Humans are bombarded with expectations. Throughout our youth, parents expect us to live out particular morals and values (until we figure out our own values for ourselves). Society expects us to carry out the specific mold that has been established for us (until we realize that it’s BS and that we can live whatever reality we choose). And while these expectations can hold a heavy weight on our shoulders, the heaviest of all expectations are the ones that we set for ourselves. With these expectations comes great responsibility. And responsibility can sometimes bring stress. And stress can trigger coping mechanisms. For me, my coping mechanism is imagination.

As a Virgo, INFJ, 4w3 perfectionist, I have a brutal habit of setting unrealistic expectations for myself.  I push myself to my limits. I wear myself out. I obsess over meeting my goal. And as time passes, I begin to see that I may need to extend the timing to complete my goal, or I may need to revise the path that will lead me to my end goal. But before I do this, I utilize my coping mechanism: imagination. I like to imagine myself abandoning the goal all together, stripping free from all responsibility. I like to picture a new reality for myself, usually one where I am living off the grid without a smart phone. When I start to think of this fantasy on the reg, that is when I know that I have stretched myself too far. Go back. Start from zero. Recoup.

In order to reboot, restart, and refresh, I like to do the following:

  1. Power down electronics. (this is key. The brain needs to gain some separation from the fictional world of the internet. The universe knows that the internet also holds its own set of expectations, ya feel?)
  2. Find the talismans that hold grounding energy. (For me, it’s my black tourmaline crystal. Some people may value a cross necklace or a leather notebook. It might be your dog! Find those things and keep them close.)
  3. Make a chart of the here-n-now. (Creating a visual of your daily activities verses your desired/expected activities can go a long way. This shows you how you realistically spend your time verses how you want to spend your time. This will also show you if the time frame for your goal is unrealistic or naw.)
  4. Create a list of things that bring joy. (This can even be in the form of a vision board. Seeing your version of happiness on paper can help you realize whether your expectations align with what makes your soul happy. Sometimes, we can lose sight of our inner desires because of others expectations of us. Time to bring it back, y’all.)
  5. Chat with spirit guides. (Or pray. Or talk with a trusted therapist or non-biased party. Or do a round of angel cards and journal about it after. The advice from our guides can often be exactly what we need to hear at exactly the right time.)

The expectations that we hold for ourselves can be motivating forces to help us succeed, IF our expectations are aligned with our values and soul’s purpose.  Sometimes, our interpretation of success can become clouded by the influence of others, and that influence can hinder our soul’s growth in this realm. Reflection is key, folks! Only you know what journey is right for you.

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