Setting Realistic Expectations

Now that I’m feeling a little bit back on track, it’s time to get down to some more practical writing, which I’ve been missing.  However, I do recognize that there are times when I need to step back from writing for any variety of reasons: spending time with family, taking time to gain a fuller perspective, maybe I have too many things going on to be able to sort them out enough to write.  Regardless of the reason, I’m setting realistic expectations for myself.

Sometimes, the situations we enter seem to have unrealistic expectations set for us by others.  In those situations, we simply do the best we can.  However, sometimes we are the ones setting unrealistic expectations for ourselves and others. That’s where we can get ourselves into real trouble.

In my experience, most of us have a “perfection complex”.  In other words, we expect ourselves to be perfect in every way, every minute of every day.  If we feel that we are failing, we may feel depression, anger, etc at ourselves.  This is something I still work on to this day, but I have been able to accept that I’m human.  It’s not possible to be perfect, but I can always try to be.  This is also a “me problem.”  It’s something that affects me, and me alone.

Now, as an example, let’s say you work in a convenience store, but you have expectations of the Ritz Carlton.  You expect others to do half your work to make it easier on you.  There are customers in the store 24 hours a day, but you expect the store to remain spotless.  These expectations are not only unrealistic, but they also affect others.  This is where we have real problems.  When we set expectations and demands of others that cannot be filled, we are now creating the problem that we are complaining about.

I am not being unrealistic when I say that we can overcome this problem.  Setting unrealistic expectations is a learned behavior.  We pick it up as children from those around us.  We can unlearn this behavior as well.  If we start looking at the truth of what things are, instead of how we want them to be, then we can begin to have realistic expectations rather than creating unhappiness and stress for ourselves and others.

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