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I’d expected it to be easier.
Perhaps you have too? Whether we’re talking an awesome new core move my colleagues were doing that involved pulling yourself up from the top of a chin up position – and I launched my forehead into the chin-up bar… or whether on a less amusing level: running your own business or drastically changing your body composition.
In todays show I’m weighing in on Expectations: how they can help, how they can hinder and how to make your expectations work for you.
Many, many times in life I’ve expected it’d be easier.
I’ve also expected that to lead by example was enough… yeah, stupid Kate right?
I’ve expected that hard work will win out in the end… not always, it’s got to be effective hard work.
I’ve expected that people will keep their word and act with ethics… Yes, I know I’m idealistically optimistic!
Here’s one helpful thing that you CAN rely on with expectations,
1. Live with POSITIVE EXPECTATIONS… yet be willing and ready to deal with what might turn up instead.
To explain, you’ve met the person who’s about to have a really rubbish day right? They’ve decided. They are focused on the worst… and they will absolutely find it. Now this person isn’t much fun to be around or to BE!
=> In contrast, when you choose to live with positive expectations although it’s absolutely not going to be smooth sailing all the time, you’ll at least recognise and appreciate the great times. You’ll see the opportunities rather than zero in on the obstacles.
I once trained the dearest 89 year gentleman called Tom. Now Tom gave me plenty of priceless advice among which he told me he:
A). Always expected the best.
B). Imagined in bed each night exactly how he wanted the day to be tomorrow.
Of course you’re not simply going to imagine your ideal day into being however this is a practice I’ve recently RE-implemented into my night-time routine and I can tell you it’s a really great way to fall asleep feeding your mind only the best fuel. I also 100% wake up more positive and focused when I take a couple of minutes to do this as opposed to the add occasion when I slip into an old habit of watching some trashy T.V. straight before bed.
Let’s move on to something you want to AVOID with expectations,
2. An attitude of expectation WITHOUT EFFORT…
I’m sure you’ve met the extreme version of this person before too. Or read about them. They’ve had everything handed to them on a silver platter and that’s what they expect… more like that’s what they demand. Or maybe, it wasn’t a silver platter, perhaps they are not the ‘trust fund baby’ however they still expect – feel like they deserve – a free ride in life – provided for by others.
The thing that will trip up the person with an attitude of expectation without effort, well I like to think there are many things however let’s keep it to Body Gain…
=> Nature is neutral. You get the results for the effort you put in. Period. It doesn’t matter how much someone is willing to pay their friendly trainer, chef or dietician at some point – DAILY – the eating and exercising work still needs to be done. Even surgery can only go so far.
It doesn’t matter how much you want, wish, whinge OR as Dom Mazzetti would say “complain your fat off” (search for him on youtube if you want a good laugh) in the body gain game consistent, focused, hard effort is required.
Finally let’s check out the fine line to walk between your expectations for yourself and for others,
3. To have HIGH EXPECTATIONS for YOURSELF… is going to serve you well in any area of your life.
To be clear and again let’s keep it to body gain, I mean high yet achievable expectations. To be a perfectionist with utterly unrealistic expectations is as good as having zero expectations of yourself – because you’ll never achieve them. If you expect to run for an hour 6 days a week or never eat your favourite treat foods again ever, you’ve set the bar impossibly high and you’ll likely hardly even try.
=> High expectations feel like a stretch to start however they can absolutely become a part of your lifestyle that compliment and enhance your quality of life rather than feeling restrictive and unsustainable.
How about your expectations regarding others though?
Here the difficulty presents if:
A). You try to force your personal expectations on OTHERS.
B). You are not willing to disappoint others who may have unrealistic/conflicting/incongruent expectations for YOU.
The A) scenario is one that’s tripped me up in the past. The lesson, that I think will be an ongoing and constantly evolving one for me is that every single person you encounter is operating based on their own personal experiences, beliefs, values and what they’ve chosen to make each of these mean.
Put another way, we all have our own Map Of The World.
No two maps are the same. While I may see an action or inaction as lazy, self-indulgent or weak… perhaps for the person taking that action or sticking with inaction it’s the very best that they can manage given the resources, resourcefulness and priorities they are operating with right now.
Perhaps I’d respond the same way if I’d lived their life? Perhaps not (!) however the point is, as the saying goes “until you’ve walked in someone else’s shoes…”
The B) scenario is one I’m a little better at. I meet many people that struggle with it though. To recap: You are not willing to disappoint others who may have unrealistic/conflicting/incongruent expectations for YOU. The lesson, is that in trying to please everyone you’ll likely please no-one especially you.
It feels good to meet other people’s or SOCIETY’S expectations right?
However it can also be a source of much pain. Either when you fail to meet lofty expectations – such as that ideal body image – or when an expectation that you feel put on you conflicts with that which is most important to you.
There can’t be a set in stone answer for this one… I guess it comes down to living congruent with your personal values and beliefs and listening to your own sense of well-being.
It must be time to get actionable today.
Is there an aspect of your body gain goal – the daily actions you take (or are yet to take!) where you know you could hold yourself to higher expectations? Perhaps the consistent action to implement this week that may feel a little uncomfortable, like a little stretch to start, however you know it will deliver you results and that it can become a sustainable, complimentary part of your lifestyle. That’s the action for today.
That’s it for today… in tomorrows Thursday Training show I cover: Is There A Right Amount Of Exercise?
I hope you can join me.
If you liked this you’ll also like: Unexpected Learnings For A Healthy And Happy 2014.
If you’re yet to share the Healthification love – just click here to zip over to iTunes and leave an honest rating and review. It’d help me out big time. With gratitude, Kate.