Incompatible Ideals and Expectations – How Do You Resolve Them?
Want to be stress-free? Most of our stress comes from the hodge-podge, mish-mash of ideals and expectations we’ve accumulated since childhood. In order to make sense of the ideals and expectations that are running your life, try the following four steps:
1. IDENTIFY what your ideals and expectations actually are.
- What are your ideals for being a good person? Write them down.
- What are your ideals for living a fulfilling life? Write them down.
- What are your expectations of yourself? Write them down.
- What are your expectations of others? Write them down.
2. ASK yourself where your ideas and expectations actually came from.
- From other people’s say-so?
- From your feelings, fantasies, hunches, wishes, worries, fears, or hopes?
- From your careful observation and thinking?
3. TEST to see if your ideals and expectations make sense.
- Are they consistent with the facts of reality? Do your ideals and expectations ask you to ignore the facts of reality for the sake of “being good”? Or do they honor the facts of reality for the sake of a healthy, fulfilling, happy life?
- Are they consistent with nature’s requirements for living? Do your ideals and expectations promote your life or cripple it? Do they say to deny and renounce your needs for the sake of others and their causes? Or do they say to honor your needs as a mature adult and to develop yourself into the finest human being you can become?
4. REVISE your list of ideals and expectations.
- Which ideals and expectations are compatible with the facts of reality and nature’s requirements for living? These will promote your life as well as the lives of others. You will want to keep them, and live by them.
- Which ideals and expectations are not compatible with the facts of reality or nature’s requirements for living? These are the source of your conflict and stress: they will cripple your life and possibly harm others. You will want to revise them immediately.
For an overview of the FUNDAMENTAL FACTS OF REALITY and NATURE’S REQUIREMENTS FOR LIVING, listen to 8 Steps For Reclaiming Your Life From Conflict, Confusion, and the Control of Others CD program, which will also show you how to go about revising your ideals and expectations so that they are your friends rather than your enemies.
I will be eager to hear how these four steps work for you, and any other constructive suggestions you have for resolving incompatible ideals and expectations!