“People not only gain understanding through reflection, they evaluate and alter their own thinking."
I wanted to start this entry with my reactions that I had after sending out my blog information to pretty much everyone I knew, as it does relate to what we are discussing. After I had sent it out, I had an instant reaction of fear of living up to Expectations. I am still not sure exactly sure if this was the expectations that I set up my self, or the expectations that I have for you, the reader? In reality, it is probably somewhere in between.
Now I hope to some extent that you are saying to yourself that having expectations should not be a bad thing, which I would say to you that you are right. (Though in my belief it is Irrational to identify just about anything as absolute Good and absolute bad or absolute rational vs. absolute irrational, which is a discussion for another time). Expectations and meeting and exceeding them are a great motivator in our lives for the success that we want.
What I wanted to do was look at the irrational parts of that fear and strike when the iron is COLD. (Strike when the iron is cold means to step away from the emotion (irons hot) and identify the situation and feelings. If you strike when the iron is hot always, you will tend to deny your emotions, when often times its best to let those emotions play out before you truly evaluate them.)
What I found out was that it is irrational to expect everyone to want to read this. It’s irrational to think that every posting will connect to everybody. It’s also irrational to think that I will always meet everyone’s expectations, especially my own. It’s also irrational to identify myself as a failure if all of my expectations or your expectations are not meet, as this would be unrealistic to expect.
It also got me wondering how these expectations play out in other parts of my life, as most of the time, these things will manifest themselves in other areas of life. How does this fear of expectations affect my relationship with my wife? Kids? Family? Friends? At work?
Now of course it would be “irrational” of you to think that I would have a good answer besides that I know it has affected all of those situations to some extent, though 3 days is not enough time to really evaluate this. Give yourself some time and remember, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
That was a long segue. :) Now I want to cover the three main area’s of irrational thoughts and please comment here, if you feel comfortable, on which ones you feel that you identify most with.
1. I must always do well and win the approval of others, and if I don’t, I am a failure.
2. Other’s must always treat me with respect and be kind to me, or else they are no good.
3. I must always get what I want and never get what I don’t want.
For me, my irrational belief pattern falls mostly with the first area, (especially with my example in this posting) but of course, like most of us, there are times when I identify with each of the areas.