Tuesday, February 09, 2010

HSP Topics: "Lowered Expectations" vs "Attainable Goals"

Recently, I've been thinking about how many HSPs struggle to put themselves "in the world" in order to achieve their goals or reach their dreams. A common subtext when this discussion comes up among HSPs often involves a lament that we feel like we have to "lower our expectations" in life because we're highly sensitive.

I just can't agree with the rather negative approach that brings to mind.

My Beloved often talks of how we must learn to view challenges and obstacles in terms of their highest possible interpretation and potential... and this happens to be a philosophy I strongly agree with. I'm by no means a Pollyanna, but let's pause and think, for a moment:

Wouldn't it make you feel better about yourself if you dropped the term "lowered expectations" and instead reframed what you were considering as setting an "attainable goal?"

If you take that a step further, consider this: Wouldn't it be depressing, in the long run, to always go in pursuit of an UNattainable goal?

As HSPs, we have a tendency to fall into patterns of negative self-talk. Part of this is often a result of taking a situation and spinning it as either "better than" or "worse than," rather than simply sticking to a more basic truth that our needs and talents are "DIFFERENT from" those of most people around us. Comparing ourselves to a "Type A" overachieving workaholic and feeling "less than" is hardly productive. Our task, in incorporating our sensitivity into our daily lives, is in understanding ourselves... and then making the most of that, rather than aspiring to "be like others."

As I once heard said at an HSP Gathering: "Comparisons are deadly. My life is MY life."

Talk Back: Have you changed your goal setting, since learning you were an HSP? Are your goals attainable? Do you feel like you have "lowered" your expecations? Do you catch yourself going into a pattern of "comparing yourself" where comparisons actually do not make sense?

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