Expectations – Another Step in Developing Coping Skills

As mentioned in the previous article on Attitude, stress affects every part of our life. We can’t avoid it, so we want to learn to cope with it in a healthy, productive way. This is essential for our wellbeing.  We all can learn the skills it takes to cope with stress.  In this article we’ll focus on just one – managing expectations. 

In John C. Maxwell’s article It Only Takes 6 Steps to Change Your Life, he states “hope is the foundational principle for all change. People change because they have hope, and if people do not have hope, they will not change.”  Steps 2 and 3 in his article relate to expectations.  According to Maxwell, when you change your beliefs, you change your expectations.  If you can change your expectations, you can change your attitude.  

When our expectations aren’t met, we can become depressed, angry, or frustrated, which just makes us more stressed.  We feel let down and lose hope. When we lose hope, we have more difficulty coping with the stress in our lives.  If you evaluate why your expectations weren’t met in a situation, you can determine if your expectations were realistic, too high or too low.

Our expectations are often based on our perceptions of situations, rather than reality.  How and why are you perceiving the situation the way you are? What influences in your life are affecting your perception toward the situation? Is there another way to view the situation? Is there another way to meet your expectations or can you change your expectations?

We need hope to overcome the negative stress in our lives. And with hope we can have a joy filled life, regardless of the stressful circumstances happening around us.

If you would like help in managing your stress and to learn more about the steps to take to improve your coping skills, please call our office and schedule an appointment with one of our counselors.