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Are expectations causing you stress?

I looked around the room and everyone had their head down, pen moving across the white space as they filled their paper with ideas of what to expect in our six-month adventure ahead.

I had no idea what to write. The usual questioning thoughts arose. (This was BT… before Tapping came into my life!) Have I just failed? Am I good enough for this? What if I get it wrong?

I figured I could just write some general ideas. I expect it to be fun. I expect it to be challenging. I expect it to be an adventure. And that was the truth as I was headed for a voluntary teaching stint in Nepal with no teaching experience apart from this three day workshop.

But what to expect? I had no idea. I hadn’t been to Nepal before. I hadn’t ever taught in a classroom before. I’d never been on a group program for volunteers before.

I finished writing what felt like token ideas to look like I was doing something and glanced around the room. Others were still pen to paper. What on earth were they writing? How did they know what to expect?

Pens down. Finally.

‘Now, get your piece of paper, screw it up, and throw it in the bin.’

Uh huh! Thank goodness I hadn’t written an essay. And maybe I was actually on to something.

Apart from facts such as expecting the sun to rise, an orange to contain vitamin c, and a baby to poop it’s pants, expectations can cause more distress than joy.

Just because you worked really hard on a project at work, expecting your colleagues or boss to thank you, doesn’t mean they will. Just because you expect your partner to cook for you because you’re tired, doesn’t mean they will. Nor that your kid will clean their room, just because you asked. Expectations about how others should behave or the way life should be can lead to trouble.

And just as expecting something good can lead to disappointment when it doesn’t eventuate, having low expectations, especially about yourself, can also lead to disappointment.

This time, disappointment with yourself.

Expecting yourself to fail, can prevent you from even trying, which then guarantees failure. This self-sabotage simply reinforces the initial belief/ expectation that you’ll fail.

And so begins a pattern, a cycle, that needs to shift to realise your self-worth regardless of whether or not you pass the test, regardless of whether or not your boss thanks you or your partner cooks dinner.

Expectations. Throw them out, positive or negative, because these beliefs or hopes about what is to happen are likely to lead you to hurt, disappointment, and resentment.

Try these instead:

  • Keep an open mind. Maybe what unfolds is even better than what you expected.
  • Get curious about all the possibilities, and what you could learn, whatever the outcome. Perhaps the lesson for you is to communicate your needs, know it’s ok to make mistakes, or find an alternative path.
  • Tap, of course ? and build your self-worth from the inside out. Then, you can overcome those negative beliefs about yourself and not be dependent on the actions of others for your value. Ready? I’m here to support you.

xo Justine ?

PS… In case you were wondering, Nepal was fun, challenging and an adventure. And so much more than I could ever have predicted, or expected!

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