Let’s sit for a moment and chat. Pour yourself a cup of coffee.
How’s your week going? More importantly, how are you treating yourself these days? You know, the messages you send yourself every day. I don’t mean texts, tweets, or emails. I mean those inner thoughts that no one else hears. Found this amazing quote and had to share. Man, I LOVE this. Read it several times to yourself. Soak. It. Up.
Such a great way to think about yourself. And SO TRUE. I love that we are each given unique gifts which truly make us original “works of art.”
As great and true as this message is, it’s not always easy to recognize our authenitic value.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve occasionally gotten sucked into the misconception that you’re not as good as the expectations you’ve assigned to a certain area or season of your life. This trap can happen at any season. It’s like a negative-themed surprise party and you’re the guest of honor. I’ve certainly had my share of those moments. When it hits, it zings you like a torpedo. Maybe it’s an idea about some area of your life where you think you could be better – financial, academic, career, health, or something as silly as the expectation of how you think you should look in certain clothes…or a swimsuit. I’ve found that this expectation crash usually happens when we’re at a pivotal point of working toward a goal, usually in the throws of the “drudgery” stage. Maybe that something isn’t happening fast enough, or on the timeline you had originally planned. And you’re getting tired, annoyed, or discouraged. Or all of the above (once again – been there!). It’s soooo easy to feel like giving up. Or even worse, to direct negative thoughts toward yourself. It’s overall a negative pit to fall into.
I’m here to tell you there are ways out of that pit and those thoughts. It first starts with understanding and embracing the great parts about YOU, because there are many.
If you’re struggling with a personal expectation disappointment, pause for just a moment. Think about where you ultimately want to be, but don’t dwell on the timeline of it at all. And don’t judge your progress, or lack thereof. Here are a few ideas to ditch expectation judgements and help you discover your best self now.
5 WAYS TO HIT THE “EXPECTATION RESET” BUTTON
1. Sit down somewhere quiet with no distractions, and make a list of FIVE unique and positive things about yourself. Then make a list of FIVE things you’re grateful for in your life right now. Stick both lists on the mirror of your bathroom, or somewhere else visible to you. Read these two lists aloud to yourself once a day for two weeks.
2. Ask yourself “are my daily actions leading me toward a quality goal that will add joy to my life?” If the answer is yes, then have patience and continue with your actions. If no, then stop and reevaluate. Make a list of simple actions which help you work toward a quality goal.
3. Do something nice for someone who needs an emotional “lift” or help. Do this without any expectation of a certain outcome. One of the greatest ways to get out of negative thinking is to focus on helping someone else and stop thinking about…yourself! Did you know that when you help and/or serve another, it lowers your cortisol levels and creates a positive change in your brain chemistry? Your brain releases endorphins when you engage in an act of helping another.
4. Do something nurturing for yourself. This doesn’t mean inhale a huge plate of brownies as a “treat” or buy yourself that new cashmere scarf you’ve been eyeing. This must be an action which completely disengages you from ego-based, judging, or material thinking. For example, one of my current challenges is limited personal time. Since selling my horse, I no longer have that “unwind” barn time where I can go connect with my own equine and exercise weekly. So I’ve had to make a few adjustments. I have carved out one certain night a week where I take a ballet class that I love – it’s challenging as well as a creative outlet. I’ve set a few personal ballet goals and have enjoyed working toward them. This break once a week is a perfect way to nurture myself and set a few reasonable goals that help me feel like I’m adding to the quality of my life.
My tired pins after a great class ; )
5. Exercise. There are millions of articles stating all the benefits of exercise, so I won’t bore you with those stats. Bottom line: when you exercise, you increase your brain’s “happy chemicals” and blow off stress. Consequently, this makes you feel happier and think more clearly. Even if you can incorporate a brisk 30 minute walk in your neighborhood three times a week, it will help you feel better and plan out the steps to hit your “expectation reset” button!
Hopefully this post will add a little lift to your week. Remember, I’ve been there myself and can testify that the best gift you can give yourself is kindness….and encouragement!