If left unattended to, my expectations are olympic sized pools of exaggerated standards, in which I am the exception to every rule.
My expectations are standards the I will never live up to, because as I get close they are slippery and elusive as they climb higher and higher.
My expectations are overwhelming at best, and bone-crushing at worst.
My expectations tell me that what might be gorgeous and beautiful for every single other person on the planet, is simply not enough for “us.”
Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt this way.
Ok. So here’s the thing – you cannot be on your own team and crushing every last bit of spirit that you have simultaneously.
Being on your own team means that you have your own back, no matter what.
It means that when you work in union with your heart and your inner wisdom – everyone wins.
You, and you, and you, and you.
You cannot be on your own team if your standards have you in a constant cycle of disappointing yourself.
In that cycle, you will lose. You will lose again and again, because you are stacking the deck against yourself.
How might it feel to manage those expectations, asking them to come in from the cold and have a cup of tea?
How might it feel to ask those expectations if they might be interested in a sit down to hammer out some mutually-beneficial guidelines for performance?
How might it feel to have expectations that you stood a chance of living up to?
You deserve to have standards that you can live up to.
You deserve to set yourself up for feeling excellent. Every day.
You deserve to have expectations that are fluid and steeped deeply in love for yourself and knowledge that you are working to bring your best to every situation.
You deserve to thrive in the ease of your relationship with yourself – a relationship where you are motivated by a place of loving yourself and wanting the best possible life that you can imagine.
You do not deserve to whip yourself along, forcing yourself to perform out of a place of never feeling good enough. I suspect that you’ve done that for a long time, and that you are still not happy.
What might it be like to examine your fears around relaxing your expectations?
Do you worry like I did, that if you stopping whipping yourself along, you might cease to do anything at all? That somehow, if you started being kind to yourself, you might end up on the couch, three months later surrounded by wrappers watching episode after episode of daytime soap operas?
You deserve to trust yourself more than that.
Let’s examine the evidence, shall we…?
When in your life have you figured it out?
When have you bailed yourself out of an untenable situation?
When have you made it work?
What are the memories and moments that make up the absolute beauty of your being?
What can you agree deserves celebration – right this moment?
Lean into that feeling.
Self-trust is made up of all of those moments – both tiny and huge – that you have had your own back and have come through, for yourself.
When you can begin to examine the evidence and trust in your ability to pull through in a pinch, you can also begin to relax your expectations a bit as well.
Instead of loving the crisis, how might you begin to love yourself?
Instead of encouraging you, they keep you bound in a race where you will always lose and that race will become your whole life.
Relaxing those expectations and cultivating an emotional environment for yourself that is immersed in your belief in yourself will allow that inner wisdom to pull up a seat to the table, ready to contribute.
You will be able to make space for yourself in your life, with ample room for changing your own mind and coming up for air.
You will be able to incorporate caring for your body, because you will know that caring for your body is caring for your spirit.
You will be motivated out of the excitement of seeing what might be possible for you, instead of the external markers of achievement.