Expectations, Your Secret Identity.

dock under cloudy sky in front of mountain

When you stop expecting people to be perfect,

You can like them for who they are.

Donald Miller

“When you stop expecting yourself to be perfect,

You can like you for who you are. “

Hello, My Friends.

Life has settled into its usual routine, each day following the previous one. The mornings are getting cooler, the early sky is tinged pink under the mist from the river. I put my shoes on, stretched my muscles, then walked to the open the gate. I startled a young deer that was grazing on the grass, he lifted his head, and flipped it, then bounced off down the road and into the bushes behind the houses.

It always makes me excited to see these elegant animals, the way they move so gracefully and agilely as they appear to be startled, I wonder if that is an act they put on to put us off.

This month I have been investigating confidence, what it is and where it comes from. If you want to read more head over to Facebook, look up authenticlivingwithlinda, or lindacodlin25.

What are expectations? Are they the unwritten rules that we expect everyone to know, the hidden rules that we run our lives by.

Do expectations have a lot to do with our confidence levels?

Do you know what your expectations are?

What do you expect your spouse/partner to know about you? Did you ever tell them how you like to be treated? Did you ever explain the important things that really matter to you?

Do you expect your spouse/partner to ‘just’ know these things? They have lived with you long enough that they should know what you like and what you don’t like. Healthy expectations or not so healthy? Is there even such a thing?

What about your children? Did you ever run them through what your expectations are when they are told to ‘go tidy your room, it looks like a pigsty’ ? Or what the standard is in your home about being late for dinner?

Expectations or the lack of them cause a lot of pain in our lives.

The dictionary describes expectation as a strong belief that something will happen or be the case. Anticipating that something will happen. Assuming that something will happen.

When our expectations are not met, those strong beliefs have to go somewhere, the emotion that has built up in anticipation needs releasing. Usually that release comes as a blast of disappointment in the person who didn’t met the anticipated action.

Sometimes we turn that disappointment inwards on ourselves, telling ourselves that we can’t trust others. Or that we just knew it was too to good to be true, or that we never have anything good happen to us, we always miss out. The stories continue. What is your flavour of the disappointment story?

As a girl I learned early, that if you wanted anything done, you had to do it yourself. If you wanted the job done right, you had better do it yourself or stand over the other person doing the job. Let me tell you, neither of these work. It causes resentment, in yourself and in the person you are standing over. Your energy is setting everyone up to fail from the get go.

I learned to be a ‘silent martyr’. This is funny now that I know there is no such thing as a ‘silent martyr.’ Have you ever been in the dining room, listening to someone in the kitchen banging the saucepans and clattering the plates, letting everyone in ear shot know they are NOT happy about doing the dishes. The ‘silent martyr’ is the one who sighs and groans their way through their chores. They don’t actually state what the matter is, instinctively you know to give these people a wide berth or you’ll get snapped at.

The ‘silent martyr’ has taken over some one else’s responsibility and now feels hard done by. They justify their position by stating if I don’t do it, it won’t get done. Actually what has happened is the martyr has trained those around them to wait, they know if they wait long enough the martyr will do the things for them.

Part of my teachings is to train the martyr to put the responsibility back where it belongs, and to voice what the expectation is, and then to state clearly what will happen if the expectation is not carried out.

Teaching us to stay in our own business, enables us to let go of stresses that never were meant for us. And if we happen to be the person avoiding our responsibilities by dodging the expectations of what we know we must do, then learning to be responsible and stepping into the role that is ours, will give us a sense of achievement.

The sad part about people dodging their proper responsibilities, is the illusion it gives them of having an easier life. Which leads them into the victim trap, of not feeling like they have a say in their lives, they give their power away without even realizing they’ve done it.

I have discovered that life isn’t any easier when you give your power away. Your brain and your body know what is expected of you, they know what you should be doing, and they silently or not so silently nag at us.

If I were to listen in on the conversation you hold with yourself, what would I hear? Would I hear a lot of profanity directed at yourself? Would I hear how useless you think you are? How you can NEVER do any thing right. Would I hear a lot of blaming, it’s her fault, if only he’d done … then this wouldn’t have happened? Would I hear faultfinding and nitpicking about other people? Would I hear judgments leveled at others and yourself? This internal nagging has an effect on your health. We can control what we think, but we can’t control how our body interprets those thoughts and sensations.

When you begin to let go of unrealistic expectations and perfectionism, you will begin to see you are a pretty good person. As you fill the void with positive affirmations, you will hear a difference to the way you talk to yourself. Which rubs off onto others.

What if your expectations are too low? Then raise them. The good thing is you get to decide what you want your expectations to be. You get to teach others how to talk to you, how you want to be treated. You get to decide what thoughts enhance your life and what thoughts don’t. You get to decide how you show up for yourself, how you dress, how you speak, how you do anything.

What about at work, maybe you don’t actually know what you are expected to do, where your responsibilities start and end, or what the code of conduct is. Ask, and don’t be intimidated by the blustery responses, you may find out that most of your work colleagues have no idea either. Set your own standard, and keep to it. Set it high enough to challenge you, but not so high that it demotivates you.

With expectations stated, everyone knows what to anticipate, assumptions are diminished and so are disappointments. Accountability and responsibility come into play. (These are topic for another day)

For some people these are very scary words- Accountability and responsibility. When you learn to stay in your business, and encourage others to stay in theirs, these words begin to lose their negative hold on your life, they begin to give you freedom from stress, from picking up everyone else’s unfinished projects.

Remember the three types of business.

God’s business: Everything you have not control over. The weather, politics and sports results.

Their Business: This is everything that involves other people that you have no direct control over. You actions or inactions have no bearing on these lives. Hubby choosing to smoke cigarettes, Sisters boyfriend drama.

Your Business: Every thing you do, think and feel. How you respond to others is your business, how they respond is their business. Your business is everything you have direct control over, your job, your marriage, your home, your car, your thoughts, your emotions, the food you drink, the alcohol you consume, the money you spend and what you spend it on. All your business.

When you live in your business, and put strong positive expectations in place with actions that will occur if your boundaries are breached, you will discover less stress and more freedom. You will regain your power.

Check out your Expectations, What are they? Do they serve you? Are they a secret? Share a few with close friends and family, begin to raise your standards.

Until next time, discover your authentic truth in what you expect and why your expect it.

Linda Codlin.

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