reframing expectations

"Last hoorah before we started school, Top Golf!"

My very first lesson in therapy was "Reframing Your Expectations."

It's about breaking those negative thoughts.

 Realizing you can only start where you are and move forward.

"Should" statements are attached to guilt and shame.

"I should...but I..." sets us up for failure.

"Should thinking" lacks acceptance of ourselves.

Take some time to write down some expectations you have of yourself.

"I should be perfect because I'm a pastor's wife."

"I should want to spend all my time with my kids."

Now, reframe them.

"I can live my life according to God's will and focus only on myself, not worry about others."

(The people that love me and matter most aren't excepting perfection and love me as a work in progress.)

"I can love my children without sacrificing other areas in my life."

(I am doing enough. My children know I love them.)

Here are some helpful tips to guide you through reframing your expectations.

1. Ask yourself why. Why you value or want change.

2. Turn your "should statement" into a goal. Identify the goal and break it down.

3. Set realistic goals. Be gentle to yourself. Goals can be accomplished if you make them attainable.

4. Replace the "should" with "could" or "would" which can make the statement more encouraging/soften. Even better, "can" makes your goal more assertive and empowering.

5. Think about a rock pile. If I added a rock of everything I think "should" do, my pile would be huge, unachievable. But, if I added a rock of everything I "can" do, my pile would be significantly smaller and achievable.

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