In this week’s Potential Podcast episode, we talked about unrealistic expectations we put on ourselves and others.
Unrealistic expectations are potentially damaging because they set us up for failure. When we naturally fall short, we create stories in our heads, those stories result in negative feelings, and those feelings turn into negative actions. To hear more about unrealistic expectations, why we may set them, and the difference between high standards and unrealistic standards, listen to Potential Podcast Episode 20: Steps To Ditching Unrealistic Expectations.
5 Steps To Step Outside Of Unrealistic Expectations
- Focus on present experiences. Instead of chasing a number, focus on how you feel. Look internally. What is the reality of where you are today and where you want to go? For more conversations about chasing a feeling instead of a number listen to Potential Podcast Episode 19: Work For A Feeling, Not A Number.
- Pay attention. How can you battle unrealistic expectations if you aren’t taking inventory of your own thoughts? Keep a list of the unrealistic expectations that pop in your head. Think through them. Where do they come from? Why is your brain going there in the first place?
- Figure out if the expectation serves you. When an expectation comes to mind, ask yourself if it serves you. Here are some questions to ask:
- Does this help me be who I want to be?
- Does this help me reach my full potential?
- Does this help me serve others?
- Does this make me feel good?
- Does this align with my life?
- Does this hold me back or keep me from trying something new or challenging?
If so, let it go!
- Practice self-compassion. Are you noticing a theme with the podcast and blog lately? Be kind to yourself. However, when asking yourself to let go of unhealthy beliefs and negative self-talk, it’s helpful to have a replacement.- Instead of telling yourself, “I can’t believe I didn’t run that whole mile today, I suck at running.” You can reframe that to “I’m so glad I got my body moving. I’m proud of myself for listening to my body and not pushing to the point I feel bad or got hurt. Next time I run, I’ll listen to my body and try to go a little further.” If you need some help, check out this two-part blog Affirmations: Useful Or Hippy-Dippy Nonsense? and 6 Steps To Creating Effective Affirmations.
- Give grace. This is an extension of practicing self-compassion and goes for unrealistic expectations on ourselves and others. How we speak to ourselves changes how we act and how we treat others. Be flexible and give yourself forgiveness.
Finally, I want to end this with a reminder that it is not bad to have high goals and standards. That is not the same as having unrealistic expectations of ourselves and others. When we set up unrealistic expectations for our life it can be really hurtful and change our ability to live a life of joy. Listen to your inner dialogue. Reframe that conversation you have with yourself. Do what makes you feel great.
Resources mentioned in this post: