Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Expectations and motivation

Expectations. It's so easy to set the bar so high that we sabotage ourselves. It's easy, too, to "should" on ourselves with a long list of difficult expectations. It doesn't matter whether the expectations relate to your career, health, diet, relationships or any other aspect of your life. Unrealistic expectations can be a de-motivator as we weave our way through life's changes.

Maybe you've never had an issue with unrealistic or too-high expectations. I have. And it trips me up every time I do.

When I was Reduced In Force from my job of 22 years, I thought, "I know how to do grief work. I'll do that for a couple weeks, do a ritual of loss, and then I'll be ready to apply for new jobs and create new dreams." Riiiiight!

I made a list of all the losses created by my job loss. I journaled about them. I cried. I prayed. I raged. I shared with friends and family. I created and did a ritual of loss. Then I began applying for new jobs. I even had a second interview for one. When I didn't get that job, I was devastated all over again. Then I realized I had lots more work to do before I was ready for any new dreams. And as I worked with a life coach, I was reminded of what a lengthy process grief can be. Why did I think otherwise?

In time, I felt much more ready for something new. I felt more clear inside, having let go of a good deal of the anger and sadness related to my former job. To this day, I can still feel the sheer joy that filled me when I signed up for my life coach training program! I definitely was ready for my new dream at that point. My heart confirmed it. Change was coming—and with it, transformation.

What expectations are holding you up today? What would you like to do about it?

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