5 Seemingly “Good” Things to Stop Expecting of Yourself

source : http://www.prolificliving.com/stop-expecting-of-yourself/

good morning womans with cup of fragrant coffee on balcony

If you’ve visited Prolific Living before, you might know that I’m constantly encouraging you to push yourself, to dream bigger for yourself or challenging you to pay attention to your calling, to love yourself and to believe in yourself.

And I’m stoked because you are embracing this message. You’re taking positive action in the right direction. You’re determined to make your life better than ever before.

The disturbing part is that as a result of moving in this new positive direction and committing to life-changing behavior and thinking, you are also likely to end up tainting your chances of success.

How on earth, you wonder? Simple:

By having unrealistic and ungainly expectations of yourself.

All your hard work toward your dreams will go to waste if you are expecting things of yourself that are not going to serve you or help you. Funny enough, some of these behaviors may sound “good” and “useful” on the surface. Don’t be fooled. They aren’t.

How do I know this? Let’s not go there. 😉 Instead, let’s jump right into the 5 things you should stop expecting of yourself now.

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1. Stop Expecting Yourself to Be Perfect:

No really, stop. The perfection in your mind – the perfect client, the perfect promotion at work, the perfect yoga pose, the perfect weight loss plan and the perfect YOU – it does not exist and for good reason.

You are fabulous just the way you are. Notice, that does not mean you can’t improve. Of course, you can. By leaps and bounds. As can I and everyone else, but not until you are accepting of where you are. The pressure of perfection in your mind, however, is damaging.

What to do instead:

Be inspired. Inspire yourself to improve, to make progress, to learn a new skill or take the next step toward your dreams. Notice the change in the emotion and behavior: inspiration versus the pressure of being “perfect”.

20150310-I'm learning that perfection does not matter

2. Stop Expecting Others to Behave a Certain Way:

Come on, you know it as well as I do. We expect our parents, children, co-workers, coaches and friends to behave a certain way toward us. Naturally, when they don’t, as it happens so very often, we react. We are hurt, disappointed, frustrated, confused, and a million other emotions in between. It’s really our own fault. We filled our own head with lies.

The truth is this. You cannot control the outcome of other people’s behavior. Therefore, logically, you focusing on something you cannot control is stupid. I can say stupid because I do it all the time, but at least, I’m recognizing the largeness of my stupidity in the recent years.

What to do instead:

Ask yourself: What can you control, though? Your reaction. Your emotion. Your behavior. Your decisions and actions. Then focus on that. Use your energy toward that. Stop letting the behavior of others be a factor in your happiness index and your life will begin to shift dramatically.

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3. Stop Expecting Things to Work the First Time Around:

No, this does not just affect the new generation of impatient souls. I do it, and I’m certainly not a “new generation” 😉 and so do seniors well into their golden years. We try something once, it doesn’t work, we rule it out forever.

Do you know a single person who has tried that very thing once and is able to show the level of mastery you want to achieve after the first try? This goes for everything in life. Writing a book. Starting a business. Creating a product. Learning handstands. Dancing. Drawing. You Name It.

So if you only tried it once, and it didn’t work, it went just as expected. Things aren’t supposed to work on the first try or else everyone would be doing them. It takes tenacity. It takes a driven sense of purpose and it takes a lot more than desire.

What to do instead:

First, stop kidding yourself because the truth is you CAN do anything if you wanted to. Then commit to it. Stop wavering. Feed it with the power of learning through repetition. Invest in it. Nurture it like a baby plant and let it grow and bloom and blossom before you and watch what happens with some patience over time.

4. Stop Expecting Your Excuses to Help You:

Your excuses may be good. They may be truly legitimate and there may not be a single person that can blame you with all you are going through while also pursuing a goal, but please don’t expect your excuses to actually help you. They won’t. They will just delay what you want more into the future.

Say you have committed to a book project or a side-hustle to grow your income, and a week later, you get a call from a friend who needs you on a Saturday – the day you were going to commit to this new project – and you go. You decided to prioritize a friend’s need over your own. There is nothing wrong or right about it, it just is. As a result, your true intentions of using the time toward your important goals fall by the wayside.

And you, my dear, are allowing this to happen. You may get sympathy for it but you won’t finish the book project with sympathy.

What to do instead:

Speak the excuse loud and clear into the air, such as “I’m not going to write my book next year because I am too old to do this.” And then ask yourself if you can live with it if the excuse is worth delaying your dream for. Your true colors will emerge then.

20150405-Poster - Love yourself

5. Stop Expecting Yourself to Become Superhuman:

This one applies especially well to my super ambitious, super mom, super wife/partner, super business-career reader. Yes, you! You may not admit it, but you expect to turn super human to prove you can do it all. You can run a household, look glamorous, be a great caregiver to your family, run your career and your business at top speed and never ever rest. Okay, maybe a nap once a year. Come on! Can we please get a grip?

I get it. You want all this so very badly. You woke up recently to your own awareness, to the beating of your own heart, to the message that you want to share with your world, and now you’re working yourself to the bone to make it happen. Please pause and take a look at yourself.

Ask yourself: Who are you trying to impress? What race are you trying to win? Yes, you creating success and happiness for yourself is crucial, and I can’t encourage you enough to keep moving in that direction. The rewards are tremendous. But it might take a little while. It might not happen overnight.

You must stay strong and healthy to see this journey through. Can we please remove the superhuman expectations and just do our best while taking good care of ourselves?

What to do instead:

Recognize that you have needs for resting, recuperating, taking a break, rejuvenating, refreshing in between your ambitious goals. Give yourself these pleasures DURING the pursuit of your goals, not “AFTER” and don’t let guilt or shame swallow you while you do.

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