seas like that.” – Robert Jordan

Expectations Quotes That’ll Inspire You to Hold Yourself to a High Standard

16. “You should have high expectations for yourself, and others should come second.” – Florence Welch

17. “I have very high expectations of myself. I’m a very competitive person but competitive with myself. I want to be the best that I can be, and if that means that I’m eventually better than everyone else, then so be it.” – Wentworth Miller

18. “Expectations are dangerous when they are both too high and unformed.” – Lionel Shriver

19. “My expectations of other people, I double them on myself.” – James Brown

20. “What a pleasure life would be to live if everybody would try to do only half of what he expects others to do.” – William J.H. Boetcker

21. “Make each day count by setting specific goals to succeed, then putting forth every effort to exceed your own expectations.” – Les Brown

22. “Don’t lower your expectations to meet your performance. Raise your level of performance to meet your expectations. Expect the best of yourself and then do what is necessary to make it a reality.” – Ralph Marston

23. “Other people may not have had high expectations for me, but I had high expectations for myself.” – Shannon Miller

24. “Expectation wasn’t just about what people expected of you. It was about what you expected of yourself.” – Brandon Sanderson

25. “You are your own worst enemy. If you can learn to stop expecting impossible perfection, in yourself and others, you may find the happiness that has always eluded you.” – Lisa Kleypas

26. “Set the standard! Stop expecting others to show you love, acceptance, commitment, and respect when you don’t even show that to yourself.” – Steve Maraboli

Also read: Inspirational Quotes, Encouraging Quotes

Expectations Quotes to Help You Avoid Disappointments

27. “When you have expectations, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.” – Ryan Reynolds

28. “Expectations should not always be taken as reality—because you never know when you will be disappointed.” – Samuel P. Huntington

29. “No expectations mean there is no risk of disappointment.” – Jude Morgan

30. “If you expect great things of yourself and demand little of others, you’ll keep resentment far away.” – Confucius

31. “If you expect nothing from somebody, you are never disappointed.” – Sylvia Plath

32. “Whatever happens in the world is real; what one thinks should have happened is projection. We suffer more from our fictitious illusion and expectations of reality.” – Jacque Fresco

33. “Expectation is the mother of all frustration.” – Antonio Banderas

34. “If you align expectations with reality, you will never be disappointed.” – Terrell Owens

Expectations Quotes for Those Looking for Happiness and Peace of Mind

35. “Peace begins when expectation ends.” – Sri Chinmoy

36. “Expect more, get less, and feel sadness. Or, expect less, get more, and feel happiness.” – Vijay Dhameliya

37. “Life was easier when you stopped caring, when you stopped expecting things to get better.” – Cora Carmack

38. “When one’s expectations are reduced to zero, one really appreciates everything one does have.” – Stephen Hawking

39. “I find my life is a lot easier the lower I keep my expectations.” – Bill Watterson

40. “Unhappiness lies in that gap between our talents and our expectations.” – Sebastian Horsley

41. “There is abundant reason to believe that optimism—big, little, and in between—is useful to a person because positive expectations can be self-fulfilling.” – Christopher Peterson

42. “It’s a good place when all you have is hope and not expectations.” – Danny Boyle

Also read: Happiness Quotes, Inner Peace Quotes

More Expectations Quotes to Uplift You

43. “I do know one thing about me—I don’t measure myself by others’ expectations or let others define my worth.” – Sonia Sotomayor

44. “I hope you do not let anyone else’s expectations direct the course of your life.” – Julianne Donaldson

45. “I have learned that as long as I hold fast to my beliefs and values—and follow my own moral compass—then the only expectations I need to live up to are my own.” – Michelle Obama

46. “You can’t base your life on other people’s expectations.” – Stevie Wonder

47. “I’m not perfect; I just do what I think is right. So if I can’t fulfill people’s expectations, I’m sorry, but it’s not my fault.” – Conchita Wurst

48. “To free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves—there lies the great, singular power of self-respect.” – Joan Didion

49. “If you accept the expectations of others, especially negative ones, then you will never change the outcome.” – Michael Jordan

50. “There is no joy involved in following others’ expectations of yourself.” – Miriam Toews

Did These Quotes Help You Gain Clarity on How to Set Expectations?

It is impossible to go through life with no expectations. As humans, we have goals that we wish to reach. These goals will make us hopeful, and we will naturally expect good things to happen to us.

But, mere expectations will bring us nowhere. It is important to take necessary measures that support the achievement of our goals. Through this, we will have a higher chance of success.

Sadly, there are times that we still fail to meet our expectations despite all our hard work. It is in these times that disappointments come in.

This is why we need to set realistic expectations and standards. We must consider our skillset, mindset, and the kind of effort we’re willing to put into a specific goal. Take a good look at where you are right now, and, from there, set your expectations rationally.

Keep in mind that expectations are not wrong as long as they help you grow. With that, we hope that this collection was able to guide you well in setting grounded expectations. Do not forget to treat yourself with kindness in the process!

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Karen Danao

Hi, I’m Karen, a content curator and writer for Quote Ambition; I’m also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, I’m someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics I love writing about! However, my true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.

With the many places I’ve been to, I found that love, inspiration, and happiness are some things that bring people together. No matter how different we are on the outside, I’m a true believer that our emotions don’t lie; if you dig deep into our psyche, we’re all the same inside.

This belief was further amplified when I joined Quote Ambition. Through the quotes I’ve read, collected, organized, and written about, I found that humans are resilient, creative, and compassionate.

We take from each others’ hearts and courage, and it’s through our individual experiences that we learn how to rise above our challenges and pain. In so many ways, Quote Ambition is a platform that allows people from all over the world to gain the inspiration they need anytime, anywhere!

You can find me on MuckRack and LinkedIn.