Tag: expectations

Wanting an Instant Fix: How Our Instant-Upload Culture has Distorted Our Perspective on Change

Instant FixInstant fix. Sounds nice doesn’t it? Isn’t that what we’ve come to expect….a instant quick fix. I wonder if we have the right view of change? That may sound like a silly question. But seriously, how long do you think real life change takes?

You see I’m wondering if we have unrealistic expectations when it comes to a lot of things, especially change. It’s not our fault. The rapidly changing world of technology has lulled us into this mindset.

Today we can quickly take a picture and immediately edit it and share it with all our friends. There’s an actor’s name we can’t remember or some information we need…no problem, just grab your phone and search for it. Need to know how to get somewhere, just type it in the maps app and bam, up come directions. Want to see a movie? Check for times quickly on your phone and even get tickets.

The rapidly changing world of technology has lulled us into a instant fix mindset. Click To Tweet

I know I’m about to sound really old…but I remember a time when we had to WAIT for all of those things. We had to drop film off (praying and hoping we took one good picture) and wait a week to pick it up. We had to drive to the library to research anything. We had to find a map, figure out the route ourselves, and figure out how to fold the darn thing back up. We had to call the movie theater and hope it didn’t have a busy signal (that’s the beeping sound when the line was busy…man I’m feeling old) so we could sit through the list of times recorded by the theatre….or better yet and simpler, we would just drive to the theatre and pick a movie that was showing.

I’m not even scratching the surface of how life has changed over the last 30 years.

Now I am a HUGE fan of this advancement in technology. Cell phones and apps have revolutionized everything and I am grateful. So much has been simplified and streamlined. Yet, we’ve lost a few things along the way.


So much comes easy now that we’ve forgotten life's not that simple. Click To Tweet

So many things come so quickly and easily now that we’ve forgotten that not everything in life happens that way. Sometimes things happen in life and there isn’t an instant fix. In fact, an instant fix would not really even solve the problem. Some things in life are meant to take time.

Some things in life are meant to take time. Click To Tweet

Now we are willing to wait for pleasant things (aka…standing in line for concert tickets, roller coasters, meeting someone famous, really good food, etc.) But, are we willing to wait for things that aren’t as easy but take time? Things like:

Healing from Betrayal

Healing Relationship Problems

Healing from Anxiety

Healing from Depression

Healing from Trauma

Healing from Abuse

Changing Distorted Thinking

Healing from Perfectionism

Walking through Grief

No one wants to walk through those hard things. No one. But we all will face one if not several in our lifetime. So many come into counseling and want to rush the process. They don’t like the emotions they feel, it takes too long, it’s not easy, or simple. So they avoid, numb, deny, or distract themselves with more technology, another relationship, or some other dysfunctional coping strategy. This delays real healing.

So many come into counseling and want to rush the process delaying healing. Click To Tweet

Healing the body, the mind, the soul, or relationships takes time. It’s not a quick insta-change process. Yet real healing and real change is worth the wait and perseverance it takes to get there. Don’t be afraid of a slower process. It’s normal, good and necessary for lasting change.

Yet real healing and real change is worth the wait and perseverance it takes to get there. Click To Tweet


Permanent link to this article: https://counseling4hope.com/instant-fix/

Hope for the Holidays

Hope for the Holidays Not Christmas Stress

Let’s all be super honest! The holidays bring stress. Lots of STRESS!! Even good things create stress and just the sheer volume of extra work brings with it a level of stress. Most of us have schedules that have no extra room to accomplish these extra tasks.

* Gift buying  *Decorating *Parties *Wrapping *Travel *Finances

Not to mention, the list of things that surface during the holidays.

*Expectations *Loss *Loneliness *Grief *Depression *Anxiety *Family

Now I love Christmas but what I really love is family time, relaxing, good food, games and peace. I love celebrating the amazing thing God did by sending Jesus. Accomplishing for us, what we could never do on our own. The last thing I want is to get lost in the chaotic must be perfect American Christmas…but we do…it’s easy.

We like pretty things and giving gifts and parties and on and on it goes. If we aren’t careful, we walk through the season and we miss it…or we dread it.

If we aren’t careful, we walk through the season and we miss it…or we dread it. Click To Tweet

Maybe there is hope for the holidays, hope for the stress we are all under. Maybe the solution is to shift our expectations. To expect things to be busy, to expect things to be not perfect, to expect people to be crazy, to expect stores to be busy, to expect kids to argue during advent, and to expect those who’ve experienced grief to be sad.

