Are you Expecting too much of Yourself?

June 25, 2015 3:54 pm

I know in some circumstances, it’s great to set the bar high. There is so much currently out there around goal setting, and achieving your dreams and reaching for the stars. You know the Anthony Robbins style drill.

However, with many of us ‘high achiever types’ the life changing moments typically come, when we finally realise just how hard we have been pushing ourselves, and that maybe, just maybe, it’s time to lay off a little.

I, personally, often expect way too much of myself and if you have found yourself drawn to this post, perhaps you are someone who does too.

Take this example. The last eight weeks have seen me quite severely ill, with an infection that was left untreated and as a result had begun to spread.  Although the infection has now been treated, it has unsurprisingly, left me absolutely exhausted.

The problem is, that now that I am back to ‘looking’ okay and no longer resemble a yellowy waxy person with black eyes, I seem to expect myself to just dust myself off and feel…well…back to how I was before the infection came along back in March?

This evening, I realised just how frustrated I was getting with my body. Cross that it was tired. Cross that simple daily things such as just attempting to making a drink were such a struggle. Cross. Cross. Cross.

But, once I took a step back, and tuned into what was going on, I realised the huge expectations I was putting on myself.

My body is recovering from a pretty horrible infection and whether I like it or not, my body needs a bit of time to heal and regain it’s strength. The way I’ve been speaking to myself and the frustration I’ve been aiming at my body, is reflective of today’s society and how so many of us expect our body’s to function like a machine. Whatever has happened to it.  Whatever it has been through. However we treat it.

This is the case with many people who have ME/CFS. It is known that these types of illnesses commonly affect highly driven, type A personalities. Ambitious people who push themselves until their bodies literally can’t take anymore. We are prone to giving ourselves an incredibly hard time.

accept this body
My take on healing as it stands now, is quite different to the NLP immersed views of my early twenties. I’ve learned a lot since then, one of the main things being that to truly heal, connecting to your heart is fundamental.

In some circumstances (including healing illness if used in an integrative way) it can be productive to aim high, set goals and use positive self talk. But in deep healing it is vital to make sure these actions come from a place of being gentle and not expecting too much of yourself too soon. Otherwise, you find yourself dealing with a whole load of pressure and expectations on top of the challenge of recovering your health.

When you feel resistance, or anger, this is often a cue to take a step back and notice what you are saying to yourself. Write down what you feel. Let it out. Shine a light on what’s actually causing those feelings and that resistance. It often then becomes clear how we are speaking to ourselves (and our bodies) and the messages we are sending across.

Perhaps it will become clear just how hard you are pushing yourself? Or if you are expecting too much of yourself too soon? Maybe you are resisting your current level of health and are trying to do that bit too much?

Shower your body, and yourself, with love.

Support yourself as you heal.

Don’t expect too much too soon. Let your body rest if it needs it.

Move gently.

Nurture yourself.

Be kind.




Emma x


  • Niamh says:

    This is all so true, Emma! I’ve always found being sick a really humbling experience, as we can’t always control it. But there’s so much to learn by slowing down and letting go.

  • Nichola says:

    So much wisdom in this. The healing journey has a way of showing us where our impatience lies, where we push too hard and expect too much of ourselves. A lovely reminder to pause, listen and let life flow.

    Much love xx

  • So. Much. Yes! I love the health and wellness focus that is so popular at the moment, but the core message of self love and compassion is SO much more important.

  • Emma - Consciously Healthy says:

    Glad all of you lovely ladies something from this post. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment.

    Niamh – you are so right. Being sick is one of the most humbling things we can go through as it’s very much out of our control. It’s very much the universes way of teaching us to surrender and let go I think.

    Nichola – I couldn’t agree more. It’s as if the healing journey shines a big bright light on our high achiever patterns, our inner critic, where we are hard on ourselves…you name it!

    Katherine – I am SO on the same page as you. Although a lot of my journey has lead me to write/share a lot of physical health based tips and things. The core part of my healing journey, and what I believe is even more important in healing, is self love, connection and self compassion. Took me a long time to realise that.

    Sending lots of love to you all xx

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