Thursday, November 15, 2012

Expectations, Stess, Trust and Learning.

by Beverley Paine
The last two years' learning journey for me  has focused on 'expectations'. I have come to the conclusion that expectations trip me up. It's hard to live without expectations but the more I notice when I have them the easier it is to let them go, and with them goes the anxiety that we usually refer to as 'worry'.

We all worry. What we don't realise is that low level constant worrying is actually anxiety and holds our body in a constant state of stress. For me that triggers an immune response: inflammation. The long term affect of that on my poor body hasn't been that great.

Letting go of expectations, and thus the worry and anxiety that goes hand in hand with them, means I am less stressed. A bonus I hadn't expected is increased resilience. It's  never too late to build resilience! I bounce back more quickly, feel more confident and optimistic and I can't begin to tell you how much of a relief that is in my life!

Expectations give rise to conflict. What happens isn't always aligned with what we expect. Sometimes our expectations are based on accumulated experience, which can be misleading. What I forget when I'm relying on old trusted knowledge that underpin my expectations is that life, people and things change. Life is change. I need to be open to change. Which means I need to be vulnerable. Which is where the resilience comes in... I am more resilient and open to change because I let go of expectations, confident that is okay to be observant and make choices on what I'm experiencing now, referencing the past only as a guide, not a guru.

The less I rely on expectations the less stressed my life is becoming. I feel more comfortable with myself and with others. I don't expect them or me to 'be' a certain way as much as I did, or 'do' things in particular ways. I'm not holding onto judgment, attitudes and values as tightly as I used to and it's refreshing, relaxing and liberating.

Life is a learning journey. It's easier to learn when we remove stress from our lives. Learning to let go of expectations assists the learning journey.



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