Accepting Reality & Managing Expectations


One reason we experience dis-stress in life is not living mindfully, in the moment.  Another is having unrealistic expectations of people or situations. 

Here are some questions you can ask yourself when feeling stressed, angry, or another negative emotion to better accept reality, and turn attitudes around:

  • Is there anything positive or constructive I can do about this?
  • What were the events that caused this to happen in the first place (facts, not assumptions)? How could this be avoided in the future?
  • How important is this, really?
  • What higher good could come from this?
  • What lesson(s) can I learn from this?
  • What in this experience can I find gratitude for? (Hint: It might be only that you had the strength to get through it, but there is always something.)
  • Remind yourself that everything tends to work out in the end.
  • Remind yourself that the only person over whom you have control is you.
  • Why did someone else behave the way they did? Find compassion for their point of view.
  • What could I have done differently?
  • Will this matter in 5 years?
  • Will my expectations change the way someone else behaves?
  • Why is having things my way important?
  • What was I thinking about when a negative situation arose? Could my response have really been about something else?
  • Remind yourself that, “Energy flows where attention goes.”