Manifestation miracle

Loving Yourself in the Face of Others' Expectations (By Margaret Paul, Ph.D.)

How often are you stressed and frazzled in trying to meet others' expectations? You can learn to love yourself instead!

I was staying at a friend's house on one of my teaching trips. I walked into the kitchen early one morning to find my friend frantically trying to get everything done that she believed she needed to get done before going to work.

I walked over to her and put my arm around her and said, "Breathe." She stopped and breathed and started to cry.

"What's going on?" I gently asked her.

She listed off all the things she needed to get done before leaving.

"Why do you have to get all these things done?"

This question stopped her in her tracks. "OMG! I'm trying to do what everyone expects me to do!"

"Are these things you want to do?"


"You have help here. Can you get someone else to do them?"


A big smile broke out on her beautiful face and I could feel the peace coming into her body.

As we talked more about this, my friend realized that all her life she had been trying to meet others' expectations of her, starting with her mother.. She realized how much stress this creates for her, but she also realized how scared she is that someone - her husband, her mother, her kids, her friends - will be angry at her if she doesn't meet their expectations.

"What would your inner child need from you to feel safe in not meeting others' expectations, if what they wanted of you wasn't what you wanted to do? What would be loving to yourself?"

"I know exactly what she needs to feel loved by me and to feel safe. She needs me to let them know that it's not okay with me for them to get angry with me for not meeting their expectations and then to walk away, to lovingly disengage. She also needs for me to not so instantly say 'yes' when they ask me to do things I don't want to do. I need to start to say 'no.' This has been so challenging for me, but I really can't stand this stress anymore of all this pressure of meeting everyone's expectations. I think I'm ready to risk saying no and speaking up for myself if they get mad. Whew! That thought feels like a big relief inside!"

Are you loving yourself in the face of others' expectations, or are you sacrificing yourself to control how others feel about you? Are you taking responsibility for others' feelings or are you focused on what is loving to you?

Loving yourself in the face of others' expectations means:

  • First, tuning in to whether meeting someone's expectations is in your highest good, i.e., is it loving to yourself, or would you would be abandoning yourself to meet their expectations?
  • Being honest with them: saying yes when you mean yes and no when you mean no.
  • If they get angry, annoyed or blaming, speaking up for yourself by letting them know that you are available to talk about it if they are open to learning with you, but not if they continue to be angry and blaming.
  • If they are open, you might want to explore why your meeting this expectation is important to them, and why it might be important to you to not meet it. Much learning can occur through exploring expectations, which can lead to a satisfying resolution for both of you.
  • If the other person isn't open to learning with you, you may need to lovingly disengage - i.e., walk away to take loving care of yourself.

It's important for you to become aware of when you are trying to control how others feel about you - by meeting their expectations when you don't want to - and when meeting their expectations is a joy for you. When it's a form of control, you will feel stressed, and when it's what you truly want to do, you will find pleasure in meeting someone's expectations.

Be as Positive as You Can Be

"Positive thinking is more than just a tagline. It changes the way we behave. And I firmly believe that when I am positive, it not only makes me better, but it also makes those around me better.” 
— Harvey Mackay

Is Life Really This Hard Or Am I Making It This Difficult?

Every day it seems like there are more problems, fewer solutions, less money and more stress. Keeping a positive attitude is not easy when you are on the "lack" side of things. Pessimists always get a bad rap. Is that because what they say is too hard to hear? There is a fine line between the reality of "what is" and a pessimist giving an opinion. An optimist may make you feel better for the moment, however, after that moment passes, you have to deal with the present.

I do believe "manifesting" is viable. It is definitely easier to practice virtually any positive activity while things are going your way. It is easier to give money when you have plenty of it. It is easier to give advice after you are successful. It is easier to talk about weight control after you have accomplished great weight loss. My applause are saved for the brave few that venture out to share when they have not yet aspired to their greatest height. The risk they take is criticism for speaking without a podium and self doubt.

One of the biggest problems I frequently see is the fear that is created by worrying in advance of a situation. All of the "what if scenario's" rolled into a big ball. The more they spin around the fear, the bigger the fear ball becomes. It is physically impossible to cross a bridge until you get to the bridge, yet hours are spent in anguish, worrying about a future event, demanding every possible variable and combination of variables be mentally played out, fretting every possible outcome, before there is a problem. Since that is 100% impossible, all the time and energy given to this endeavor is truly wasted.