Preparing for stressful times is a mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual process:


Look at the situation with realistic expectations.

Remember what you really value and want out of this time.


Take care of yourself: eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep

Take time to sit and take slow deep breathes.

Observe the world around you. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you smell? Take time to live in the moment.

This time of year can be difficult for those who have experienced loss Click To Tweet


Know when you need extra support. This time of year can be difficult for those who have experienced loss or already struggle with anxiety and depression. Have safe people on call for you, join a support group, or just be real with your family and friends. They love you. You don’t have to pretend. If you need professional help, call a good counselor.


The season is about GRACE! Grace God extends to us through the incredible gift of Jesus.

The season is about GRACE! Grace God extends to us through the incredible gift of Jesus. Click To Tweet

Grace wins. Grace doesn’t expect anything but us to be real and messy. Grace gives. Grace forgives. Grace is undeserved. Christmas is Grace.


Hope for the Holidays

Permanent link to this article: https://counseling4hope.com/hope-for-the-holidays/

What Am I Reacting To?

What Are You Reacting To? Reactions are strong emotions (i.e. anger) that we have in response to external events (i.e. being cut off in traffic) or people.

For example, let’s say my spouse points out a mistake or corrects me in some area (this is a made up example…ha ha). I feel hurt, frustrated, and angry. Seems simple enough, a lot of us have been there. However we don’t just leave it at…I feel hurt, frustrated, and angry… we take action based on these strong emotions. In my above example, when I feel hurt, frustrated, and angry, I might lash out with some disrespectful retort or stomp off but give the silent treatment later (again, this is made up and has never happened…wink, wink).

There are a million ways we act based on how we react!

But what if, we aren’t reacting completely to the words or actions being done to us? What if there is more behind it? Knowing what is really behind my emotions could make a huge impact.

So there are a few questions to consider when we feel a strong emotion, like anger, fear, or sadness:

  1. Does this remind me of something from my past? Could you be reacting to a past trauma, a past relationship, or a controlling or dysfunctional parent?? Since our emotional brain, pairs emotions with situations and bypasses our thinking brain, it is common for us to be in a situation that our brain sees as similar to a past experience and feel the past emotion in the present. This happens without your awareness, so your perception may be that the current situation caused the emotion but it’s possible that you are reacting to something else entirely. This is very common for people who have experienced any type of trauma.
  1. What am I assuming? Could I be making some assumptions about the other person’s motives? Am I mind reading their intentions? Could they have good, loving intentions that I am assuming are evil? Am I assuming something about the future? Am I considering my assumed version of the future is truth rather than just one possible outcome? Our assumptions taint our reality. I may think that someone is intentionally being critical, mean, and is out to harm me in some way…but, perhaps they had a totally different motive. Yet, I react to what I assume the other person was thinking and feeling. And let’s be honest, we have no way of really knowing what someone else is thinking and feeling unless we ask them. Yep, don’t tend to want to do that in the middle of an unpleasant emotion. What if I did and I learned their real motive, perhaps my emotional experience changes?
  1. What am I expecting? Am I expecting this person to not notice that I have weaknesses, sins, and imperfections? Am I expecting that person to never sin or show their personal weakness and imperfections? Am I expecting that person to meet a need that no human can meet? That’s really at the heart of a lot of it, we don’t like to see our yuck and it hurts to have it pointed out. We don’t like other people’s yuck because it impacts us. We expect things from situations and relationships that just are not realistic.

Now most of the time our past, our assumptions, and our expectations happen automatically without a lot of analysis on our part. Something happens, we feel, and then we react. But, what are you reacting to? How can you slow the process down?

One big way is to learn to share your emotions instead of your action in response to the emotion.

Back to my totally made up example, my spouse points out a mistake and I say, “wow that hurt and I am starting to feel angry”.

I know what you are thinking, “people don’t talk that way…that’s only for touchy, feely, counselors”. You may be right; most people don’t talk that way. However, talking that way:

  • Brings your experience into the moment.
  • Brings your experience into the relationship.
  • It gives the other person the benefit of the doubt and allows them to say, “Oh, I didn’t mean to hurt you. I thought I was being helpful because I love you” (or something like that).
  • It gives people an opportunity to comfort us.
  • It gives people an opportunity to tell us their real intentions.
  • It helps distinguish this situation from past situations.

So what am I reacting to??? Worth some more thought, don’t you agree? I would love your thoughts.

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Permanent link to this article: https://counseling4hope.com/reacting/

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