I hope you’re in the mood for a little pep talk today because I’m feeling called to give you one. We’re going to talk about expectations. I want you to ask yourself, “What do I expect of myself?”
Do you expect yourself to perform at a superhuman level, where you go at super speed, get it all done with perfection, make everyone in the world happy and you still have time for your family, your work/career/business, a little self-love, oh and you want to eat and sleep in there, too, right?
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Are your expectations like that?
Do you get down on yourself when you don’t achieve to the level that you expected yourself to achieve
What I want to share with you today is what I’ve discovered in doing a little mindset work around expectations. We’re trained to set goals. Set goals and you gotta know where you’re going to stay focused and to know where you wanna go. We set these goals but in doing so we often get so preoccupied with the destination or the result, that we lose focus of the journey.
We’re so about the destination and what that is going to look like and what it is going to feel like; how we define success and how do we know we made it, that we don’t enjoy the ups and downs, the struggles and the challenges, and the triumphs that come as a result of the journey. We forget to enjoy growth. The growth is what makes us feel pride, accomplishment, a sense of triumph. The journey and getting to where we want to go and experiencing the challenges and overcoming the obstacles is what helps us build
A Practical Example
Think about if you decided to go hiking in California. It’s a beautiful day and you decide to go hiking up a mountain. You get everything, pack your bag with water and put your hiking shoes on. You’re at the bottom. What if you closed your eyes and set the intention to get to the top of the mountain and you open your eyes and you’re at the top of the mountain.
You’re like what? Just like that, I closed my eyes and I opened them and I’m there? I manifested the top of the mountain without any struggle, without having to climb.
You missed out on everything that made that climb enjoyable. It isn’t about the destination and getting there, it’s about what you experienced along the way – the beautiful scenery, the miles of what feels like a neverending Stairmaster that feel like your thighs are burning. You want to feel that pain so that when you get to the top, you can say that you did it. I challenged myself and I won.
Embracing How I Got There
A couple of years ago, my husband and I were in California in San Diego and did a hike that is a pretty popular destination called Potato Chip Rock. We heard the pictures were amazing at the top and I was not much of a hiker. We live in Michigan there are not a lot of mountains here. Climbing up a mountain seemed like a fun thing to do. How hard can it be? People are like, yeah, 3 or 4 hours to the top, it’s about 3 miles. I’m thinking, 3 miles is not a big deal. 3 miles on flat land isn’t a big deal, but 3 miles straight up is a little different. We had to stop a lot because Tonya was not all that much in shape. We had snacks, we stopped for lunch and drank a lot of water. It was torture. I found myself acting like a 10-year-old on the way up. Are we there yet? How much longer?
As people were walking down past us, I was like seriously dude, are we close? There were several times on the hike, I was seriously questioning if I was going to make it. I was so glad that I had those moments because it made it that much more worth it when I got there.
When we got home back to Michigan and we were showing pictures and telling people about this hike, I didn’t just tell them about the view from the top. The majority of the story was what I just told you, “It was 3 miles up a Stairmaster covered in rocks. I
That was my story because it was memorable. What did I learn about myself? I could hike 3 miles of straight-up rock. I learned that if I persevere and keep going, I can accomplish the impossible. I learned that I am more determined and successful than I thought I was. Now I have
Changing Your Expectations
This applies to every situation. You have these expectations of yourself to get things done perfectly. You have expectations to get it all done and get it done in a certain way. Instead of focusing on the end result, couldn’t you focus on what you are learning?
Couldn’t your expectations be, “I’m going to
Couldn’t your expectation be to go with the flow, to show up and be your best and give your all no matter what that is? Couldn’t your expectation be generous and compassionate and graceful with yourself? Could your expectation be flexible and
I want you to think about some of your biggest triumphs and successes of the past – the time that you accomplished something and you had no expectations. What about when your expectations were huge and when they were small? What happened? Did it happen exactly as you thought it would, play by play? The answer is probably no.
If you had low expectations, you probably knocked it out of the park. If you had high expectations you probably fell short in a few of the areas. If you had no expectations, you were really in for a treat because the whole thing was spontaneous and amazing. No matter what your expectations were on the onset, the end result is that you were a better person. You have something that you didn’t have before. That journey was a journey to collect a treasure. That treasure is confidence, ability, resourcefulness, pride, self-respect, self-love. Maybe it was something different for you. What was it?
Expectations as a Realist
You might say, “I’m a realist. I only like to set realistic goals for myself.” Ok, let’s talk about it. You can be realistic but
I don’t know about you, but I choose B. Both options are realistic, it’s all about your perspective and how you look at them. I’m always going to go into a new day, a new week, a new adventure and say, “I expect to enjoy myself. I expect to have a good time. I expect challenges. I like a challenge and I like to win. I like to learn how to get better at something until I win. I like to feel proud and I like to feel accomplished. I like to feel like I’m growing all the time.”
How is it that you like to feel? What is it that you expect today, tomorrow, this week, this year? How do you expect to feel? How do you expect to grow? How do you expect this journey to unfold? You’re gonna get to that destination. Set your goal, that’s great.
Focus your attention on the way it’s going to feel and what you’re going to learn as you set off to get there. As a result, you may shift out of resistance and into the zone of flow.
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