Allowing Expectations for Our Success.

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There are Necessary Expectations

To have all the things we desire most, means hard work. It also means putting ourselves in the position to have other people help us. As well as allowing them to increase the amount of expectation they have for our performance.

Let’s face it, if people around us aren’t expecting much, this is a life snuffing ordeal. If people are not expecting much, then what kind of motivation will we get from them? Probably not much.

But I suppose this is only for the type of life I desire to live. Some may appreciate a life with as few expectations on them as possible. I have before as well, and still do often. I have also found out that the ambition coursing through my veins will not allow me to be comfortable with a life of low expectations.

Don’t get me wrong though, most of the time when realizing someone is expecting something challenging of me, I do have that initial thought of “who in the hell do you think you are.” Our initial tend to keep us engaged in mindsets and behaviors that resist change. So, when someone recommends we do something that challenges our mindset, a defense mechanism coming up is pretty normal.

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Reactions to Expectations.

I tend to resort defenses like over-intellectualizing or sarcastic humor to try to avoid allowing the advice they may be trying to impart into my skull. I get the feeling I reactively avoid the advice because if I allow them to see it make sense to me, then they may EXPECT me to follow through. I don’t know about you, but I am not a fan of feeling that someone is trying to control me.

I laugh there because there is nothing about allowing the other persons advice to be logical, that says I need to do what they said. Let alone have it “Control” me. But I might need to do what they preach if I am going to receive the results in life that I desire!

I don’t know what it is in my brain that has me believing that if other people expect something from me, that they have some sort of control over me. But I am guessing that I am not alone. The truth is that there are so many people that know a ton more about every subject available, than ourselves alone. And if we want what they have to offer, we are going to be able to allow them to influence us.

We need to allow them to expect some things of us and allow them to let us know when we am not meeting those expectations. This can be a very hard pill to swallow. Let’s look at some ways that we can help this pill go down a little more smoothly.

9 Habits for Allowing my Relationships to Have Healthy Expectations for me.

1. Stay on top of my decision making.

I find that it is easier to allow people to help me when I am consistently making the decisions I need to make. I tend to feel people are trying to control me more, when I am not feeling in control of my daily affairs.

2. Find Challenging People.

I find it important to have people around me that will help push me to be my most productive self. By having people that will help me actualize my goals instead of push their own on me, has taught me to have healthy relationships.

3. Find out Which challenge style works best for me

Some people may push their expectations for me like drill instructors, and others as gentle as can be. I tend to like a mixture of these, although I get annoyed at both. But if it seems like someone is trying to mother me, that is what I am looking for, the least.

4. Make sure the expectations are healthy.

I desire a healthy life so if the expectations people are having for me are not healthy, then I cannot meet them. I also will not be able to continue the relationship.

5. Follow people that care for me.

When I know that people have my best interests in mind, it definitely makes it easier to let them have expectations for me. Though sometimes these might be the ones I fight back against the most. But also, who’s advice I will likely end up following.

6. Choose credibility.

I find it easier to allow people to have expectations for me if I know they practice what they preach. If someone isn’t willing to follow their own advice they give me, it makes it much more difficult to follow their advice.

7. Stay Reminded of Rewards.

If I am having a hard time allowing someone to have expectation, I can keep myself reminded of why I am seeking advice from them in the first place. I am seeking because I desire something. Whether I am desiring the rewards I will receive from emotional support, business advice, parenting advice or whatever other advice I may seek.

8. Do Our Own Research.

Just because I trust someone doesn’t mean I should just be blindly following their advice. If I have extra questions for them, I ask them. If I need to do further research, then I do that too. If I don’t do my own research, I tend to blame the person I sought to help guide me.

9. Remind myself that its ultimately my decision.

No one makes our decisions for us. Even when we feel like they are. Reminding ourselves that we are not a victims to other people’s guidance, and that we ultimately make the decision ourselves helps a lot.

None of us have all the answers, but other people can help us get at least some more answers. But we need to allow them to challenge our current thinking and allow them to have some expectations for our growth. Their help is vital to growing in our own little worlds, but only we can allow them to help.

