Before walking this path I very often would set myself up for a let-down. I would allow myself to have these grandiose thoughts or expectations, that life just couldn’t live up to, and certainly my efforts couldn’t produce, and then fall into a depression when my fairy-tale ideas of how things should be fell short. I would repeatedly do this, falling deeper and deeper into my darkness each time my expectations weren’t matched by my reality. But, there was an even darker force at work than just disappointment. Part my sickness was that if I failed, or if the result wasn’t what I had imagined, it allowed me to continue telling the narrative that I wasn’t good enough and didn’t deserve good things. As much as my ego would say I did deserve the best, my head would tell me, when I didn’t get it, that I didn’t get it because I don’t deserve the best. And that was only part of my insanity, and I constantly set myself up to be let-down.
A lot of where this thinking and behavior came from was self-centered fear. I was afraid of losing what I already had, or afraid of not getting what I wanted, or should say, demanded, because if it didn’t look and feel exactly the way I had envisioned it, it was never good enough. I was living daily with unsatisfied demands, which led to a place of continuous irritability and frustration. I didn’t know, consciously, what I was doing to myself, or even that I was being controlled by my disease, I just continued in the loop of expecting too much and not getting enough.
This also bled into my friendships and relationships. My expectations of everyone in my life was perfection, unless I was in the need to feel superior, then it was OK if they fell short because I could swoop in and tell them how they were doing it wrong, or how I would have done it. I didn’t give anyone any leeway to make mistakes, work at their own pace, or discover things on their own…sometimes I can still fall back into these behaviors, but it’s not any of my business what anyone else is doing, and how they’re doing it, so why get myself all frustrated and irritated with someone else’s decisions? Again, it plays into setting myself up for a let-down. As long as I kept myself in that cycle I was never going to get any better, and I was never going to see what I was actually doing, and what was happening actually was my doing.
Part of my journey to get well was to look at things for what they are. To have goals, hopes and dreams, yes, but not blow them up to such inflated heights that no person or thing could ever match it. I had to live within realistic terms, and, even if those didn’t play out the way I had hoped, to accept that they played out the way they were supposed to if I had done everything I could to make it happen. Sometimes, I had to learn, I wasn’t mean to have whatever it was I wanted, because I meant to have something else, or be somewhere else. Acceptance was the key to this new way of life.
We set ourselves up to fail if we always set our expectations to impossible heights. Always reach for the top, but make sure the top you see is attainable for you in that moment, and if it’s not, see what is within reach, and maybe by reaching that top, there is an even higher top waiting for you from that place. Live in the now, and keep your expectations in check as you grow and excel from the place you are right now. Life is a journey, there are no short-cuts, what lies in front of us is where we must go to get where, ultimately, we are meant to be, so suit up, show up, and never give up, there’s reason for everything, trust that journey as you continue to reach for attainable goals for you today! SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you set yourself up to fail? Why do you think you do this? Are your expectations so high that no one could ever reach them, even yourself? Why do you think you set them so high? How do you feel when you, or someone else, doesn’t reach your expectations? How do you think you can change this? Why do you think you should, or need, to change this? What realistic goal can you set for yourself and achieve this week? Take a look at your expectations SLAYER, and see if you are setting yourself up for disappointment when you can set yourself up for success by setting your sights on goals that are within your reach.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you