The Pain Of Expectations

Lately I’ve been dealing with chronic pain and inflammation in my body that doesn’t ever seem to go away. I’ve had a few accidents over the years that have contributed to the pain. While I’ve paid lots of attention to these parts of my body, the pain just persists. Over the last few years, I’ve been dealing with it on the physical level, trying every cream, oil, liniment, and doctor on the market. I’ve changed my eating habits, sleeping habits, social habits, and physical regimen.  Alas, the chronic pain in my body is still here and not changing enough for my satisfaction. I feel limited by it. I’ve been in constant resistance to it by wanting it to go away, even though I know that resistance keeps it right here – what we resist truly does persist. I needed to find another way.

Today, I took a different approach. Instead of asking inside ‘why is the pain here?’, I changed the question to ‘how does this pain serve me?’. A different answer arose by using this question. Not the typical answer from my ego that tries to figure a way out – instead I received an answer from my essence that could speak for my body:

Your pain is a way to limit the expectations that are put upon you by others and that you put upon yourself.

As I allowed the answer seep in, I felt that inner ‘click’ when something falls into place that was hidden before. Many memories where this was the truth began to flood into my mind. It started with unreasonable expectations from my family. Expectations that I was old enough to handle many situations that I was not ready for. Expectations that it was my job to make others feel better before turning to my own needs.   Expectations that I was only good enough, lovable enough, or worthy enough when others needed my attention.

I can release old unrealistic expectations that I have for myself and honor the best I have to give in each moment instead.

As a child, this was the best strategy I had. As an adult, I no longer need to limit expectations of me in this physically painful way. I can say no to what doesn’t feel good to me and be loving with what does and doesn’t feel good to me and my body in each moment. I can set limits with others instead of my body having to do it for me. I can release old unrealistic expectations that I have for myself and honor the best I have to give in each moment instead.

It’s time for me to recognize and become familiar with the expectations that arise in my mind as I move through my daily life, and question if they are true in each moment (they usually aren’t). It’s time for me to ask myself what is most loving to me in each situation when expectations arise, and to act upon that self-love, knowing that what is most loving for me is automatically the most loving for everyone involved. It is time for me to set limits with others when their expectations of me do not feel good.

How will you release the pain of expectations today?


Wendy Watson-Hallowell | The Belief Coach
Wendy Watson-Hallowell | The Belief Coach
WENDY is passionate about enabling individuals, organizations and communities to value themselves and each other in the ongoing process of change. Wendy has guided hundreds of individuals and over 750+ public and private sector organizations to achieve tangible increases in impact and performance. Her successful practice in mentoring and coaching has led to authorship of the book, ‘Live a Life You Love and Make a Living Doing It’. Over the last 30 years, Wendy’s skills have been honed in leadership roles at MTV Networks, The Rensselaerville Institute, and a variety of community based projects in her town. In 2015 she launched BeliefWorks and offers Belief Coaching as a way to address the root cause of what limits the results we can achieve both personally and professionally. This is an 'upstream' solution to change. Instead of changing limiting behavior, she focuses on changing the limiting beliefs that drive that behavior. In all cases, her clients and partners speak to the specific increases in achievement that her consulting, coaching and partnership roles make possible.

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