Never Stop Learning

That is all we have for today, and thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth. We wish you growth on your path of becoming better at accepting healthy expectations from others. If you enjoyed what you read then I would love for you to do a couple things for us.
  1. If you would like to help support this website by offsetting some of the costs of running it. There is a PayPal button below or in the right sidebar, depending on if you are viewing with mobile or by computer.
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Welcome! We are Travis and Casey Hagen, the writer’s and owner’s of My Life Experiment. As recovering Individuals, we are no strangers to leaving behind dysfunctional ways of living. Over the years we have become adept at managing our intense mental and emotional worlds. Finding healing from the past, peace in the present and new ways to bring about success for our futures. We promote Healthy Life Experimentation Principles for connecting with ourselves, our relationships, and finding healthier ways of bringing about success in our lives. Stick around and pick up what we have learned. You will not be disappointed.

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Emotional Spending: Stopping it and Other Wreckless Habits

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Emotional spending is a tricky subject. Which has a very similar flavor to other compulsive and reckless habits we may be acting on.

Today we are discussing the difficulty of stopping these entrenched and reckless behaviors like emotional spending. As well as seeking ideas for helping us move on from having these habitual nuisances a part of our lives.

Emotional Spending as Compulsion not Addiction.

With emotional spending I am not really talking about full on addiction. That is its own beast. Though compulsions of any sort are certainly fueled by an emotional driving force.

We at My Life Experiment are addicts in recovery. Our experiences both before and while in recovery have taught us a great deal about the power of triggered emotions. We understand the process that can ignite bodily impulses to act out in ways we don’t actually desire. Sometimes it can feel easier to spending money, eating too much, or stewing in self-pity.

When acting out emotionally, we generally are not eating because we are hungry. Not spending because we need the thing, nor overthinking something because we desire to. These behaviors are compulsive. Meaning that they are difficult or even feel impossible to control.

When it comes to compulsive spending, some days are easier than others.  But generally, when feeling stressed, it is easy to want to spend money on things that aren’t really needed.

In those times, the brain is looking for a fix. It will be a quick fix, and likely won’t be helpful, but the brain is doing its best.

Working Through the Problem.

When it comes to emotional spending, full on shopping addiction, or any other negative form of acting out. If we desire to stop it, then we already know that we have a problem, but we also need to admit that problem as well.

The decision then needs to be made to knock it off. Meaning a commitment to stop acting out on the problem is required. Then we can set up a plan of action to take back our lives in the area in which we feel out of control.

The difficulty of controlling the impulse to act out can be tremendous. There are times when I have refused the impulse to pull into a drive through window or buy something that wasn’t needed. I have also felt the temper tantrum erupt inside when not giving the impulse what it wants. If you can relate, then I empathize with you. I have come to realize that emotional acting out including emotional spending, is really about pain.

Thankfully I have been in recovery from addiction for years now. In this recovery time I have learned essential steps for stopping behavior, so I can get to the core of the emotional pain.

Stopping these compulsive behaviors has not necessarily been easy. But through our experiences with stopping harmful behaviors, I have realized how important preparation is for setting ourselves up for success.

DAILY AND LONG-TERM SUGGESTIONS FOR CONTROLLING SPENDING AND OTHER UNWANTED BEHAVIORS:

1. Get Grounded in the Moment.

Staying present in the moment is huge when it comes to stopping acting out. When we go on auto-pilot, we are more likely to act out in ways that we didn’t want to. There are many ways to ground ourselves in the present moment. We don’t need to bring a yoga mat wherever we go or keep a gratitude list handy at all times. All I really have to do is slow down, focus on taking some deep breathes, and recite a few things am grateful for. I swear it brings me back into the moment 90% of the time.

2. Remind Ourselves of Our Commitment to Change.

It is difficult to remember all of the decisions we have made about changing behaviors. But we maintain the strength of our decisions by following them up with daily reminders of the commitments we have made. If we have committed ourselves holding off from spending money on fast food for a month, we need to keep ourselves in the loop on this. If it is a deeply entrenched pattern, then we may need to remind ourselves several times a day.

3. Anticipate Possible Problem Areas

Give thought to what is coming up throughout the day. If we are seeking to spend less money, we need to spot areas where we might slip up. We, need to set ourselves up for success. If we feel the desire to go spend a bunch of money, then we can plan our days to avoid situations that will create added difficulty.

4. Avoid Testing Ourselves

Intentionally driving by a fast food restaurant just to have a smell, doesn’t seem like a good idea. Just like walking around the mall just to see what is new, just to browse. Dieticians might say don’t keep cookies in the house if you don’t want to end up eating them, it’s all the same principle. Quitting a behavior is difficult enough without added tests.