For the sake of your health, both mental and physical, stop everything fear based. No decision can be made while you are surrounded by fear. Without the ability to make a decision, no action can be taken. Without any action, you are frozen in time, rendered immobile How long can you stay this way? Some people spend their entire life living in this constant state of fear rather than coming to terms with it. No matter what actually happens, nothing is ever as bad as imagined.

To overcome FEAR, do the following 3 things:

1. Make a list of your biggest fears, cross off all but the 3 things you fear most.

2. What is THE WORST thing that could happen to you if ANY of these 3 fears came true?

3. What is the BEST thing that could happen if NONE of these fears come about?

Now ask yourself, What do you really have to lose? Is it worth taking a chance of failure to achieve success?

Do Less To Do Better

So often we think of productivity as doing more and more each day, packing in everything like an overstuffed suitcase. Just one more email, one more call, or one more thing before we collapse into numbing exhaustion at the end of the day. Wikipedia defines productivity as "an average measure of the efficiency of production." Note that it does not say the amount of production but rather the efficiency of production. Just because we are busy doesn't mean we are productive or efficient.

One of the greatest detriments to productivity is that we live in a hyper-stimulated world, we continually have our boss, our co-workers, our clients, our emails, phones (multiple), social media, and a multiplicity of other things clamoring for our attention. God forbid our families, kids, or loved one want time carved out for themselves, we just don't have anything left. We are running on fumes most days.

A couple of simple, yet powerful, concepts and techniques can make a radical difference in our lives, freeing us to focus on what is essential in life.

Focus on What is Essential

In his book, Essentialism, Greg McKeown talks about doing less to do better. I can hear the alarms bells going off here, as you say - "But I have SO much to do." McKeown argues that when we are maxed out with multiple projects and endless to dos, we don't do anything really well but rather our efforts are diluted and dispersed because we get overloaded.

What if we eliminated those things that were not truly essential? Do we need to go to every meeting, or say "yes" to everything we are asked to take on? Develop 1-3 core objectives for your job, your business, and your life and evaluate everything as to whether it adds or subtracts from your objectives. This takes time and practice but the payout is huge.

Make Space for What is Important

Following on the concept of essentialism, Leo Babauta with Zen Habits gives a wonderful analogy of filling up you weekly buckets with Big Rocks first, then leaving space for pebbles and sand to fill in. The Big Rocks represent the most important things you need to do in the coming week to meet your objectives. Babauta recommends having no more than 4-6 Big Rocks. The Big Rocks should include non-work items as well (your family and friends will thank you!). By focusing on the Big Rocks first we get the most essential things completed. This also helps to avoid procrastination as we focus on our mission critical first. It also gives us greater permission to push back on those things that clutter our ability to focus on what is most important.

Bite Off Small Chunks

Two things that contribute to our overload are underestimating the time it actually takes to complete a project and putting things off until the last minute because we really don't want to do them. The Pomodoro Technique can really help to address both these issues. Its philosophy is simple - break things down into 25 minute increments. When working on a project or studying set a timer for 25 minutes. Eliminate all distractions during this time (turn off phone ringer, turn off computer notifications), and focus only on the task at hand. No multi-tasking here as it defeats the purpose. Take a couple of minutes break after the 25 minutes and then move onto the next project for 25 minutes, or add increments of 25 minutes to complete a project.

I struggle with underestimating some projects especially if it is a new area, or the project is more complex than I anticipated. I find myself becoming frustrated because I either have to finish the project and put off other things, or I need to leave the project temporarily to complete another scheduled task. Either way I end up feeling frazzled. I have found the Pomodoro Technique is really helpful for this. Start putting down expected time for a project, then log the actual time it takes to complete the project or task. For example, if you write a weekly newsletter and you normally block out 1 hour for it, but with research you find it normally takes you an 1 hour and 30 minutes. This information will really help you be more realistic in planning out your week. It will help you focus on the important things but also helps better schedule your calendar so you don't end up with an unrealistic schedule that leaves you unfocused and over-scheduled.

