In planning for this big two year travel adventure (aka: being nomads) I had the expectation of myself that my weekly newsletter would get written last week in the midst of packing and getting on the road…well that didn’t happen.
We all hold expectations for so many things and people, including ourselves. This can set us up for big disappointments, and stress.
For those of us with perfectionistic tendencies, failing our own expectations can set us up for feelings of failure and shame. And having others fail our expectations of them can lead to frustration, disappointment and sometimes anger.
Life gives us loads of opportunities to reduce our feelings of failure and shame while also modeling for our family member in recovery ways to reduce expectations of oneself and of others.
Our mission, should we choose to accept it is to consciously choose to utilize coping tools and skills to have hope without expectations. Yes, I was a fan of the show, Mission Impossible. And it’s a challenging mission indeed.
First, a quick discussion on the difference between expectations and hope because we can conflate hope and expectation.
Hope is an emotion that can give us energy.
Expectations can sap our energy.
Hope: Hope is a positive feeling which originates from within. It is related to a desire that something might happen. Interestingly, Webster’s dictionary uses ‘Expectation’ within the definition of Hope.
Expectation: A belief that someone will or should achieve something.
To be clear, please keep having hope that your child will fully recover.
In this process of learning to hope without having expectations, it can help our loved one and us to suffer less when we can accept the mission to release expectations and hold onto hope.
You may be thinking that this sounds all well and good, but you may be wondering, “HOW do we do this Becky? Well, in addition to being aware of your choice to release or lower expectations, it will help to give yourself and others some grace.
Here are six mantras that might help:
- Today I release the things that make me feel anxious, stressed or over worked.
- Today I focus on what I can change and let go of everything else.
- Today I will ask myself what I know to be true.
- What if I were grounded?
- What if I stood firm in believing all is well?
- All obstacles are temporary.
From my Wonder piece from last December: Wandering our way to Wonder Tools:
- Having a sense of curiosity not judgment
- Giving ourselves grace
- A pause and a deep breath
- Choosing wonder
- Conscious breathing tools such as hand breathing or 4,7,8 breathing
- Noticing the discomfort
- Finding one thing to be in a state of wonder about
- Choosing the outcome you prefer
- Managing your immediate needs (ie- going to the bathroom)
- Finding things to continue to be in wonder about even when it seems preposterous
- Utilizing gratitude and finding at least one thing to be grateful for
- Letting go of trying to “fix” the other person
- Accepting what is vs trying to change it
What might it be like to release expectations for yourself and others? How might your relationships improve? What might happen to your distress and worry levels? Let’s talk! Just click on the link below to schedule a free call to explore this topic or any other challenges of your caregiving that you may be challenged by.