We don’t need to test ourselves unnecessarily. Enough temptations will show up in our lives as a matter of course. Being around too many temptations may weaken our resolve and we might be caught of guard as a result of our weakened resolve. So avoid unnecessary temptations but of course don’t avoid living life. There is a balance to be found in this area.

5. Maintain Emotional Support

Making changes in our lives can create great emotional discomfort. When stopping an entrenched behavior pattern, there will be pain that needs to be worked on. Dealing with these emotions requires support. Some of that support can come from ourselves, but don’t overlook the amazing benefits of the support received by trusting other people.

Some of us may be able to take care of these behaviors with the support of our friends and family. But please, if it seems that you need professional support in some way get some help. Especially if these behaviors are effecting you and your loved ones in ways that are harming your relationships.

6. Put rewards in place

Rewards are crazy important when it comes to staying vigilant with moving on from old behaviors. When us writers for My Life Experiment quit smoking, thinking about what we would do with the saved money was huge in keeping us motivated. The knowledge that we won’t be wasting that $75 a week that was spent something we didn’t want in the first place was highly motivating. On top of that we actually were able to think about where that money would towards building a better life. Through the hard times of stopping an entrenched behavior this promised reward was very much needed.

7. Do Your Research

There is a ton of practical information on the internet or in the library about how to stop unwanted behaviors. Study up and learn how to take back control.

8. Be Firm but Kind

Stopping behaviors that are entrenched is difficult work. But hear this. When we feel like acting out in ways we shouldn’t we may have emotional pain going on. That pain of course, does not make it okay to act out. The most loving and productive route we can take is to ask ourselves what is wrong, and then work on what my body has to tell me. That is where the good stuff is.

As I said before, it can be difficult, and sometimes very painful to refrain from acting out emotionally. But in the case of our financial lives and the rest of our lives, the benefits of controlling our behaviors far outweigh the difficulties. It may not always feel like it in the moment, but over time the benefits stack up.

That is all we have for today, and thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth. We wish you growth on your path of leaving behind emotional spending and other unwanted behaviors. If you enjoyed what you read then we would love for you to do a couple things for us.

1. If you would like to help support this website by offsetting some of the costs of running it. There is a PayPal button below or in the right sidebar, depending on if you are viewing with mobile or by computer.

2. Join our email list below, which will get you a copy of our Therapeutic Writing Guide, and have our new articles sent directly to your email.

3. Share this article on your social media.

4. Follow our Facebook page!

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Welcome! We are Travis and Casey Hagen, the writer’s and owner’s of My Life Experiment. As recovering Individuals, we are no strangers to leaving behind dysfunctional ways of living. Over the years we have become adept at managing our intense mental and emotional worlds. Finding healing from the past, peace in the present and new ways to bring about success for our futures. We promote Healthy Life Experimentation Principles for connecting with ourselves, our relationships, and finding healthier ways of bringing about success in our lives. Stick around and pick up what we have learned. You will not be disappointed.

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Changing Our Thoughts From Fearful to Self-loving.

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Being able to work through fearful thoughts and return to a self-loving state is a beautiful thing. All of us that are capable of rational and sane thought has the ability to find this natural state of self-love.

Being an individual that has lived a life of addiction, recovery has made it necessary to learn this process. Here is my list of practical self-loving tips to help me let go and stay in my love, even when times feel rough.

1. Remind Ourselves that Our Thoughts and Emotions are not necessarily Reality.

This can be a difficult thing to grasp (especially when emotions are on high alert). It is also a freeing reality once this is grasped. When emotions are running high it can be easy to feel like the thoughts that feel out of control ARE reality. Getting ourselves to realize that these are just thoughts from hurting emotions can take a lot of the fear away.

It seems to me that fear, whether it is fear of a real or imagined event, is simply our bodies way of trying to get us to protect itself. This is all well and good when there is an actual threat. But it is not so necessary when there is no immediate danger.

When we are protecting ourselves from imaginary threats, there is only one person we are protecting ourselves against. That person is ourselves. Sure there is self-love involved with protecting ourselves from real threats. But being stuck in fear distorts our connection with reality. And being disconnected from reality takes its mental and emotional toll. Our way back into reality is to find our way back into a self-loving state.

please_do_not_feed_the_fears.jpg

2. Sincerely Tell the Thought “I love you.”

I find it a little strange how effective it can be to tell my thoughts that I love them. Saying I love you, to anything, can help us put my guards down. It is no different when we say this to our thoughts, no matter how unsafe they seem to be making us feel.

