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How to Make a Better You – Set Realistic Expectations

by Nina Sabin - Healthy Tip

How often do you get frustrated with yourself or others because you don’t measure up to the expectations you have set? More often than not we set unrealistic expectations for ourselves and others. To start out you need to know no one is perfect. The only perfect person was Jesus Christ and that is because he is the Son of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21 - He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.) You need to know as long as you are doing your best than that is all that can be expected.

How do we set realistic expectations for ourselves and others?

1) Give yourself a break – if something isn’t working out as you expected, leave the situation for a while. You will find when you come back to the problem with fresh eyes things will become clearer. (Exodus 14:14 - The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.)

2) Be empathetic – when you think someone isn’t meeting your expectation, look at it from their perspective - maybe they were too busy to call back or forgot. (Ephesians 4:32 - Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.)

If they did forget, give them grace and mercy. God does this all the time for us as we often repeat sins we know we shouldn’t do but have a hard time resisting the temptation. In Healthy Tip – Let the Past Be in the Past – Learn to Forgive, I explain the difference between grace and mercy. Grace is the free and unmerited favor of God. Mercy is compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone. God has shown both to us shouldn’t we do the same? (Luke 6:36 - Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. …John 1:16 - Out of the fullness of his grace he has blessed us all, giving us one blessing after another.)

3) Try your best – that is all anyone can ask for. We tend to be our worst critic and enemy. So don’t be so hard on yourself. “Do your best and let God do the rest.” (Colossians 3:23-24)

4) Nothing happens by chance – God is in charge of our lives. We make it harder for ourselves by trying to control things that is out of our control. The truth is we really don’t have any control – we just think we do. When we do things our way we are saying to God; we think we can do a better job. (Colossians 1:17 - And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.)

5) Say to yourself daily – I will do my best and God is in control.

The next time you think you have set unrealistic expectations, think about how it affects your mind, body, and spirit.

It affects your mind because you are constantly thinking “I am not good enough, I can’t do it, I can’t believe it didn’t work out as I planned, I must be stupid”. They are all lies; don’t listen or believe them.

It affects your body because so often what we think causes physical symptoms like depression, high blood pressure, stomach issues like ulcers, and even can lead to heart attacks.

It affects our spirit, as if we focus on how we didn’t measure up, we can’t see the goodness God has created in all of us. He has made each of us uniquely and wonderfully made. Ask God to show you your talents and gifts. The more you pray to Him, read the Bible, and apply His word to your life: the more you will live in the Spirit and learn how amazing your life can be…without the frustrations we cause ourselves. (Ephesians 2:10 - For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.)

Remember to “Make a Better You” by setting realistic expectations by relying on God and doing your best.  Don't forget to leave a post on Health Chat with Nina


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