How Do You Better Understand People?

Add caption
You may not get people the first time you meet them. Nevertheless understanding them could help you find a great friend in them. What more, they could be influential people as well and you could use their help in your endeavors. So what are the tricks to understand people better? Read on to find out.

Here are some tips:

1) Most people want to be heard. They have great stories inside them which they want to express. They are willing to share their woes and accomplishments. Give them an attentive ear and listen to them with enthusiasm. It can help you to understand their line of interests and what they think about the most and how they get along with life. Cheer with them for their accomplishments and be sympathetic about their woes. Say a few words of encouragement and soothe them down.

2) It may seem weird to you while communicating with people why they chose a certain path in their life when they could have gone better ways. Try to be in their shoes and look from their point of view and decide if under the same circumstances you would have taken similar actions as they did. Most likely, this way you get to understand them better, how their mind works and how they make life choices.

3) Some people won't talk much during a conversation. Open them up by asking relevant questions. Show eagerness for their answers and encourage them to talk and help them reveal what they want to about their lives. That way too you get to understand quiet and non-talkative people because the answers they give help you to read their minds.

4) You won't understand everything about people on the first time round. If you really liked some of them and would like to continue communication with them, get their contact numbers and addresses, meet them and spend quality time with them. You will gradually begin to understand what they really like or dislike about anything for example, weather, clothes, food, politics, movies, novels, places and the list goes on.

5) While you continue to communicate with the people you have decided, understand if you share common interests and are like-minded. Because like attracts like. You may find a great friend in them which you have never imagined before. In case you don't find much in common with them, gradually cut them off from your life.

Summing up, those are some of the ways you get to understand people better and as I mentioned before they could not only be great friends but also influential people, helping you in your endeavors.

You Have The Power to Choose and to Create

“Look to your heart and soul first, rather than looking to your head first, when choosing. Rather than what you think, consider instead how you feel. Look to the nature of things. Feel your choices and decisions. It just might change everything.” 
― Jeffrey R. Anderson

Why Does Being More Stoic Help You?

Being more stoic means being indifferent to pain or pleasure. If you get too happy, there will be a low time coming for you, which may throw you off balance. This is because joy and sorrow come by turns. On the other hand, if you are so sad that you cannot come out of your painful state, the only person who can help you is you. So you need to work on yourself in that area. In both the cases being stoic will help you a lot. Read on for more highlights.

If you are in a happy or sad situation, being stoic will help you stay calm and integrated. Why is that? Because God does not throw more challenges nor does He give you better news. If you like this condition, teach yourself to be stoic.

Being stoic especially helps you go through hard times. You lose a lot of money or you have to bear the loss of someone dear - you cannot have them back but teaching yourself to be stoic, you can handle the situations better. The same happens when you divorce, lose a job, have enemies, hold different point of views with your best friend, are pestered constantly by your naughty child and the list goes on. All the situations I mention here are difficult to handle but if you know how to be stoic, you will quickly come out of your situation healthy and mentally sound.

What if you stay stoic during happy situations for instance, your birthday celebration, your marriage anniversary, the birth of a child and so on, would that look odd? Well, wear a smile or grin from time to time, but it helps not to get overexcited but keep your mind and heart at peace and quiet.

God will not test you hopefully. And you can maintain a healthy work/life balance. Your relationships with your children, spouse, boss, colleagues, friends and even strangers will thrive. You do enjoy these companionships but you don't let yourself be super happy but stay stoic.

How about sad times? Does being stoic and not being gloomy and teary look awkward? Not exactly - rather it shows your strength and courage in the face of overwhelming situations. Your heart may be heavy but on the outside you exhibit a pleasant appearance so that people are unable to detect your agony or displeasure. In this case you actually show brevity.

Summing up, happy or sad times, try to stay stoic and humble. It helps you transition life in comfortable, non-agonizing ways. People may be surprised at the expression you wear, without showing any emotion in good or bad times but they will get used to it once they come to know the real you. You don't have to be a people pleaser. The situations you go through in life are yours to handle, not others; so it is up to you to be indifferent to pain or pleasure or more exactly, simply be stoic.