Saying I love you to the thought helps to see through it so that we can get some healing for the fear-filled energy that is trying to be felt. Of course, simply telling a heavily fearful thought I love you will not pacify it enough to make everything feel okay. We will need to sincerely tell the though I love you, and back that up by allowing ourselves to be vulnerable to its energies.

If there are deeply held fear fueling the thought, we may need to take our sincerity deep enough to bring about tears.

3. Just Breathe and don’t actively think at all.

When feeling overwhelmed at times, even saying I love you to thoughts can start a cascade of thinking that may be tough to handle. In these times dropping our thinking as much as possible until our minds have a chance to clear is probably best.

Putting our attention on mindful breathing, and feeling the sensations in our bodies can bring deep relaxation. And relaxation in these times is likely what we need. As our minds relax, our bodies can relax, thus creating a calm, maybe even serene state to our entire beings.

Initially, it may not be easy to surrender our thoughts and impulses the moment. But if we stick with it, the calm will come.

4. Talk to Someone that is Trusted.

Even if you are a take care of your own emotions as much as possible person like myself, trusting others is still a necessity for coping with fearful thinking. Sometimes our go-to self-soothing methods won’t take us to our impulses to a place of healing. In this case, having trusted individuals we can chat with is indispensable.

We can use the trusted people in our lives to help us calm down. As well as for working through our fear, relating with our pain, and reminding us that we are loved. There is a healing energy that is offered up when we become vulnerable with people that deeply care for us. Trying to do this life thing all alone is a silly thing. Loving ourselves, our thoughts and our emotions is much easier when we let people love us.

Allowing others to help us is one of the most self-loving things we can do for ourselves.

5. Take a Small Step in Taking Care of an Errand.

Getting behind on the priorities we have is a big cause of emotional turmoil. Sometimes the list of things that need attention seems so daunting. It can be easy to get stuck in feeling like it all needs to be done right now. And equally as easy to get too hard on ourselves because we are falling behind.

A great start to remedy this is to start a small to-do list. Simple enough right? The list doesn’t have to be complicated, simply list a few things that aren’t getting done, and commit to doing them.

Fear is a sign-post that will let us know that we need to get our butts in gear. It shows us that the proper preparations are not being made to have the type of life that we desire to live. Taking care of something that needs our attention may very well take the fear away.

Staying on top of our priorities is a highly self-loving thing to do.

Closing Thoughts.

Fear to Self-Loving

These are the habits I have developed to stay grounded in my love. Developing them so that I can be my best possible self. It helps keep me in my right mind and helps me in touch with my emotions.

Integrating these tips into our lives even when light fear is present, or when there isn’t fear at all makes it easier to practice when times are tough.

My hope is that this list can help you find self-loving results similar to the those that I have received in my life.

 

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Welcome! We are Travis and Casey Hagen, the writer’s and owner’s of My Life Experiment. As recovering Individuals, we are no strangers to leaving behind dysfunctional ways of living. Over the years we have become adept at managing our intense mental and emotional worlds. Finding healing from the past, peace in the present and new ways to bring about success for our futures. We promote Healthy Life Experimentation Principles for connecting with ourselves, our relationships, and finding healthier ways of bringing about success in our lives. Stick around and pick up what we have learned. You will not be disappointed.

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Importance of Breathing Well in Staying on Track!

Good morning “My Life Experiment followers and newbies! You may or may not know that over the last five days I have been partaking an experiment I have dubbed “The Gratitude Intention.” I have been having some great realizations and have been putting together a list of tips on how to maintain a successful gratitude building routine, which I will write about in greater detail in the experiments conclusion article. One aspect in particular is what I want to touch on more deeply this morning!

There has been a constant aspect that has played one of the most important roles in keeping me able to be in a state of gratitude. That is my staying on top of breathing! It might seem a little obvious to some for me to say that breathing is important, but I believe it can be overlooked far too often.

