Are You Chill? The Power of Flexible Expectations
I’m learning about the power of being “chill.” This is a term I commonly hear from my teenage daughter. For example, “My teacher needs to chill!” Or, “I love hanging with my friends. They are so chill.”
What does this word mean to you? Based on my daughter’s usage, chill means “going with the flow,” being flexible, or taking things in stride. I’ve been thinking about this idea a lot lately, especially considering all the stress from unknowns and changes in our lives these days.
From this perspective, I think of how I can be more chill. I notice that when I have expectations for how things will go, I can get very uptight if things don’t go the way I expect. I can become impatient, irritated, and not be my best self (this doesn’t look pretty!). It adds to my stress!! Does this ever happen to you?
But what if we could have flexible expectations? So when things go awry (as they will continue to do), we can bend and adapt? What if we could notice our frustration mounting because of the situation and remember to chill?
Here are some internal conversations that have made it easier for me.
- Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be.
- Maybe things will turn out better this way and I just don’t know it yet.
- Maybe it doesn’t really matter in the big picture.
- Maybe this is an opportunity for me to practice being flexible.
- Maybe this experience will make me more resilient in the face of future challenges.
- Maybe I need to take a different approach next time (What can I learn?)
A few minutes ago, a dump truck with a load of gravel was backing up our driveway. This is such a perfect example! My husband had left a message with the company requesting a load of gravel a few days ago. In the meantime, he had an opportunity to get a load through a different company. He kept meaning to give the first company a call to cancel and finally left them a message this morning (apparently a little too late).
Instead of getting mad at himself or getting upset with the situation, he told me our driveway probably needed more gravel anyway. “It’s all good.”
Can you think of situations where it would have been helpful to be chill? I bet there will be an opportunity for you yet today to practice this 🙂