This is a part of a special FLTP Blog Series, that follows Two Fearless Living Training Program students as they documented their journey going through the program each week. Laurie Weaver created the beautiful images and Juile Panhke Nelson wrote about her experience, both inspired by each week while in the FLTP program.
Guest Blogger – Julie Nelson – FLTP w/Group Coaching Calls September 2013 Module 2
From Expectations to Intentions
Expectations were running my life. I had read the “Language of Expectations” words many times and circled the ones I could relate to. I had a base-level understanding of what expectations were, and how they were affecting me. But as I listened to Rhonda read the list of expectation words to us, with my eyes closed, I heard those words on a deeper level, and it hit me. The tears started flowing as I realized that I deny, control, hide, struggle, wish and worry. I think I “should” be positive all of the time. I “expect” to be happy no matter what. Really “hearing” those words, I realized I was hiding my true feelings.
When Rhonda asked us for our insights following that exercise, I shared this: “Wow! Big insight for me just now. I see myself as a really positive person, and others see me that way, too. But as you (Rhonda) were reading those words of expectation, I was nodding my head so much, I started crying, because I realized how I’m hiding behind my positive outlook. And what I realized is that I’m denying myself true happiness.”
While I’ve been hiding, I’ve been waiting, compromising, procrastinating and settling. I’ve been using so much energy to project this positive image, while inside I’m judging, blaming and comparing, all the while feeling guilty, disappointed and overwhelmed.
It really has me thinking, “Why do I have such a positive outlook about everything all of the time, no matter what?” This “skill” has come in handy many times in my life and has gotten me through a lot of hard times. I’ve prided myself on my positive attitude. I puff up when someone else notices and comments on it, especially at work.
But it takes a lot of energy to be this positive – all the time. To keep the positive thoughts flowing – no matter what. It takes a lot of brain power, willing myself to stay positive. If something goes wrong at work, no problem. When a major appliance breaks down at home, it’ll be okay. Plans to go on vacation didn’t pan out? We’ll wait until next year. It’ll all get better!
But I realize now that I’m not being authentic. I’m hiding behind my positive attitude, while inside, I’m doing and feeling all the “Language of Expectations” words. They’re constantly swirling inside me, while I try to gulp them back down and cover them up with my super-human, positive thoughts.
Realizing all of this is a huge relief. But it’s also scary. This is shattering everything I’ve believed about myself – Who I am. Who I’ve been. The reputation I’ve built for myself among family, friends and co-workers. It’s scary to think of letting that go and not being sure of how to function differently. I realize now that I need to be honest with myself and others. I can be true to myself. I can be truly happy. It feels like a weight has been lifted, and I don’t have to pretend anymore. I know there’s a better way. I can use my energy for intentions. I can be authentic and genuinely happy. Now that’s a good feeling.
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