I believe that because of the situations I put my body in for years while experimenting in dangerous ways, that my body tends to easily go into Fight or Flight mode when I am not paying attention to my surroundings. My understanding is that when in Fight or Flight, the body begins to shut down or slow down certain bodily functions so that it is better prepared for the danger it senses. That is whether the threat is real or imagined! So if a thought comes through my head about some “insulting” thing someone said earlier, my brain might take that as a threat to myself in the moment and begin to tense up to get ready to fight or get the hell out of here.

just breathe

There is no staying grateful when stuck in Fight or Flight mode. And it seems the only way to slide myself back into gratitude is to do some breathing to get relaxed. Then I can remind myself that I am safe by thinking about all the things there are to be grateful for. In my constantly changing world and the rough life I lived before recovery, my brain can sense all sorts of threats that have nothing to do with reality! Thankfully I have learned a technique to keep myself on track! None of this is possible if I fail to remind myself to breathe.

Right track

I am truly grateful for this routine and how much the refining of it has taught me about staying in reality and staying grateful. My routine yesterday went very well, all of the different aspects of it were accomplished, but were not necessarily accomplished in there “correct” order. With that I am entirely okay. I spent much of my day paying attention to my breathing and saying I love you to the things that popped in my mind that I appreciate!

I am already on day five and that is pretty awesome! I am excited to go into my day today thinking about how important breathing is to my gratitude routine and basically everything I do. Hopefully I have sparked a it’s importance in your head as well! Well on to my day of living life and building gratitude. I wish you the best and most grateful day you can imagine! I will be back tomorrow to touch on what I notice today, so stay tuned!

 

 

Bibliography:

https://psychcentral.com/lib/fight-flight-or-breathing-right-the-choice-is-yours/

 

“The Gratitude Intention”, Going Strong on Day four!

Good morning folks! Welcome to the fourth day of my gratitude invoking experiment. For those that have been following my journey, welcome back! For those that just found “My Life Experiment” today, I am happy you stopped in! To get up to speed on what this experiment consists of please check out “Stay Woke with the Gratitude Intention.” There are also days one through three to read up on to get the full picture of what has happened during “The Gratitude Intention” so far!

Alright, time to get into how day four went down. In a lot of ways the day four was very similar to the past days I have written about. Though I find it important to write about it and read about it, even though they may look similar there are a lot of little details that are different. I find it important to notice these little details, because sometimes just the slightest detail can bring to light an aspect of the process that is of great importance.

I woke up pretty early on this chilly North Dakota Saturday, but i also had a recovery meeting to attend early this morning. I didn’t get a chance to write my gratitude list of ten things, I got 4 done in kind of a rushed way and I was cool with that. I can have a tendency to follow my routines a little too strictly and be too hard on myself when i don’t follow them “to the T”. But thankfully I have learned that it really doesn’t solve anything to beat myself up over “missing the mark.”. It’s like the dieter that eats a meal that they shouldn’t have (been there). What is best, to badger myself with guilt, or just move on and set my sights on getting back on track? I prefer the second option by a landslide!

stay flexible

My afternoon was geared toward appreciating the things around me. When I was driving around I turned off the music and was very mindful about how great my life is. I was breathing deeply, I was easily letting go of any stress inducing thoughts that arose. Moments like this are truly awesome, no fear, just freedom. I didn’t really find it necessary to stop fully and meditate on the things I was grateful for, since I was already feeling plenty of gratitude. But I did anyway, because that is what I set out to do in the experiment. I realize that even though I am only writing about this experiment short term (I think its temporarily anyway), that if the gratitude routine is beneficial, then I will be continuing it indefinitely. And if I am going to continue it then i better “weld” these steps into my brain so they become habitual!

My night at work went about the same way. Although my focus was more on taking care of the needs of my client than focusing on gratitude. Although when my client went to sleep I did take the opportunity to finish writing up the gratitude list I couldn’t finish earlier. It felt great to finish writing that, it led the way for some emotion to arise, and that is most definitely something I appreciate. Then I went home after work, cleaned out the litter boxes, chatted with my wife for bit, then went to bed. I was able to have a couple of minutes to meditate on the beauty of the day, but before I knew it I was waking up to the alarm.

Once again, thank you for checking out “My Life Experiment!” I appreciate all of you and my hope is for you to have a wonderful day that is full of awareness for the things to be grateful for. We are now over halfway through “The Gratitude Intention,” so my mind is busy thinking of the next experiment to begin. I don’t know what this experiment is yet but I do know it is going to offer me the opportunity to create important changes in my life. If you are interested in what my next life experiment will be please follow “My Life Experiment” and stay in touch!

 

Things to remember:

  • Everyday is different, and routines need flexibility.
  • Its never too late to get back on track.
  • I am trying to create a long-term habit here.