Softening your expectations


Sometimes our expectations of ourselves can make our lives daunting. They can create a powerful pressure that is overwhelming and can leave us feeling paralysed, unable to take any helpful action. We can get caught in patterns of procrastination where we withdraw from our lives and neglect ourselves to avoid the pressure.

We often have long lists of things we expect ourselves to do. This can take over and create indecision about what to do next. We feel this deep inner conflict if all the things on our list feel equally important or essential. This can leave us feeling weighed down and dreading taking action.

In these times of being stuck in our expectations, it can help to:


Stop …gently pause, find space to be alone and take stock.

Reconsider……. which things really need to be done?

  • Which things aren’t necessary – can I let them go?
  • Which are there because others are doing it or expect me to, but I don’t want to or need to?
  • Which things are there because I have always done them, in a certain way, but now things have changed, and I can do them differently or less often?

Reconnect… focus on what is essential and most helpful to you.

  • What really matters to me?
  • What will really help me in my life now?
  • What fits with who I really am right now?

Let go …. gently practice dropping our expectations of doing or being anything that doesn’t feel helpful.


Softening our expectations involves allowing ourselves to fully experience our feelings and be attentive to our vulnerability. We slowly learn to let ourselves give up trying to be the ideal person we were expecting ourselves to be. We also let go of trying to be how we imagine everyone is or what we think they want us to be.

This allows us to let the expectations or goals we have for ourselves just be ideas or possibilities that we move into if it seems helpful. We relax the tension of holding the weight of the pressure we were under. This brings us the deep relief of living more lightly.

We let ourselves just be how we are in each moment and learn to live with this. We do what we can with the reality of what we are, not what we except ourselves to be. This simplifies our experiences and gives us the freedom to fully live our lives as we really are.


©2022 Kirsty Turner

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