The Weight of Expectations

Expectations, if not managed carefully, can put extra pressure on areas of your life without you even realizing it. These added stressors compromise general wellbeing, which, in turn, can develop into anxiety and depression. “So how do you keep your expectations in check?”

Questions to ask yourself include: Do my expectations match my values? i.e. “Do I really want this?” “What don’t you want from these expectations?” and “Why?” “How important are they”? “How do you prioritise your concerns?” “Is there another solution?” ”Are there any expectations you can let go of?” “What would change look like around your expectations? ”Other questions to reflect on are: How does this help me, my family or job, in terms of personal satisfaction and happiness. Journalling can be beneficial to reflect on the importance of these questions and help to put your expectations into perspective.

Disappointment and failure to reach your potential can be avoided by managing your expectations. Ask yourself: Do they fall into line with realistic goals? Have I got a timeframe to work with my expectations? There are of course a lot of other questions you could ask yourself, or you could talk to a trained therapist who would explore another exceptions and solutions with you.

Also, how often do you here that word ‘should’ in conversation?” That lovely word ‘should’ holds a weight of expectation and put’s unrealistic demands on a person. Do you catch yourself saying it, or hear other people saying it? ‘Shoulds’ are stumbling blocks and not particularly helpful with expectations. This leads to negative thinking, including feelings of guilt and self-doubt, takes you out of the present moment and can be un-empowering, so kick it to the curb!

Applying ‘mindfulness’, being in the present moment, noticing without judging, can offer up clarity and new solutions with expectations. It can help you understand what drives you to meet certain expectations. In addition to this, it’s useful to recognise the importance of internalising blame, and all of those other not so lovely emotions and feelings attached with it. So, being kind and self-compassionate is a given, after all you’re only human ;)