Pressure is often only diffusely perceptible, because he is so used to us. Therefore, a first step is to put the expectations or conditions behind them into words. Expectations in the form of rigid rules, commandments or prohibitions are best suited for this:
- I have to ...
- I should ...
- It is forbidden ...
- I can not ...
Take time to make a list of all the commandments and prohibitions that you expect from yourself. Make sure that commandments and prohibitions not only affect actions, but can also affect particular thoughts, feelings, etc.
If you like you can add an "Else" to each line. Think about what would happen or what you fear if you did not meet that expectation - and write it down to the expectation.
Exercise 2: Slowing down and anchoring
Going slow is an important skill, especially if you are trapped in suffering. Being trapped means that you are only superficially aware of your body and, without testing, you are taking over what is floating in your thoughts and feelings.
However, if you go slowly and take your time to become aware of your body and gain your attention, it is possible to become open and curious about what is happening in you.
Take the time to look at your list and experience your body at the same time. Here is your body and your breathing ... and there are expectations written down. Take time to just keep these expectations company. It can be helpful to put one or both hands on your body to help you really be present.
This exercise is about being completely with you. The clearer you can be with you, the more open and unconditional you can see what's going on in you (or around you). In such a moment you emerge from what limits your vision.
Exercise 3: To perceive expectation pressure and to learn to use it
If I break a rule, I get the feeling, for example, that I'm taking something out of my hands. Maybe there's a threat in the room that something bad will happen to me; or I'm in danger of not belonging or being punished. This creates shame and guilt, and other feelings can arise, such as envy or anger at others who do not abide by my rules - and thus hold the mirror up to me.
Active expectations are therefore recognized by the fact that you feel bad. Generally it means "Be different than you are"; and this pressure does not feel good - and is usable in two ways.
How can I use this for myself? Expectations are filled with the rules, ideals, (unfulfilled) desires, ideas, values or needs of others - including the pressure to adapt and embrace them. That this does not feel good makes sense. If I can feel the pressure as an unpleasant feeling, then I can understand the feeling in the first step. I can see, "Attention! Something in me puts pressure. That does not feel good. Something is wrong here ".
At the same time, you can deduce what you need instead. You can actively invite this in a second step, for example by saying, "I take the time to realize what it would take instead." Or as a sentence supplement: "Instead of pressure it needs ..." or "At the core and without pressure, I wish me …"
Be curious about what appears here as the equivalent of pressure, eg connection, recognition, collection. As soon as I understand that the pressure is about connection and a sense of belonging, for example, I can start to relax. The more I understand what it is all about, the easier it is to be left to the pressure of expectation - while at the same time following the positive and constructive aspects that are contained within it.