Falling short of your parent’s expectations doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It doesn’t make you inadequate or a disappointment. It makes you human. No one is perfect. We all struggle and make mistakes and have trouble motivating ourselves to do difficult things — and that’s okay. I know you want to make them proud, but you can’t compromise your wellbeing for the sake of gaining your family’s approval. You deserve to create a life that is conducive to your happiness. Whether that means taking a break from school, quitting a sport, expressing yourself in a way that honors who you really are, entering a relationship with someone you love, going to therapy, changing your major, quitting a job that makes you unhappy, or taking time away from studying to do self-care — it is more than okay to make your mental health a priority.
Our parents are human too, and sometimes, they have unrealistic expectations of us. But those expectations are not about you and when you fall short of them, they aren’t a reflection on your worth. Their expectations are about them and their own struggles, insecurities, and childhood dreams. They’re a well-intentioned, but misguided way of motivating you to succeed. And sometimes, they’re fueled by the fear that you will make the same mistakes they’ve made. But it’s not about you, and you don’t have to internalize their expectations. You’re doing the best you can to navigate the world and make it through each day, and that’s all you can ask of yourself — it’s all your parents can ask of you, and it’s enough. You are enough. And if your parents expect more, that’s on them, not you.
—Daniell Koepke (via internal-acceptance-movement)