Ever set unreasonably low expectations in order to feel better about a result or outcome?
GUILTY AS CHARGED!
What about you?
* Job interview - “I won’t get it, there were 23,000,000,000 other candidates in the running“
* Second date - “I’m not expecting them to call, they've just been promoted so they're really busy“
* Taking exams - “I did OK, but no way was I good enough to get the pass/grade I want”
It’s soooo compelling to set low expectations of ourselves, to other people... but why?
In simple terms, we are driven by fear. Fear of failure, feeling looking foolish, fear of being disliked. Modesty is a much coveted quality in many respects, so no wonder we exercise it in such situations.
Additionally, there's something so satisfying about being seen to “out-perform, to over-achieve” the bench mark we‘ve created for ourselves.
I guess we can therefore make some sense of why we might set low expectations about our capability or chances of success to other people... but we can’t kid ourselves right??
If you believe you’ve had an excellent interview, impressed on a first date or nailed an exam.... what stops you from enjoying that feeling? I mean you can’t exactly pretend to yourself it didn’t go well, right? Or can you...?
All that catastrophizing, procrastinating and negative thinking seems to be the way we convince ourselves to expect the worst, which we've learned is a sure fire way to enjoy the almost inevitable sense of relief.
There's something else potentially going on here too though. We may find some comfort in mentally trawling through every possible outcome as we attempt to decide how we'll mitigate it, but here's the sting...
we will ALWAYS find a way to respond if the worst thing should happen, but in reality our fears rarely come to fruition. Think about it.
When was the last time something really awful happened?
Did you see it coming? Probably not.
Now think about the last time you spent hours letting persistent, little, worrying "what if?" thoughts haunt your brain.
Did the worst happen? Probably not.
Worry is just one way to think about things, but thankfully not the only way because it can be exhausting. It can impact our mood and increase feelings of self doubt.
Imagine going through life with a little more optimism, more hope, with more honesty about the outcomes we desire, with more humility when we miss out. WHY? Because when you're clear on what you truly want, when you’re open to loss, when you set the bar higher, you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve.
Never under-estimate anyone, especially YOU.
If you’d like to shift your mindset to a more positive place, hypnotherapy can be fantastic.