I’m here to talk to you about expectations! We all have them, whether it’s for ourselves or for others. But what do expectations really mean? And how can they affect our mental health?

What are expectations? 

Expectations are a set of beliefs or assumptions that we have about a particular situation or person. They can be positive or negative, and they can be realistic or unrealistic. When we have unrealistic expectations, we set ourselves up for disappointment and frustration. On the other hand, when we have higher expectations, we can push ourselves to achieve great things.

Letting go of expectations

But how do we let go of expectations that are holding us back? It’s not always easy, but it’s important to recognize when our expectations are unrealistic. For example, if you expect your partner to read your mind and know exactly what you want without you having to communicate it, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Instead, try communicating your needs and wants clearly and directly.

Self expectations: 

Letting go of expectations can also mean letting go of self-expectations. We often put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be perfect, to always do the right thing, and to never make mistakes. But this kind of thinking can be harmful to our mental health. It’s important to remember that we’re all human, and we all make mistakes. Instead of beating ourselves up over our perceived failures, we can practice self-compassion and remind ourselves that we’re doing the best we can.

Ok… What can you (therapist) do about that? 

Therapeutic modalities like Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) can be helpful in addressing unrealistic expectations. MBCT focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns, and emphasizes mindfulness and emotional regulation. This modality can help us recognize when our expectations are unrealistic and teach us how to let go of them.

What do I (reader) do with that jargon?

So, what does all of this mean for you? If you’re struggling with unrealistic expectations, it might be time to seek out therapy. A therapist can help you identify your negative thought patterns and teach you strategies for letting go of unrealistic expectations. By seeing that you can let go of your unrealistic expectations, you’ll be more likely to successfully get clarification and communicate your needs.

In conclusion, expectations can be both helpful and harmful. It’s important to recognize when our expectations are unrealistic and learn how to let go of them. By practicing self-compassion 

By practicing self-compassion and seeking out therapy, we can learn to manage our expectations in a healthy way. Remember, it’s okay to have high expectations for ourselves and others, but it’s important to be realistic and communicate our needs clearly. Letting go of expectations can be a difficult process, but with the right tools and support, it’s possible to achieve a more balanced and fulfilling life.

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Steady NYC