Auditing Your Expectations

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Hacking Your Future is a free weekly memo that provides readers with practical and applicable tips for uncovering their future success. Readers are challenged to re-imagine their personal and professional narratives, goals, and objectives, and re-invent their lives and work in a manner consistent with their new vision of the future.

This weeks focal point: Last week I talked about increasing efficiency through clarifying expectations. The best place to begin this process is with ourselves. Everyone has conscious and unconscious expectations in their lives. The conscious expectations take the form of goals, objectives, and expressed desires. However, it is often our unconscious expectations that control our actions and our lives. These are the unspoken (and often unrealistic) rules we place on ourselves without even realizing it. If you are having trouble identifying what these are, then think back to the last time you felt stressed, frustrated, or disappointed with yourself or a situation you were in. Chances are these feelings could be attributed to an unexpressed expectation that you had for yourself that was unmet.

These expectations often tell you to be busy, when you need to be reflective. They may tell you to put in another hour at the office, when you need to go home and play with your kids. These expectations often make you feel guilty about situations that are completely out of your control (being late for a meeting due to traffic). And they make your feel guilty about things that are in your control (missing a meeting because you went to a birthday party). You can’t enjoy a success in one area of your life, because according to these expectations, you have failed in another area.

Conducting an expectations audit will help you root these expectations out and decide whether they are valid and helpful in your life. Do they align with who you really want to be? Do they support what you consider truly important in life? If not, then you are now aware of them and able to dismiss them when they arise. If you desire your actions to be aligned with the true and meaningful objectives you have for your life, then you must be able to recognize these expectations and eliminate them along with the unnecessary stress that they provoke. Doing so will enable you to act with greater intention and confidence as you move forward.

 

The Fulcrum: What determines your actions?

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