When I started blogging, creating content, and posting messages, I think I had this underlying expectation that I’d grow my following ten fold in the blink of an eye. That somehow, just by posting, people would gravitate towards my material and I’d turn into this big shot content creator. I mean, I believe in myself and the power behind my messages, so why wouldn’t others?
Perhaps this is me living in a fantasy world. More likely though this is me placing expectations on myself. Something I do regularly. Expectations are interesting in that we are placing a label on something that hasn’t even manifested. If this sounds familiar, well it’s because it is. Setting expectations on the unknown can create tension in the body and feelings of anxiety. Fear of the unknown is one of the largest contributors to anxious feelings, IMO.
So back to placing expectations on myself. Because I set these expectations for myself, I was creating tension in my body before I’d even given the event a chance to happen. And ultimately, if it didn’t manifest how I wanted it to, which is exactly what happened, feelings of self-doubt and failure. This is an important place to pause for a moment…. feelings of doubt and failure.
These are feelings that creep in from time to time, mostly due to….wait for it…. expectations. It’s important to remember that when these feelings creep in, they’re mostly false, if not completely false. They are just false perceptions we have of the narrative we tried to create, from the expectations we set forth for ourselves. So if and when these feelings creep in, don’t believe them. Easier said than done, I know. So try checking back in with yourself, observe those feelings without resistance, perhaps grounding yourself with a few deep breaths, and gently let them go. This is the technique I use when feelings of anxiousness or self-doubt begin to creep in, and I think you’ll enjoy the practice as well.
Another fascinating thing about expectations I noticed is that they also bring us away from the reasons we do certain things in the first place. In my case, my expectations for what I thought should happen brought me away from the reasons I write in the first place. Those reasons being that writing is my outlet, my therapy, my way to separate myself from my thoughts. But also a way for me to reach perhaps just one other person. Worrying less about growing my following, and caring more about the quality of the content I create. And if my story helps just one other person, then I know I live a fulfilled life.
So if you find yourself struggling with expectations… know YOU ARE NOT ALONE. And if you are looking for ways to help with those expectations, I hope you find solitude in my message and my story. And that you have options when it comes to letting go of those expectations.