Setting realistic expectations means I am willing to accept responsibility for my own character, disposition, and actions. I am willing to be accountable to others. And as I move forward, I am willing to work toward a desirable recovery and a better life. Here are five suggestions to setting reasonable expectations.
Adjusting Your Expectations
1. Make a solid commitment to spot your own ultra-high expectations, perfectionistic demands, and critical judgments of yourself. Be willing to overlook the mistakes of others.
2. Admit to your faults and shortcomings without blaming someone for your character deficiencies and your poor decisions. Use setbacks and slips as learning experiences. Tolerate your own inadequacies.
3. Work to improve your character, attitude, and disposition, not just your level of performance. Target traits such as being responsible, respectful, and positive. Aim for progress not perfection.
4. Be careful in comparing yourself to others or seeing yourself as superior. Don’t disrespect, belittle, or find fault with others to level the playing field. Your worth doesn’t go up by devaluing others. You are valuable and worthwhile regardless of their standing.
5. Set expectations in the middle. Don’t become apathetic, lazy, or irresponsible and don’t swing to the other side having unrealistically high expectations for yourself and others. Be gracious and forgiving.
Establishing clear expectations for yourself and others is an important part of emotional and relational stability. Being realistic may mean expecting others to be slow, occasionally thoughtless, and dismissive of your needs. Acceptance of the shortfalls of myself and the shortcomings of others is the key to a solid recovery.
Recovery is a journey. Enjoy the ride!