3 Signs You Are Cultivating Unrealistic Expectations
The definition of expectations is “a belief that someone will or should achieve something.” (www.dictionary.com)
There are two types of expectations.
High expectations, and then there are unrealistic expectations. High expectations can serve as a tool that motivates us to achieve our goals. On the other hand, unrealistic expectations can hinder our ability to identify unhelpful practices, leading to possible frustration, self-criticism, self-degradation, and toxic perfectionism.
Our expectations of ourselves and those around us can influence how we deal with people and different situations.
Signs that you may be cultivating unrealistic expectations towards yourself and others.
1. Having a perfectionist mindset- While there may be benefits to being a perfectionist, a few examples would be good attention to detail and increased motivation. Trying to achieve perfection may seem harmless, but that pursuit could cause you to constantly worry about perfecting everything. It could trigger unhealthy consequences in your mind, body, and social life. You may experience high stress, leading to burnout, anxiety, and depression.
What are some tips for you to overcome perfectionism?
2. Control Issues - Trying to manage the outcome of how a situation will work out or how you would like for it to work out can create unrealistic expectations, spoken and unspoken. When you tend to want to control everything around you, it becomes frustrating when some things don’t go your way, and let’s face it, there are certain situations that we can never control. When control becomes a problem, it affects the overall quality of your personal and professional life.
What can you do to be less controlling?
3. Irrational Beliefs - Would a reasonable person have these thoughts and beliefs, or are your thoughts about the outcome more extreme, especially for yourself and the need to be perfect? What irrational beliefs could trigger our need to excessively control and perfect things? It could be due to long-term negative habits. The expectations from others put on us ever since childhood. Self-sabotage. Habituating negative self-talk. Making conclusions about life, situations, and people. Refusing to understand other people’s perspectives.
How can we overcome those irrational thoughts?
All of us eventually self-improve, whether it's intentional or not. Trying to change a habit doesn't go overnight. It requires practice.
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Dr. Lacrecia is a passionate leader dedicated to empowering mental health professionals with the resources, guidance and strategy to create lasting impactful careers.