One of the areas I feel like I have had great growth is this area of gratitude versus expectations. It’s sad to say that I didn’t spend a lot of time in gratitude. My mind and life were more focused on achievement and meeting expectations, mine and others.
I remember as I was going through my coaching course, we had an exercise of making moments meaningful. It was hard for me as I was driven to hard work and succeeding at whatever I was doing. So for me, it was about expectations of achieving and if I didn’t do perfect work, then there was internal warfare. I was beating myself up about what wasn’t perfect. I never saw that I had so much to be grateful for in my life. How could I make moments meaningful when they weren’t perfect? I didn’t see that I could have broken down all the parts of any situation and really acknowledged how well I, or we, did on that project or situation. I only saw what we didn’t do.
I remember what a HUGE breakthrough moment that was for me. I realized that instead of looking through the eyes of gratitude and appreciation, I was looking through the eyes of judgment. So for me to find moments that were meaningful, it was illusive to begin with on this exercise. It was also one of the most freeing moments when I realized how much I had going on in my life. It was fine to take the time whether mentally or verbally to honor all I had going. I rarely took the time to appreciate and honor others or myself. I thought you wouldn’t achieve if you lessen the hold or expectation.
Don’t get me wrong, expectations and achieving are great things. The issue was when I couldn’t accept anything but perfection. A big example for me was how I wanted my children to behave. It was fine to expect them to be well-behaved. The problem was that I expected them to be perfect so I put lots of pressure and unrealistic expectations on them. I was and still am so blessed to have amazing kids. It was when I didn’t understand that I can have high expectations and still be affirming, grateful and gentle with myself and others. We are all glad that I have loosened the reins. Another way, I could have handled the situation was I could acknowledge what was happening and not just dwell on what wasn’t. I could have focused on what I wanted rather than dwell where I didn’t want my life to go. I am so grateful for the growth in my life.
Where in your life, could you take some time to find ways that your expectations and achievements are keeping you focused on the negative? How could you have a shift, create a miracle in your life, by altering the way you look at a situation? Where could you shower yourself and others with more gratitude, appreciation and acknowledgement? Take the time to do it.