What to Do with Crazy Expectations

I’m known to wake up in the middle of the night with a million thoughts running through my mind. In some cases it’s that I’ve woken up being able to solve a problem, and I’ll get up at two o’clock in the morning and go downstairs to my laptop and just get it done. Then I can go back to sleep.

I’m not suggesting that that’s the best practice, but I’ve also woken up during the night with a burning sensation in my stomach; I’m having anxiety. I’ve probably just woken up from a dream about this very topic. And it’s because I’m so concerned about a due date. I either need to get this thing done, or I forgot these three other things I have to do in order to meet this timeline, this date that this needs to be done by.

I have to share with you that I realized that at least 20% of the time those “due dates” are self-imposed dates.

It may be things to do around my house that I wake up and I’m panicked about it. Or even in the professional world – there are times where I know this project needs to be done, it’s this many weeks out but I’ve done some work back-scheduling, so for me to meet that I really should have this piece done by Friday. But that’s a self-imposed timeline, and I’m having so much anxiety over it.

Or I’ve even set goals for myself saying, “I want to achieve this, and it’s by this date,” and then I’m freaking out! Literally waking up in the middle of the night because, oh my gosh I’m not going to get there, or I haven’t done this. Are you facing any of that same dilemma?

Really take a look at the due dates that you have. Where are you putting in self-imposed timelines?

It may not even be timelines, it may be criteria or expectations. Where are you feeling some of that anxiety, some of that panic feeling because of something that’s self-imposed? And while I’m all about giving ourselves some of that thing that can help motivate and push us and give us a destination, not to the degree when it’s causing anxiety or it’s centered during a time when you now have so many other things; maybe it’s a life tragedy, or all of a sudden you have to take care of an ill family member, or all of a sudden a major time-sensitive project has come across your desk.

Those are the times when we have to say, “I love this self-imposed concept, I love that I threw out this due date or this expectation. But right now, it’s causing me more pain than it is causing me to be motivated.”

So where are you self-imposing? Where are you throwing in those things that are just completely fictitious, those things you set with the right intentions but now are causing more harm than good? Get rid of them, push them out, massage them, change what that criteria is, so that you can use positive energy, positive momentum, versus spinning in this swirl of anxiety where then you’re frozen and you’re not getting anything done.

I encourage you to look where you are self-imposed and make some adjustments; modify, so that you can continue moving forward. Comment below, where are you putting in false expectations, false timelines? Where are you putting in that self-imposed criteria? I’d love to hear from you!

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