Unrealistic Expectations? Get Ready for some heart break :(
Unrealistic expectations have the ability to break our hearts. Ever notice how wonderful life looks from the perspective of marketing media? Life is grand!
Cars are new and shiny and filled with great music and happy friends.
Preparing dinner is depicted as a joyful chore where we are rewarded for our efforts by our adoring and appreciative family.
A little blue pill promises the kind of intimacy which results in missed concerts and grown men skipping all the way to work.
In the world of marketing, life is a veritable picnic with unlimited choice and unlimited opportunities for fulfilment. What happens when these unrealistic expectations of life can’t possibly be met?
It’s been estimated that we are inundated with 2000 different advertisements every day. Each of them setting up expectations of what this life should offer us. Much of it enters our subconscious without our conscious awareness. There it sits, much like a minimized program on our computer, taking up space in our unconscious being…forever playing messages in the background. How can we find happiness with reality when it is so different from the way our subconscious is telling us life should be?
Depression and suicide and divorce rates have sky-rocketed. Is it possible these maladies result from unrealistic expectations? From the kinds of expectations which are the result of a totally unrealistic view of life…complements of savvy advertisers. Our standards have become so high and we aren’t even consciously aware of this. Those standards are imposed by the corporate world and not a realistic depiction of the real world.
How do we determine when real change is warranted in our lives? How do we determine when the change we are contemplating stems from an authentic need for something different and better? There is the million dollar question and the answer is not as easy as popping a little blue pill. We have to be careful our unhappiness doesn’t stem from unrealistic expectations and easy fixes which don’t really fix anything.
If we are unhappy and it’s interfering with our lives, we owe it to ourselves (and others) to dig deep and find out why. Transformational change is messy and it takes time and real focus and a commitment to the long haul. Doesn’t that sound exciting? I bet you want to know where to go to sign up…just kidding! Anything in this life that is truly worthwhile takes work and commitment.
If your inner voice is calling because you are unhappy; perhaps your expectations of what this life “should” provide needs to be evaluated. I would suggest meditation and keeping a journal. Just a daily walk and a bit of free writing should suffice to start. The answers are always within–we just have to shut out the noise so we can hear what our authentic self wants. Hopefully you will begin to determine whether the unhappiness
stems from a heartfelt calling, or
it stems from unrealistic expectations, or
an unhealthy view of how life should be.
Major change has far reaching implications and is rarely decided from a cut and dried decision. It is an intricate process. A great example…leaving a long term relationship. This is one of those major changes with major implications. Nothing can break a heart like the end of the dream. Many times, the relationship is over long before we make the decision to leave. What holds us back is twofold.
The dream of what could have been–not the reality of what is, being the first.
The second is having unrealistic expectations of just what a relationship “should” offer, and how long the duration “should” be.
(p.s. any time there is a “should” in my life, I view this as a red flag; as an opportunity to determine if this is something I want in my life, or if it is something someone else wants me to do.)
No one can tell us what’s right for us; we must stop our own bleeding. The happily-ever-after depicted in media may keep us tied to a fairy tale which has no basis in reality. But beware…major life choices require discernment, and real soul and heart searching. We owe it to ourselves to ensure we are changing for the right reasons. Pining for an expectation which only exists in a world created by advertisers is not the healthiest way to live this life. The grass is not always greener on the other side! The same can be said for every major part of our lives in which we are contemplating a swap.
It’s sad when we realize too late the change we made was not the change that was required. That old adage “no matter where you go, there you are” often takes on added meaning during these times of evolution or transition. What often needs changing is inside us and not in our career or our marriages or our garages or anywhere else outside our core selves. Real and lasting happiness comes when we transform for all the right reasons. Just remember to ponder…
How realistic are my expectations?
Am I expecting a life which only exists in fairy tales or the world of make belief put forth by advertisers?
Following your heart so you live your life and not the life anyone or anything outside of you dictates isn’t easy. The best advice…Connect with your innate love of self and learn to follow your healthy intuition. The resulting inner strength will give you what you need to evolve into the best life for you.