Oh how true that can be. I should do this or do that or be able to handle this or that or look this way or that way or need or not need something or feel this way or not feel that way, etc. I’m hardest on myself in this regard, but I do find myself thinking of others that way sometimes too, especially Michael. It’s not so much that having expectations of oneself or others is a bad thing, but how you handle it when you or they don’t meet said expectations. Sometimes my expectations are realistic and other times, well, not so much. And sometimes if my expectations aren’t met (by myself or others) it can interfere with me being able to enjoy the moment, regardless that things haven’t gone exactly as I’d wanted or intended. I don’t think I’ve ever been accused of being too easy going.
And when I find that I'm questioning myself or how I’ve chosen to live my life it’s often because it doesn’t match up with that picture in my head. Mind you, I’m not even sure how that picture got to be there in the first place. I suppose it’s a combination of things, life experiences, how I was raised, societal views, etc. I think it’s frustrating to Michael when I go down the road of questioning not because things aren’t working, not because we’re not happy, but because reality doesn’t fit the picture in my head of what “should” be. He’s learned to be very direct with me and attack those emotions with logic. Often I really don’t want to hear it, but I know he’s right. I tend to put too much pressure on myself and sometimes I just really need to chill out, as he’s fond of telling me.
I’m learning, but I need reminders sometimes (from myself, from Michael, and yes perhaps even from you). I am happier when I’m not caught up in how things should be, but instead focused on enjoying the way things are. I don’t always realize that I’m being too hard on myself or others, it just seems so ingrained sometimes. It requires a different mindset, a flexibility, and a change of focus. I will say that I manage it better than I used to, but it’s still very much a work in progress.
I’m wondering if you find that this trips you up too…expectations, that picture in your head not matching reality?