Bridging the gap between expectation and reality

Bridging the gap between expectation and reality
Photo by Andreas Kind on Unsplash

Are you ready to do the inner work?

Lately, I've been thinking about the inner struggle we experience when our expectations don't match our reality. Not facing our reality has damaging effects because it can keep us from our full potential. If we don't spend time reflecting on how we got here and what we need to do to close the gap, we can waste a lot of time imprisoned by our thoughts.

A few years ago, I had convinced myself that I was at a senior level as a designer just because I had spent a certain number of years as a designer, so I felt entitled to it. I had sold myself this story, and my ego ran with it. I had not proven to myself or others that I could be a senior designer through my work or actions. The mistaken belief I carried around created a lot of inner turmoil because I expected things to happen for me; the world owed me. The internal struggle showed up as worry, doubt, fear, and anger within me. Outwardly I blamed the world for the pain I was feeling within me. It was always someone else's fault. Why couldn't people see the image I had created of myself? It was a dark place.

When our expectations don't match our reality, it causes a disconnect within ourselves, resulting in us denying reality and facing how we are, it becomes our comfort zone, and we become indifferent to it. Instead of facing the gap, we become hardened and deal with our situation by complaining and blaming others for our predicament; it's anyone else's fault but ours. We truly believe we are living our reality because we don't know any better.

How can we get out of the story to face our reality?

The first step we must take is becoming aware of our situation. If we never realize that our reality does not match the image we have created of ourselves, we will stay trapped within. By understanding and reflecting on the existing gap, we can set the foundation for the change that needs to take place to get us to where we want to be. We can ask for feedback on how people see us and how that information matches what we believe about ourselves. A question you can use for reflection is, "What awareness do I have around this issue?"

The second step is to accept our current state without resistance. We need to realize and accept the events that have led up to the situation we are experiencing. Instead of blaming the world for not seeing what we believe to be accurate, we welcome the change that needs to happen to align our minds with our reality. A question you can use for reflection at this stage is, "What is the situation I am in telling me about myself?"

The third step is to take action. Once we are aware of our current state and accept the gap between our image of ourselves and our reality, we can plan to do the work needed to bridge the gap and align our mind and heart with our reality. The action we take will give us the confidence and momentum we need to keep narrowing the gap. A question you can use for reflection at this stage is, "What is a small step I can take to bridge the gap?"

By doing the inner work of awareness, acceptance, and action, we can break out of the story and bridge the gap between our expectations and reality. We can take charge of our lives. We can become who we want to be, and we can do this by breaking free from the story that is playing in our minds constantly and taking action toward the future we want and deserve.

Sometimes we identify deeply with a story in our mind that we cannot get out of no matter how hard we try because of some inner belief blocking our way; this is where a coach can be a lifesaver. A coach can help you manage your internal struggles and provide a voice of reason and a path out of the story that captivates you. A coach can help you move forward to align with your reality and help you close the gap so you begin to live your truth and move forward in life with the confidence you need to achieve your full potential.

As always, I am here to help you overcome your inner challenges. Reach out if you need help.

Till next time, stay strong!