If you’ve ever wondered how to manage your expectations of yourself and others, I’ve got good news for you. It’s actually quite easy once you let go of the “manuals” you’ve been lugging around for years with all the rules and judgements detailing how you, other people and things ought to be.
Just imagine that over the years you’ve curated quite the library of haphazardly stored notebooks. Each one is full of al the things you expect not only from outside circumstances, but from others, and, most importantly, from yourself.
I call this library of rule books “manuals.” They’re chock full of devilishly long and detailed lists of do’s and don’t’s that you believe are absolutes for your happiness and contentment in life. For the way things should or ought to be. For how others are supposed to act.
But I’m here to break the sad news that, in actuality, those rule books often add layers of suffering on top of any unsatisfying or painful circumstances, events and relationships.
Manuals are costly.
I bet you’ve never realized what an extensive and emotionally expensive burden it is to manage all those manuals.
Their complexity is draining your energy.
But, these manuals are not sacrosanct.
They are always up for revision, rewrites and even for outright disposal.
Let’s take a look at your manual for the circumstances in your life.
How many times have things happened in your life, both within your control and outside of your control, about which you lament,”That’s just not fair.”
When you have a manual chapter that says everything that happens that you don’t like is automatically bad, wrong or unfair, it limits your ability to cope with difficult circumstances. While I totally accept that’s your response, I also encourage you to consider another option.
It’s also an option to think a thought like this, “As much as I hate what’s happening, this is the reality. Now what?”
In the realm of weight loss, if you interpreted every unsuccessful diet as a heart-breaking failure you may have a manual that’s titled Weight Loss Is Impossible For Me. You’ve decided to throw in the towel. Done. Never trying to lose weight again.
But it’s equally possible that this rule is actually preventing you from trying something new that could be the answer you’ve been seeking to your weight loss struggles. To paraphrase my coach and mentor Brooke Castillo, “There’s no such thing as failure. There’s succeeding and there’s learning.” Okay, so you didn’t lose weight in past attempts. You learned they were the wrong strategies for you.
I had never imagined looking at all the things I’ve done in my life as succeeding or learning. Once I was able to ditch the concept of failure and substitute the concept of learning, I felt a lightness and ease I hadn’t felt in decades.
Now I can view my former ineffective attempts at weight loss not as failures, but as learning opportunities. I certainly learned more than a few approaches that didn’t work so I wasn’t inclined to repeat them. And, most significantly, I was willing to try different ones. And I did find one that ultimately worked. But only when I ditched my manual chapter titled Weight Loss Is Impossible For Me.
What’s your manual for other people in your life?
Do you have expectations for how they should behave, think and what they need to do to make you happy?
Be honest with yourself. Of course you do. We all do!
But how often to you take time to revisit those expectations which, sooner or later, solidify into rules? To reconsider all the things you thought you needed. You thought were true. You just accepted as the correct order of things. The perfect way. Even the only way.
And how often do you stop to remember that we can’t control others, only ourselves. Yes, we can make requests of others, explain our preferences and desires, but it’s impossible to make them conform to our uniquely personal vision of our “manual” for them.
My oh my, most people’s manuals are a sure-fire recipe for disappointment and trouble.
And how about your manual for yourself?
This is where the going can get really rough. When we realize that we have manuals for ourselves that control, hurt, undermine and damage our most heartfelt dreams and desires, it can come as quite a shock.
But I promise you, taking time to review your personal “manual,” the rules, regulations and expectations you have for yourself can yield amazing results.
Once you realize that you don’t need to adhere to any that do not support you in achieving your goals, you have created space, freedom and possibilities in your life.
Manuals are just a collection of thoughts you think are necessary and true.
And just like all thoughts, which are 100% under your control and 100% optional, so are your the chapters in your manuals.
There’s not one darn thing stopping you from challenging their contents today, right now.
You just have to be ready to ask yourself WHY.
Why do you believe this rule, regulation or expectation? Once you challenge yourself to think about the consequences of maintaining your “manual,” that’s when the real exploration can begin!
Consider these questions:
- What would happen if you let it go?
- What could you think instead?
- What would you like to feel?
- What do you want to do next?
- How can you make that happen?
A thorough review of your “manuals” can ALWAYS make sustainable weight loss easier.
You’ve got to take stock of all your manuals. I am willing to bet my bottom dollar that you too have a bookshelf or two in your brain overflowing with outdated manuals. You’ve got manuals galore for circumstances, other people and yourself. But it’s entirely possible to make sense of it all.
Isn’t it about time to put an end to all the ways they can undermine your weight loss journey?
So take me up on my offer for your FREE Strategy Call. Then you can see for yourself how it’s possible to jump start weight loss by unpacking your manuals and taking a good, hard look at them.
This exploration can help you reach your weight loss goals with a lot less stress and drama.
It’s totally possible to make 2022 your year to create the healthiest you. No matter your age, stage or past disappointments.
Jump start your fresh start. A year from now you will thank yourself you reached out to me today.
I’m looking forward to meeting you soon.
It’s Never Too Late to make your weight loss journey easier. Let’s go!
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