Expectations and future plans
You know the feeling when nothing follows ‘the plan’. The month starts and finishes with a heavy sigh. Your metaphorical inbox is full of stuff that should have been done but you never quite got round to.
Trying to live up to the expectations you think others have of you feels like a race without a finish line.
Drafting a two year, a five year and/or a 10 year life plan can help set your focus to achieve. These future plans usually feel really genuine and true to the person writing them at the specific time, but so often these plans, as the months and years go by are not achieved.
So, why not?
None of us live in isolation. Our lives are a continuous interaction with others and we have endless fictional expectation of what others think we want and need – and we have endless expectations of ourselves. Examining these expectations can offer insight into who we are and provide us with valuable information that helps increase our emotional intelligence and the clarity of what we really would like our plans to look like.
Here is a proposal:
Write your two year, five year and/or 10 year plan as if you were ‘the others’ looking in on your life. Try this from the point of view of more than one of your good friends. It does not need to be detailed at all. Be honest! And if you are really daring you may even ask them to confirm.
What is amazing is that the expectations of others so often vary from that we perceive them to be. Others are usually far more sympathetic to our holistic needs that we are of our own and often provide us with glimpses of accurate insights to whom we really are and what we really want, insights we instinctively know to be the truth and that we have either suppressed or got used to ignore.
So when it all goes off the path and the month starts and finishes with a heavy sigh - your metaphorical inbox is full of stuff that should have been done but you never quite got to, ask yourself: is your expectation in line with your true self, your needs and desires? Or are you trying to live up to the fictional expectations you have - that others have of you?
Often the visualisation of how a good friend sees us is the mirror we need. Coaching can provide a real opportunity to priorities what is important to you and what can go into the spam file, but a lot of the coaching work can be done by just a few simple exercises on your own.
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