Yesterday, I wrote about not putting others in a box. And, as this is useful and a good way to improve relationships, it is only one half of the medal. It is equally important that you don’t put yourself in a box, too.
How could you end up in a box? And I am not speaking about a physical box =). Rather, I speak about the metaphorical box we build with expectations. One way is that others put yourself into a box. Sometimes, it is hard to tell. Especially, as we are often not good at voicing our expectations towards others. In case you wonder, if someone put you into a specific box (has certain expectations of you), it might be possible to ask this person. However, keep in mind that a) they might not tell you their true expectations and how they see you, because they are negative, and they don’t want to jeopardize the relationship and b) they will tell you negative things that you have to deal with.
Just keep in mind that what you hear is a subjective opinion and should be seen with caution. Moreover, keep in mind it is better to be a mirror and not a sponge. Nevertheless, if you are able to talk about this, it can help the other person to see you in a different light. If you know the expectations someone has of you and, in the same time, the other person is aware of those expectations, it is easier to break free from that box. We all are way too complex to be labeled without getting the chance to show we are multifaceted.
The other way you can end up in a box is that you put yourself there. What are the things you tell yourself? I cannot cook? I am not good in this and that? I will never…? Those are expectations you put on yourself. In yesterday’s article, I wrote that we are very good at meeting the expectations of others. Here I want to add that we will also meet the expectations we have of ourselves. A good start to get out of those boxes might be to sit down and write down a list of the expectations you have towards yourself. What are your beliefs about you? Don’t limit yourself only to negative ones. It can be very powerful to see what the “good” expectations of yourself are and how well you are already doing in those areas. We create our own world. Good or bad. If you are able to reframe some of those beliefs, untapped energy might be released.
Have a wonderful day and take care!