I am in love with Disney’s new movie Frozen. It’s based on the children’s fairytale The Snow Queen but Disney has put a really positive spin on this classic story. My favorite scene in the movie is when Elsa decides to let go of these unrealistic expectations of how she SHOULD be in order to be accepted. It is a really powerful scene especially when you realize that she was basically not living trying to hide who she really was.
I saw the movie for the second time recently and it struck me that so many of us are a lot like Elsa. We hear the voices of other, well meaning people telling us how we need to be in order to exist in this world and we believe that to be accepted, we essentially have to change who we are at our core. And rather than resist someone else’s attempt to shape us, we own their truth and live under this cloud of expectations.
Here are 3 ways we can let go of other people’s expectations:
Know Who You Are
You are uniquely wired by God to be exactly as you are. When you hide who you really are, you deprive the world of the gifts that you have to offer and ALL of us have gifts to offer to the world. Yours may not look like mine but that’s okay. The gifts you have are the ones the people in your world need. So don’t deprive them of you because you are afraid of what other people might think. Spend time discovering your strengths AND your weaknesses. Know your strengths so you can celebrate and lean into them. It is also equally important for you to know your weaknesses so they don’t become a liability to you. Know yourself and be confident in that person.
Know You are Enough
Once you know who you are, you then need to know that you are enough. Our world screams at us through every commercial, magazine ad and movie and television show that we are not enough. We are not skinny enough, smart enough, pretty enough, fit enough, rich enough….The list is endless of the many ways we are told we are not enough. But those are all lies. The truth is you are enough. You don’t need the latest gadget or toy or whatever in order to be enough. You, exactly as you are today, are enough. Your value is not measured by your dress size, the number on a scale, the size of your bank account or your IQ. You have intrinsic worth, which means that you are enough just because you are. You matter because you have breathe in your lungs and that is all that is needed to know that you are enough.
Know What’s Yours to Carry
This has to do with boundaries. Often times people put expectations on us that have more to do with them than it has to do with us. They want to feel in control and that includes controlling the behavior of those around them. But their need for control is not YOUR problem. When you hear a voice in your head telling you that you NEED to act or be a certain way, ask the question “is that mine to carry or is that someone else’s truth? Is that something that feels right for who I believe myself to be or is that coming from some place outside of me?” If it is coming from outside of you then let it go. It’s not yours to carry.
Getting out from under other people’s expectations can be really hard especially when those other people are loved ones who, we want to believe, have our best interest at heart. But no matter how well meaning someone might be, your story is yours to write. You and I can’t afford to let someone else write our story for us. If we do then we relinquish our voice and give up our power. And who knows where our stories might take us, what adventures may be waiting for us on the other side of us choosing to step out from under that cloud of expectation. Today, let’s be like Elsa, and let it go. How easy or hard is that for you to think about doing?
Here’s the scene from the movie that inspired this post