Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Create Your Own Expectations

What four words of wisdom would you give your 17 year old self?
I came up with a few ideas and settle on these four words:

Create your own expectations.

Most of my life I have lived to meet other people’s expectations. I think this is true of most people. We start internalizing the expectations of others from the moment we are born. As an infant and child the best way to survive is to meet the expectations of others. In fact, most children are punished if they fail to meet the expectations of their parents, teachers, or other adults in their life. During the teenage years, when our biological imperative is to create our own identity and separate from our families, the pressure to conform to other people’s expectations often intensifies as the adults in our life try to assure themselves that they are doing everything they can to make sure we end up successful adults. By the time we are adults the pattern of accepting the expectations others have for us, without question, is so ingrained that we are often unaware of its impact upon our life.

With the empty nest years approaching, I have realized that I need to create my own expectations for the rest of my life. As my children have become teenagers, and are catching glimpses of adulthood on the horizon, I have realized that the best thing I can do is to let go of my expectations for their lives and support them in creating their own.

Expectations can push us toward greatness or keep us on a path that we should have abandoned. Expectations can create the potential for feelings of success and accomplishment or lead to disappointment and dissatisfaction.

How can we experience the benefits of expectations?

1. Stop creating or holding expectations for other people.
2. Examine where the expectations we have for our self and our life originated.
3. Create expectations with intention.
4. Adjust our expectations as we learn and grow.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Impossible Things Challenge

Alice laughed.“There’s no use trying,” she said, 
“one can’t believe impossible things.” 

“I dare say you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen.
“When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day.
Why sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things
before breakfast.”    (Through the Looking Glass, Chapter 5) 

We create a frame and then we try to stuff our life into it. 
“This is who I am” and “This is who I will be.”

We have help creating our limiting frame from our parents, teachers, religion, and other voices of authority that have left messages in our minds telling us what we are and are not capable of accomplishing with our lives. 

How often do we say we can’t do something, that something isn’t possible, or there’s just no use trying because… How often do we assume something could never happen, and by that very assumption limit ourselves?  When we believe something is impossible we don’t even try. When we believe something is possible we are open to the possibility, we are willing to at least consider ways to make it happen. 

I will not tell you that nothing is impossible, however, many more things are possible than we imagine when we are focused on limitations, or what we think we can do, or what we already have done. 

It is time to start practicing believing impossible things: 

Practice believing impossible things to open yourself up to new opportunities and adventures. 

Practice believing impossible things to learn more about yourself.

Practice believing impossible things to strengthen your imagination.

Practice believing impossible things to avoid accepting internally or externally imposed limitations
that are based on faulty beliefs or invalid facts.

Try believing something impossible, but don’t just believe: explore, challenge, and research. Every one will have different impossible things. What seems easily doable for one person feels feels completely undo-able for another. 

Impossible things we may need to practice believing: 
I am beautiful
I can love my body
I can be successful
I can enjoy exercising
I can learn to paint
I can climb a mountain
I can start a business
I am worthy
I can be happy single
I can be happy in a relationship
I will write a novel
I am a badass

Take the Impossible Things Challenge: 
Try believing impossible things for half-an-hour a day. 
Try coming up with as many as six impossible things to believe in. 

What would your life look like if that impossible thing was possible? 
How would you live your life differently if you believe that impossible thing?