Expectation – the Lead Balloon affecting the True Me

Recently I became aware of what felt like a lead balloon dropping onto my lap. It was the heavy weight of expectation. This is an expectation that I am responsible for, as it is what I have put upon myself. Once I began to feel the weight of this lead balloon, that weight that had often been there suddenly became very intense. Let me explain some of the expectations I’ve put on myself…

“I think I should be perfect.” This crazy concept spreads across all areas of my life.

I think I should be amazing at my job – even when starting a new part-time job. I think I should be able to step in and know it all and be the best. I’m scared that if I don’t, my employers will think I’m no good and that they made a mistake in hiring me.

Likewise, I think that the company I run should be successful and if it’s not, I’m then a failure. I think within my own company I should be incredibly amazing and again know it all, even though I’ve never actually owned my own company before.

“I think my child should be perfect, I should be in a great relationship, should own my own home and a nice car, I should be an outstanding cook, my body should be perfect, the house orderly at all times, even that this blog should be perfectly written first go!“ I could go on, but my point is that it literally covers all areas of my daily life.

I have previously spent a lot of time thinking myself not ‘good enough’ or not complete until I achieve these things. I have pinned my self-worth to how successful I am and I have been identified with achievement. Simply being me has not been enough – I have had this pressure on myself to be perfect.

The result: I have been living with a ridiculous amount of nervous tension in my body. It is exactly that – a tension in my body. My body feels stiff as if I am constantly on edge. The term ‘highly strung’ is very fitting. To let go, even in the slightest, is like someone (myself) has released the tightly stretched rubber band.

When recently sharing with women at a Sacred Movement group about how we are as women, someone said the word ‘expectation’ and it hit a nerve. Last week I realise I had no awareness of any of this and then suddenly, I did – and I noticed the lead balloon dropped in.

Now that I can consciously feel the nervous tension, it is at times almost overwhelming and so unbelievably uncomfortable. But I also realise now that even though last week I had no awareness of this, I still felt it regardless. I have been living constantly with this tension and this tension has been my ‘normal’. Whilst feeling this is uncomfortable, there is also a relief in it, because before, it was as if it was choking me yet I had no idea, and yet now the grip has loosened and I am aware. The awareness of it all is liberating!

I am now acutely aware of how nervous I often am around people, at work, when cooking, with parenting etc., and although this is uncomfortable, the feeling of it allows me to make changes and new choices in response to different situations. I can now move beyond a constant nervous tension that has been with me for years.

So the lead balloon that has often landed and been sitting on my lap has been intense. But in hindsight, so has living with such a huge expectation of myself and constant nervous tension. Now that I am aware of it, I can no longer avoid what I have always felt. It doesn’t feel the intensity of the feeling has increased, only that I now am more aware of the intensity. And whilst having a lead balloon on my lap isn’t often pleasant, I now know it is there and that I’m the one who put it there!

I feel freer in knowing and understanding that these were my choices and that I can now make different ones. I can let go of more of the unnecessary expectation I put upon myself. I can be me, exactly as I am. Sometimes I forget to wash the greens when making soup, sometimes I leave the garage light on, sometimes I make mistakes… perhaps I won’t own my own home, or have a nicer car or any other external factor… and yet it doesn’t change who I am.

This expectation has been running me for a long time and strangely enough, becoming aware of the weight of the lead balloon of expectation has brought a sense of lightness and allowed me to feel more of the True Me!

Inspired by Curtis Benhayon and the work of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine.

By Nikki McKee, Goonellabah, NSW

Further Reading:
Whoops Is One of My Favourite Words – A Message From The Author
From Self-development to Unfolding into my True Self – Inspired by Serge Benhayon
Imperfect
Having Expectations

835 thoughts on “Expectation – the Lead Balloon affecting the True Me

  1. It is brilliant to become aware of the levels anxiousness we are living in and how this is bound up with holding expectations about the way things should be. What a misuse of that pure divine energy that pours ceaselessly through us. Thank you for this honest and revealing blog Nikki.

