You know it's important to identify and shift limiting beliefs, but how can you more easily identify the more subtle ones you inherited or learned? One sure way is to look carefully at your expectations.
As a child, and even now, you learn and absorb beliefs about everything, limiting or not, by hearing them, through observing the actions of others, and energetically, because we ARE able to perceive the subconscious energy patterns of each other. Fortunately, you deliberately and successfully shift some of these beliefs as you move through life. This is beneficial because all beliefs become expectations; and many of them are quite subtle. They make their appearance, often in a flash, and are likely dismissed by you just as quickly, even though you experience the result of them.
In discussions about Law of Attraction, you’re told that desire is a key element. You desire a great many things you still don’t have. If desire alone did it, you would have them. One reason you don’t have some of these desires is because what you EXPECT blocks them. Desire IS important, but expectation is far more important. Desire is a form of energy: a mental exercise. Expectation is creative energy in action. Expectations come in two flavors, so-to-speak: What you really expect to happen and the expectations you hold about yourself, both of which are, likely, primarily subconscious.
Let's get something significant covered: There is a greater plan at work for you (and by you) that your soul has committed to fulfill while you’re here. If you try to avoid your soul purpose or aim at something that will not fulfill it, you will bump into proverbial brick walls set up to get you back on track, however long that takes.
We too often follow what ego craves or expectations of others, rather than what our soul came here to do and nudges us toward. When a desire isn't fulfilled, it's important to discover if this is because it doesn’t match your soul purpose or because of expectations that block its fulfillment. You can assist your soul purpose and create more desirable experiences by getting clear about the expectations you carry.
You can uncover negative expectations by stating what you desire, or an affirmation about it, then pay attention to what your inner voice says immediately afterwards. The voice will either support or refute the possibility of what you desire ever happening. This voice repeats what you’ve learned and absorbed from others about how life works, or how life works for someone of your social, income, or education level, gender, age, etc.
Then there are the expectations you hold about yourself. These come from comments, observed actions, and beliefs others held (or hold) about you that were communicated to you directly or energetically and then carried by you into your experiences, past and current (and future), and have more power over you than any affirmation or action you take.
Set aside time to list expectations you've carried about yourself and about your life. Example: If you're a woman, and depending on your age, you may have been raised with the expectation that a husband would support you financially; and, maybe your reality is that you either have to or have chosen to support yourself. Can you see the potential contrasts and conflicts that could come up for you about this and how they may defeat your success and joy in doing this? If you're a man, what expectations were placed on you about making a living and making a life, or expected behaviors?
If you carry expectations that demand you feel and do things that feel unnatural to you (unnatural is different from somewhat uncomfortable—like when you try to do something you’re just learning), you will feel like you're on a hamster wheel going nowhere, or not far, or even backwards. For example, you may be expected by others, or may expect yourself, to be someone who goes into the world like a powerhouse and does things in a particular way; yet, your nature may be that to succeed and be fulfilled you need to follow a very different path; or the reverse may be true for you. This and other such contrasts create tremendous stress, frustration, and feelings of being a failure that do not have to be your experience.
"Every decision you make - every decision - is not a decision about what to do. It's a decision about Who You Are. When you see this, when you understand it, everything changes. You begin to see life in a new way. All events, occurrences, and situations turn into opportunities to do what you came here to do." - Neale Donald Walsch
Walsch's quote reaches into the heart of the matter; though, I'd add knowing the foundation of who you are needs to be included. You can enhance choices, decisions, and how you fulfill your life vision and purpose by shedding negative expectations you carry and trusting what you discover or already know about how you can best express who you authentically are. You can become comfortable and confident "in your own skin."
You don't have to continue on with expectations that have not served you so far. Give yourself some time to list as many expectations as come up for you. Pause when they surface and look at them. Ask yourself how they influence your choices, as well as how they influence how you feel about yourself and your life. Feel your truth and write these truths down so you can refer back to them.
Appropriate-for-you supportive expectations create desired experiences and results. It’s a good practice, one you’ll appreciate.
Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer