by Gabrielle Bernstein: When I was newly sober, I was terrified by the idea of trying to stay sober forever. I’d future-trip about what it would be like not to have a drink at my wedding or not to celebrate the New Year with a glass of champagne.
The pressure I felt to stay clean could have overwhelmed me and given me an excuse to pick up a drink.
I let myself off the hook by accepting that small actions daily would help. So, instead of future-tripping, I learned to keep it in the day—and each day, I started anew. I’d wake up in the morning, say the Serenity Prayer, and head to a 7 a.m. recovery meeting. That meeting saved my life because it gave me the chance to reset every day. Showing up daily gave me purpose and direction. In fact, showing up was enough to help me shift my addictive patterns and stay clean.
No matter what you are struggling with or if you have a big dream or vision, don’t let future fears keep you frozen in the present. It’s easy to get caught up in the “what if’s.” The fastest way to release an outcome—and the pressure of expectations—is to reconnect with the present moment.
So, how can you keep your focus on today and let go of future expectations? There are four steps:
Do One Small Thing Each Day To Support Your Vision
The fastest way to release an outcome and the pressure of expectations is to reconnect with the present moment. You, too, can live the Twelve-Step motto, “One day at a time.” If you have a big dream or vision, don’t let future fears keep you frozen in the present. Do one small thing each day to support your vision. This small action will be based on love and inspiration. The more small, inspired actions you take, the more you’ll set yourself up to win in the future.
For instance, I have a dream to be trained in a trauma therapy technique known as Somatic Experiencing. When I was looking at the training online, I felt overwhelmed by the number of days I’d need to commit. The overwhelming factor of what it would take to get trained immobilized me. In that state, I couldn’t even submit my application.
I wanted to get unstuck, so I decided to take a small action right away. I registered for introductory online training instead of the course that would require me to travel and spend several days away from home. I felt great about this action. I took my time with the training and gave myself permission to go slowly. The more present I was in the small action I was taking in that moment, the more inspiration I received.
Sometimes, we think if we aren’t doing everything all at once, we aren’t doing anything at all. But, it’s actually the small steps that create the most momentum. Rather than forcing yourself to do everything at once—or pushing down your vision altogether out of fear—take my story as an example. Start small and realign with your desire in the moment.
Take Action Without Expectations
When you start taking action, you may be tempted to think about the outcomes you want and build up expectations in your mind.
Whenever we take action with expectations, our ego is in the way; and, the ego has an agenda. It wants immediate results—a fast payoff for every action we take. The ego mentality is “What can I get?” rather than “How can I feel inspired?”
When you hold tightly to your expectations, you put so much energy into forcing a certain outcome that you’re unwilling (and unable) to see other possibilities. You make your sense of happiness, success, or safety dependent on everything working out in some particular way. But, when you release the outcome, you can stay open to infinitely-inspired opportunities.
Our expectations block our inspired action because we think there’s only one way to get there. Expectations can also make us feel pressured which, in turn, makes us feel anxious and overwhelmed. As a result, we don’t do anything at all because we’re so afraid of failing. Releasing expectations sets us free to let inspiration show us what to do.
Inspiration Can’t Flow When You’re Fixated On The Future
Inspiration flows right here, right now, in this moment. When you let go of expectations and outcomes, you stop trying to control the Universe. Instead, you allow the Universe to support you. That’s when you can let go and have fun along the way to what you desire.
I once read a post by a member in my Miracle Membership discussion group (where hundreds of members responded) saying, “How do I fulfill my desires? I have a vision for what I want to create, but it’s hard not to think about the fact that I don’t have it right now.”
My response was clear…when you release your expectation of a future outcome, you let yourself off the hook. You can let go of the idea that something is missing and instead, focus on what you do have and what’s working in the moment. When you focus on what’s thriving in this moment, you feel good. When you feel good, you naturally attract more of what you want.
Make Feeling Inspired In The Moment A Priority
This practice is about redirecting your focus. Instead of being hung up on what you think you need, make it your priority to feel inspired in the moment. Releasing the expected outcome clears
space for you to simply focus on what feels good. When your primary goal is to feel good, inspiration—not pressure and fear—becomes your driving force. Whenever you take an action from a place of inspiration, you can be sure that the Universe is supporting you.
Let this practice be a powerful opportunity for you to change your mind about how you take action on your dreams. You will feel a lot of relief in letting your future expectations off the hook and just allow inspiration to flow in the moment.
Try it now…start a new pattern and let the Universe show you what to do.
- If you’re struggling with any form of addiction, walk into a free recovery meeting in your community.
- If you’re stuck with eating habits that have been making you sick, Google a few simple, healthy recipes and stock up on fresh food.
- If your marriage is suffering, call a couples’ therapist, and set up an introductory session today.
- If you’ve been feeling a lot of anxiety, practice one of the meditations from the You Are the Guru audiobook, today.
Remember, this isn’t about overhauling your entire life. Just take one small, new, right action. Trust that it has the power to set you on a path of transformation, now. What blocks people most is that they think they need to change their life overnight. But, true change doesn’t come overnight. True change comes from subtle shifts backed by inspiration. Even epiphanies, which seem sudden, come after days, months, or even years of subtle shifts. The present moment always has the potential to be a new beginning. The smallest, inspired action is enough to redirect the course of your life.
When you do something new and inspiring, the Universe will open up invisible doors for you. Inspiration is the secret to bringing your greatest dreams to life. You don’t have to push, control, or force anything into being. You can let inspiration flow, and the Universe will show you where to go.