Friday, August 12, 2011

26-B Expectations

The upcoming topic will be Finding Blessings in the Everyday!  Come back later to read more!

In delving into our expectations and how they affect our life, it struck me that when we have expectations about others or even about situations that involve others, we may be setting ourselves up for stress or anxiety.  I always tell my kids that they can only control their actions but when we set expectations for others, aren't we trying to control someone else?  Do you see where this situation can lead to frustration? 

When we come into a situation with preconceived expectations, we are in essence trying to control how others are going to act or react and that is something we will never have control over.  When I took my 2 girls to dinner last night is a prime example of this process at work.  They had been really tired due to the start of school so I wanted to give them a little pick-me-up.  I had plans in my head that they would be really excited to go to their favorite Italian restaurant, but because they were so tired, they were not as excited as I had hoped.  They wined and complained through much of the dinner.  After we had been sitting there for a few minutes, I decided that no matter how they were acting, I was going to enjoy my night off from cooking.  I turned the situation inside and  I let go of my expectations for them.  This allowed me to free myself from my anxiety and I enjoyed my dinner even if their reactions did not meet my expectations.

By letting go of my expectations for my girls and for the situation, I was able to be more present and I was able to appreciate what I needed from the dinner out.  I was able to take control of the only person I have control over.  Me!  I changed my thoughts and changed how my entire evening went. 

Either journal about these questions or spend a few minutes thinking about your answers.
- When have expectations made you frustrated?
- Did you expect something of someone else or yourself?
- Did it go exactly as planned?
- How can you let go of expectations so you can be more present and in the moment?
- How can you trust that situations will unfold in the perfect manner if you just let them?
- Who do you have control over?
- What can you do to hold yourself accountable for how you feel and how you handle situations?
- What steps do you need to take to let go of your expectations of others?

The next time a situation arises and you have expectations that are not met, find a way to turn this inside and change your reactions and your thoughts.  Create what you need in that moment.  Take control of you!

Topic 26 Bonus Challenge:
Free yourself from your expectations of others. Know that you are being provided with the message or lesson you need at the moment and allow things to unfold the way they are meant to be.

 Elliott Larson- Anger always comes from frustrated expectations.

Enjoy the journey!
Coach Gaye

Monday, August 8, 2011

26-A Expectations

Something I have been paying attention to lately is how my expectations affect the situations in my life.  If I come into a situation with any preconcieved expectations, when things don't go the way I have worked out in my head, I get upset or frustrated.  I have a hard time just letting things play out the way they should and I find I spend time in advance thinking about how I want things to happen.  I especially notice it with my kids, but I do it with other people and in other situations too.

Here is a prime example.  When my kids get off the bus, I have expectations that homework and dinner time will be happy and fulfilling and not filled with stress.  Really, no laughing;)  When reality sets in and things start to go differently, I find this makes me frustrated.  My reactions become more about what is happening differently than I planned instead of about what is really going on.  When I am able to know that things are going to unfold however they will unfold and I quit trying to plan it all ahead, I become more present and I am able to actually enjoy homework time(or at least appreciate the learning going on).

I hope you can see that by shifting our thoughts, we can change everything about the situation.  If you have times when you are frustrated or angry, ask yourself if it is because you wanted things to go differently than they did?  If you notice this happening, try to let go of your expectations and open yourself up to the moment! 

- Do you have times when you set expectations?
- When do you set the most expectations for yourself and others?
- When are you most angry or upset?
- Could this be caused by having expectations about what you want to happen?
- How does it affect you when things don't go as planned?
- Is there a way to approach situations without a preplanned agenda?
- How would it feel to open yourself up to just letting the situation unfold?
- Is there a way for you to do this?

This week, try to let go of your expectations.  Find at least one situation that normally gets the best of you and realize what expectations you are holding onto about this event.  Let things unfold naturally and appreciate just being in the moment instead of planning it all ahead.

Enjoy the journey!
Coach Gaye