If You Downplay Expectations, You Decrease Stress

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“With the  fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did  not laugh, I should die.” Abraham Lincoln

It is a mystery why we expect so much of ourselves. It is awesome to have lofty goals but when we expect to accomplish more than what even two people are capable of accomplishing, it is time to release some of the burden. Our own goals are so much higher than any expectations others have for us. The trouble is we fault ourselves when we fail to meet all of our challenges. We also run the risk of becoming so defeated that we give up and stop any attempts to achieve any goals.We are our own worst enemy. It is time to settle down and accomplish what we can accomplish and let go of what is impossible to do. It is always commendable to work for the highest goal but if we fall short of it we need to promise that we won’t punish ourselves with Self-reproach. Guilt is a great reducer of energy, and self-esteem. Other people in our lives suppose we can solve dilemmas. Our children expect us to endlessly help them and to do it with a smile. It might even be at the loss of our own free time. Parents wait for us to take care of some of their difficulties. Sometimes the timing is all wrong but of course aging parents do not always take that as a good excuse. Elderly parents have more time on their hands to think about their difficulties and tasks that require attendance. The problem is we are the ones that must pay attention to such complications.

If we are aware of how much attention we place on the troubles of other people we realize that just maybe we are not so bad. We care about helping others who are struggling. We place the needs of our family and extended family before our own. We are good people. It is not the end of the world to put off a task that appears to be too much for us to handle at the moment. If we approach that same task when we are spilling over with more enthusiasm, we will manage to get it accomplished in record speed. Performing our duties when we are too tired to take them on is asking for trouble. In the end we will use up the little energy we have and most likely perform a shoddy job because we are tired and our heart and mind are not attuned to the task.

Many times work places pressures on us to accomplish work that may be impossible to complete in the given time-frame. People in charge have no idea the amount of time a particular task might take to complete. Their goal is to badger us into working beyond our time to finish the job as fast as we can. They are happy the task got done while we feel defeated because we didn’t finish in the time allotted. We probably completed the job in record time. We are unaware of this fact so it overshadows our pride in our performance. Again we are stressed and depressed as well as of the opinion we did not meet expectations.

The more we focus on how little we think we are accomplishing, the less we get done. It is truly up to us to b become aware of our work ethic and be more reasonable with ourselves. We can have a bad, sick or mental health day. If we must put something or someone off until a time in the future so be it. The more we take our duties in stride the more confidence we will have in our abilities and the less scattered we will be.

The burden of never being good enough can drive a person into a health risk. We can believe we are too stupid to accomplish what is required. Our thoughts focus on if only I were smarter or more educated or had more money or a different job. If we don’t change our attitude then it really doesn’t matter if we are brighter, more educated, and richer or had a better job. The outcome is the same. Changing our attitude along with our expectations allows us more freedom and fewer burdens. If we lose our health, we can’t do anything for anyone. Our goal needs to be to help others yes but within parameters. Expect to do and give our best but have guidelines. Let negative comments from others roll off of our shoulders. Keep our goal in site but rest when we must. Become the boss of ourselves. Give but measure the amount we are capable of giving at any given moment. Throw guilt out the window and never ever doubt yourself. Trust yourself and your inner feelings. In the end you will achieve fulfillment for yourself and others.

“Life is not a few years to spend on self-indulgence and career advancement. It is a privilege, a responsibility a stewardship to be lived according to a much higher calling, God’s calling. This alone gives true meaning to life.” Elizabeth Dole


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