  2. I really appreciate the way you have shared the joy of being aware of how expectation impacts your life. This supports me to allow myself to feel how the weight of expectation has weighed me down. It also inspires me to change my ways and accept myself as I am.

  3. It is lovely to feel the space that is created when we let go of all this weight of expectations we place on ourselves and accept more of we are and just surrender to the beauty of what is in life, in this way we constellate so much more than what we ever dreamt of.

  4. I have found the more I appreciate and confirm my own qualities of who I am the easier it has been to let go of the identification and images I have had of myself for so long creating more space to express who I truly am to the world.

  5. I so know expectation! In fact I would say it has been a ‘good’ friend most of my life, always setting myself up to fail with unrealistic expectations. I am learning to be less harsh and instead choose a deepening appreciation of myself and life.

  6. What you write here invites me to ponder on my expectations About myself. I feel that i was letting go of many but there are some deep ingrained ones as the one you describe Nikki, that i am hard on myself if i do things ‘wrong’. Even there is not something as doing wrong: we Just all learn Every moment and it Just Can be hurtful to ourselves as we repeat not loving patterns.

  7. It is so much better to feel the anxiety and nervous tension that we have rather than pretend that we are fine. It is the denial of what is going on within us that causes the real harm. Once we admit what is occurring we can actually do something about it.

    1. True, I wasn’t even aware of my anxiety at first as I had hidden it under nervous tension, only by feeling them can we choose differently.

  8. It’s true isn’t it… Expectations like having a picture or an image up in front of us like a heads up display in a helicopter… And we can tend to guide our whole lives in the direction of these images… Losing that sense of connecting to what is truly happening. It is much more preferable to connect to our inner awareness so that we are guided by what is truly there to be felt, rather than the expectation

  9. It’s great to come back and revisit this blog Nikki – says and offers a lot in what keeps us back from surrendering to our bodies and the blocks we put in the way of living every moment in a quality that is true to the body.

  10. The expectations in life are bountiful, and yet do they truly serve any worthwhile purpose? Or do they serve to create continual disappointments both in ourselves and our loved ones.

  11. Thanks Nikki your honesty with yourself is deeply inspiring and I had to look at all the areas in my life where I am so self critical. Accepting who we are without comparison, judgement or jealousy creeping in is huge in our overall well-being.

  12. I can relate to what you share Nikki that ‘Simply being me has not been enough – I have had this pressure on myself to be perfect’. Constantly chasing and striving for perfection always leaves us in the shadows and one step behind shining the grace of our natural and full light.

  13. Expectation is a real killjoy isn’t it? Your honesty is refreshing Nikki. I agree “The awareness of it all is liberating!” Awareness gives us the freedom to start undoing the false beliefs, ideals we can take on.

  14. Expectation is a killer and really does drag us down. It means that until we get a certain picture fulfilled we will never be happy or satisfied. But the picture can never be re-created perfectly so there will always be a sense of disappointment. But what if everything happens for a reason and we let go of expectations? What would we be be greeted with? Would we then not see each moment in the beauty that it is unfolding before our very eyes? It also takes a lot of pressure off as well. I know for me the difference is massive and what I end up with is far greater than I could ever have imagined.

  15. When we live with constant nervous tension, it becomes a norm that we are not particularly aware of. Of course we can feel it but because it is constant and without any let up we start to see it as simply who we are. I was in this state for most of my life, then one day I tried the gentle breath meditation and in just a few minutes all the tension simply disappeared to be replaced with a yumminess in my body. This led to regular use of the gentle breath and gradually a mastery over the tension http://www.unimedliving.com/meditation/free

  16. Nikki, thank you, this blog is perfect to read today as I can feel how I am giving myself a hard time about not getting everything right, so expectations for sure and a lot of pressure on me and of course in that I find it difficult to be myself. I love how you present the understanding to feel how we are with all this and know we’ve chosen to be this way and we can choose a different way – this is one for me to play with and I can feel this approach introduces a lightness into seeing and understanding where we do get caught in perfection.

  17. We can be our own harshest critic and spend a lot of time and energy berating and condemning ourselves for not being up to scratch… Whereas all we really need to be is honest with ourselves – about where we know we’re holding back or choosing something that is not true for us and with that awareness make a different choice going forwards…

  18. It is extraordinary isn’t it that we can generate so much tension, so much anxiety, that has devastating often deadly impact upon us… And that if we simply choose to return back to experiencing and feeling what is within our own bodies, we find ourselves being able to make choices, and to start to let go of, these momentums that have been running us into the ground… And that’s not a metaphor!

  19. Yes Nikki I too know how the constant drive for perfection and the huge expectation we put on ourselves can takes us away from our natural way of being and into a momentum that keeps us locked into a configuration of movements that negates us feeling the lightness of our bodies. I love that we are imperfectly perfect and how much learning and awareness can expand our ways of living everyday.

  20. Expectations configure our movements in a way that is far from the truth of who we are, it is only a matter of time before our bodies need a correction as a result of the unnecessary stress/tension that is inflicted from the false belief we have placed on ourselves.

  21. I love how we can re-configure our bodies and our movements from moving from how I think to how I feel. Very cool indeed thank you Nikki.

  22. Very timely read for me. My work contract changed recently and I became a contractor instead of an employee, and there’s no project or assignment guaranteed. Not knowing when I am going to get paid next makes me feel anxious, but I am welcoming this opportunity to try out my new approach – that is to take deep care of myself to make sure that ‘I’ am ready whatever comes next, instead of rushing out on a mad job hunting spree.

  23. The weight of being perfect and allowing the expectations of many of the things you have mentioned Nikki is a global epidemic which creates the energy of ‘being driven’ and never feeling ‘good enough’. There feels to be a picture out in the population that has encouraged things like home ownership, cars, job status and monetary position as markers of being successful. All these things are a huge weight to carry around and get in the way of Humanity interacting lovingly from a foundation of equality. It feels amazing once this is recognised and let go of and we can all bring the truth of who we are to each other

    1. Thank you for sharing the big picture here Christine. A reminder that the way we are with ourselves has a huge impact on others also.

  24. My whole body feels lighter just reading this blog Nikki. I have read it a few times and can honestly say it has supported me to be far more aware of the expectations I have on myself and how damaging this is.

  25. Expectation crushes any curiosity and the naturalness in learning as we always have a goal in front of us that we need to reach. There is then no space to unfold and simply be.

  26. The expectations we can put on ourselves are enormous and I can really relate to the lead ballon on my lap when i allow this to happen . The simplicity joy and expansion from letting go is amazing and allows space and being-ness to unfold lovingly thank you for a very supportive sharing.

  27. Nikki – thank you for showing us that we are the only ones that can put expectations on ourselves (allow them). And so , all that is on our way we feel as burden , we should look at and choose to deal with ourselves, no one can do that for us. That has never helped. This is why we are out of salvations and now have to truly choose to change – on our own , but with support of All there is (Heaven, Humanity, Hierarchy ).

  28. Lack of self-worth is a killer. It is like trying to race ahead constantly in life to avoid this emotion to catch up with us. The stories that we tell to ourselves to keep going in such path are just ridiculous. But they are very powerful till they only remain within us.

  29. Expectations is nasty business and every single one of us can relate to this, I’m certain. Great sharing to expose expectations and how they rule and ‘destroy’ our quality of life. Becoming aware of our expectations and the ‘lead balloon’ affect of them, is the opening to not be controlled by expectations but making it about our connection with our self, we are worth it, and whats there to be found is so much more…it makes expectations look ridiculous. A work in progress!

  30. Thank you Nikki for exposing the insidious energy of perfection and expectations, when I fall for there trappings my life no longer is fun or light hearted it becomes heavy and serious. Expectations and perfectionism need to be seen for what they are – evil imposters.

    1. Even setting goals and achievements I feel need to be discussed, for if they come with an undertone of expectation or perfectionism then it’s setting us up for tension and anxiety and a hardened life.

  31. Thank you Nikki for sharing this it just made me look at how much expectations I put on myself. I can relate to what you are sharing “I have been living with a ridiculous amount of nervous tension in my body. It is exactly that – a tension in my body. My body feels stiff as if I am constantly on edge.” I have really noticed this in my arms, which are stiff due to holding on, my other parts of the body has loosened up, but I can feel the tightness and hardness in my arms and elbows, something I am now working on to loosen up.

  32. Love these comments at the end – there is no perfection, there will always be mistakes, but the thing we can always come back to… that requires no effort or trying is just to be ourselves. It’s both a worthwhile focus of our attention, as well as the true gold over and above any other expectation.

  33. I hope that I can get to the point of feeling this lightness, I really relate to the lead balloon but I am still in the phase of feeling how heavy it is, this blog is very inspiring and helpful. Thanks Nicki for sharing your experience.

  34. Living up to our own expectations always invites tension as we constantly move the goalposts.
    “Simply being me has not been enough” This comment resonated with me as I didn’t know who I was until I became a student of The Way of The Livingness and I am gradually appreciating that I am so much more than I had ever realised.

  35. Expectations are exhausting especially if we live with them in every moment, but learning to trust whatever unfolds in any given situation is so very liberating. I can so relate to the letting go of the “lead balloon” and how that brought “a sense of lightness and allowed me to feel more of the True Me!”; feeling more of ‘me’ is definitely one wonderful bonus!

  36. Heavens the weight of expectation, yes, I am way too familiar with that. I have my own expectations and I have the expectations of others that I buy into hook line and sinker. Being aware of them means we have a choice to do something about it. Thank you for the reminder.

  37. One of the things I’ve noticed is expectations of how I feel life needs to be, or people need to be for me to cope, when in fact projecting into the future like that confirms an illusion and lack of self confidence. So I’m learning to accept life exactly as it is and come back to the truth of myself and my ability to stay with me and meet what comes my way. My expectations were of moulding life so I could cope, but it’s all illusion, what’s coming toward me will actually support me, especially if I make it about evolution and knowing I am a Son of God.

  38. We put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect, the expectation of perfection is unobtainable and we end up chasing an ideal. When we appreciate ourselves we know that when we make mistakes we learn from them, and it gives us an opportunity to make different choices.

  39. “expectation’ seems to be a theme for me this morning in the blogs I am reading. I love the awareness it is bringing me to all that energy and pressure I place on controlling outcomes and meeting expectations. i know for a fact that living this way has and is detrimental to my health, and I have all the diagnosis to prove it. It’s slowly changing however, the landscape of how life looks or rather how I have expected it too look is becoming slightly less visible….because it’s changing all the time, and I don’t have a crystal ball…so the only thing I can do, is live each day as it comes and practice enjoying that without thinking too far ahead…or in other words, without setting myself up for failure and disappointment.

  40. Nikki, thank you for writing this, I recognise it very much, how much pressure I put myself under to be perfect and yet I can feel that this is actually a very clever trick to not be all I am, nothing needed, so I will play with catching my perfection and be light with myself as I do, thank you.

  41. Letting go of expectations creates space for us to appreciate and accept more of who we truly are, it is a simple process, however, sometimes it might feel like a challenge as such pattern is so ingrained in our bodies that it is like a default program to live in the nervous energy. It is through our commitment and consistency to live the love that we are that we can liberate ourselves back to the simplicity and beauty of our soul.

  42. Thank you Nikki for sharing this, I have recently become more aware of the tension I hold in my body and rather than believe that I have failed (which creates more tension!) reading this I feel a sense of appreciation for this awareness, I hold this tension, I can let it go.

  43. I have that too, thinking I should know it all when it comes to a new task and get very frustrated when I don’t know! Maybe this is a twisted concept, because in truth, we are all knowing by virtue of being alive and part of the Universe. But, there is still a temporal reality we live in and tasks need to be learnt.

  44. It is extraordinary the amount of tension people can live with after taking on the expectations of either society or those self imposed expectations as to what is required of them. It is a sad fact that we are not brought up to know and believe that we are simply enough just as we are, for we then spend our life striving to be more when there is absolutely no need. We are enough and only require connecting to that.

  45. And also the expectations we have on others, which if we have expectations of ourselves we are sure to then have expectations of others. While reading this blog what came to me was the education system where expectations of children and young people are really high and this is mainly so the stats look good … it has nothing to do with the actual people and how they truly are! We have a lot to learn and change here with regards to expectations.

  46. It is great what you are sharing Nikki and so true what you say that to now feel this tension consciously gives you a choice to deal with it and to change the way you have lived which is very relatable. It asks us to be present in our bodies and to be truly honest and make ‘new’ choices.

  47. Yes this lead balloon is exhausting and weighs us down. It also sits on our shoulders and put pressure on our chest, in fact it is all over and not just on our lap and we throw it at other people as well. It is great to be aware that it is not who we are, does not serve other than to weigh us down and hold us back (which is a choice we make at times) and when we are ready we can simply put it down and leave it behind.

  48. Letting go of expectations has totally changed my life. Not that i have let go of all expectations, but i am seeing how even tiny pictures of how i think things should be influence my experience of life.
    Why do I have expectations of what will happen? It makes no sense. Is it because i feel a need to control life? But i have very little control of what happens outside of me. When i was a child I was good at just taking things as they come. So what happened when i grew up? I feel at some point i became afraid of life. Is that because as i grew up i started to have expectations?

  49. Thank you for this blog Nikki. I agree when we become aware of expectations placed on ourselves, it already makes us feel lighter. In that knowing, there is then the potential to make a change.

  50. One expectation I used to have around work was that I should know it all and be able to do it all. Since I have dropped that one, I am finding the pleasure of collaborating with others and how simple it is to ask for help and how readily it is offered.

  51. It’s amazing how liberating it is to become aware of something that has had a stranglehold over us for so long. Simply in the seeing of it and being honest about it being there, half or more of the healing is done. The rest follows suits with commitment and willingness to let it go and evolve.

  52. We all have loads of expectations of how the world should be, and often wear them like a badge of honour in our daily life, just waiting to present them when our expectations aren’t met. The presentations can be emotional, demanding and fierce, all because of a ‘seemingly true” but potentially completely made up expectation.

  53. It was so timely to return to this blog today as I have felt the “lead balloon” hovering over me for a while as I look for a new job. The expectations I have placed on myself have on occasion been threatening to burst forth from this balloon but as soon as I start to feel the heaviness I remind myself to let go of the expectations and open myself up to what could be possible instead; a real ‘phew’ moment!

  54. When we recognise something, such as that we’ve been living with a huge lead balloon of expectations in our laps that has been weighing us down in our job, home and all aspects of life, we’re offered an immediate choice to start clearing that pattern or continue with it. The trick is though that stressing about the issue, getting overwhelmed and recoiling in reaction to what we’ve recognised actually DEEPENS the issue and adds to the web of that lie/pattern.

  55. There is much joy available in every moment of every day and having expectations saps every last drop of joy out of our days. When we are with the expectation of expectations we are unable to live experiencing that life does flow from one moment to the next and that there is magic in even the most tiniest of moments. We miss out on the wonder that all life and all our interactions are here to support every single one of us to evolve.

    1. Yes that is so true, we miss out on magic because the expectation clearly has a picture that we are trying to get to and complete, yet contains no space for the magic and the learning that might be presented to us along the way.

  56. Having a lead balloon of expectation is a good way to describe these patterns we find that are weighing us down. Recently I have been choosing not to go into anxiousness and as a result I am feeling the anxiousness even in it’s slightest moments, and discovering that it’s pretty much been there my whole life. But at least it no longer feels like it is too big to handle.

  57. Thank you for writing this Nikki. The expectations we place on ourselves really do weigh us down and I know that choosing expectation does not support me or anyone else. It makes sense to stop choosing expectations.

  58. A beautiful sharing Nikki on the anxiety we can feel with any expectations we can place on ourselves, learning to let go of all these pictures we hold with ourselves is key to deepening the relationship with ourselves and allows for us to feel the simplicity and flow that is naturally always there waiting for us to choose.

  59. An inspiring and beautiful sharing Nikki. As you have so clearly and simply pointed out perfectionism is such a debilitating ‘lead balloon’. Wonderful that you have taken responsibility to ‘pop’ the balloon.

  60. The heavy weight of the expectations we place on ourselves can be overwhelming and I have laboured under most of the ones you mention for many years with all the resulting nervous tension and exhaustion this causes. Letting go of perfectionism and unrealistic expectations is a work in progress but for me one of the many benefits is feeling far more connected to other people because my expectations of myself meant I didn’t want to admit to not being able to do things etc whereas now I am more open to working collaboratively and I am presented with amazing opportunities to deepen my relationships and appreciate what I can offer to others.

  61. Having pictures and expectations of how life – and ourselves – could or should be is a killer. ” I can let go of more of the unnecessary expectation I put upon myself. I can be me, exactly as I am” beautiful.

  62. Once we become aware of how much an issue affects us we can choose to do something about it. Just realising this – and nominating it to ourselves or another starts the healing process.

  63. That lead balloon of expectation is the very thing that stops us from being our full and fabulous selves. While we are busy trying to fit the straight jacket of perfection, out real creativity and unique talents stay suppressed.

  64. I don’t want to relate to this, but I can! I like to think I don’t care what people think, but it’s such a lie. I’m constantly setting an imaginary bar that has me trying to prove my self worth. The expectations I set myself are a perfect set up to stop me from appreciating the simplicity of who I am.

  65. Where does the idea of ‘perfection’ even come from? When we say we want something to be perfect, what are we actually saying? What do we want it to be? To me, it’s about self-satisfaction because everyone will have a different idea of what ‘perfect’ is depending on what they want for themselves.

  66. Brilliant blog Nikki. What I love is that this is a reminder of the great importance of understanding our patterns of behaviour and not simply trying to fix or change them because we see them as bad or wrong. When we judge our behaviours as such we are also identified by them as being who we are and this is the whole problem in the first place. As we connect to a deeper aspect of who we truly are and start to bring it out as we see ourselves as more of this grandness we will naturally let go of that which is not who we are.

  67. This unachievable highly set expectation sounds very much like perfectionism. A disease that is not recognised as a disease but ought to be as it deeply impacts our quality of well being and life in general

  68. Thank you Nikki – a powerful watch of what expectations do and how much we have it in our hands of how we respond or react to what is coming to you. To stay still and steady with yourself no matter what. The greatest disturbers that we put between feeling this still are: expectations, judgments, images and beliefs.. Hence, the more still we become, the more needs (all of the above disturbers) we naturally can let go of..

  69. I have noticed lately how hard I find it to make mistakes. It feels like the end of the world but it is not and it is great to realise it is just as much an ideal as any other one that I can let go off.

  70. Expectations, whether of ourself or other people are not good to have in my experience, they can lead to all sorts of problems and issues. I am choosing to be aware if I have an expectation, and then to let it go.

  71. What a killer expectations are – especially those we put on ourselves – crazy!
    So to detach from our emotions and let go of any that are related to an outcome or desired idea. To feel our body and what is in there and not be distracted by our minds. That is truly powerful.

  72. We really set ourselves up from young to fail, to feel guilty and to feel bad about ourselves. “I can let go of more of the unnecessary expectation I put upon myself. I can be me, exactly as I am.” That ‘exactly as you are’ is so divine and simple that we forget we are valuable without doing anything at all, we add complication and that leads to expectation. A road to nowhere…

  73. It is so great to be aware of all we are feeling and then we have a choice whether to hold onto it, or let it go, expectations are a real burden, so very freeing to let them go.

  74. It is expectations that make us feel less than we are hence the imposing and inhibiting effect they have on us. The insidious thing is that expectations without explicitly mentioning it give us the reflection that who we are is not what is appreciated and asked for but that we need to be different. We are undermined and put under pressure at once, both eroding our sense of who we are.

  75. I find expectations does feel like a lead balloon. It weights down our relationships and it makes everything feel heavy and unpleasant. Letting go of expectations is awesome, it feels light, playful and loving.

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