Archive for July, 2017

July 27, 2017

Breaking The Shackles Of Unrealistic Expectations by John Townsend, PhD, LCP, LMFT – Edited by Kit Hill, EdD, LMFT

Expectations can be helpful. Expectations can be harmful. Both can be true. We will look at how we can better manage expectations.Perfectionism is a key here.Perfectionism can create high anxiety. This anxiety or stress can be harmful.But first some ideas about anxiety and work performance. As you can see on the chart, expectations can be too low. Maybe there is a lack of motivation or encouragement. Perhaps there’s a lack of vision or goals. Sometimes a lack of accountability or support from friends can be part of the problem. We might need, in fact, to be pushed if we want to accomplish anything. My friend’s cat, George, as an example, set low expectations and consistently met them. He was a terrible mouser.On the other hand, looking at the chart, you can see where expectations are too high. This is where burnout and too much stress occur. As indicated in the chart there is such a thing as functional stress. This is where we are challenged or pushed along to stretch but not break.

Perfectionism is a demand, not a goal that says , “If I’m not perfect I’m not OK. There is something wrong with me and I have shame if I don’t live up to what I’m supposed to do. I feel unsafe, judged, condemned and not loved.”

Healthy expectations have a goal. They have a stretch goal that also gives you the freedom to fail and be creative. Here you feel you can make a mistake and focus on the mistake and not on yourself. There is evaluation and not judgment. Do you have the freedom to fall?

When perfectionism is in your head and or your workplace’s head nobody has the freedom to fail. This is also true in families, churches and other organizations. Research shows that fear of failure stifles creativity. We get all this business or parental training on the left side of our brain but forget about goals and passion and the other creative parts of life.

Be careful of negative self talk. Get that voice to gently tell you what it feels and what it wants.

Understand the difference between the ideal self and the real self. Get these two parts to talk to each other.


Counseling and Executive Coaching can make the difference. Contact the New Life Group today to get more help with breaking the shackles of unrealistic expectations. Read more below about about grieving expectations and seeing expectations the right way




                                                         — MORE TO READ —

Expectations are important because:

They give us goals.

They help us understand resource allocation.

They help his measure and evaluate success and failure.

They give you or your group a benchmark to work from.

 Grief and Adaptation When Letting Go of Unrealistic Expectations

Give up idealization.

Find new ways to operate.

Move on from the issue.

Do more grief work and remember reality is bigger than you are.