One Piece at a Time with Fibromyalgia

One Piece at a Time with Fibromyalgia
Merriam-Webster defines an “expectation” as a strong belief that something will happen in the future, namely, a goal. Psychology Today defines a “goal” as an observable and measurable end result that you intend to achieve or accomplish. For most people, having positive expectations can contribute to good health. According to the Mayo Clinic, the results of doing so can be quite dramatic: They include an increased lifespan, lowered rates of depression, and strengthened cardiac and immune systems. I was one of the most goal-oriented people on the planet after attending an eight-week, corporate-sponsored course in 1992 created by Brian Tracy called "The Psychology of Achievement." Every day, I wrote down my goals as Tracy recommended, making certain they were desirable, measurable, and attainable. I condensed my three most important goals into positive, present tense "I" statements, (such as, "I finish my monthly report prior to Friday's deadline"), wrote each of them on 3x5 cards, and taped them to my bathroom mirror. I read them out loud frequently and saw results quickly and often. This technique certainly contributed to my career success. I was focused, and I saw results. I felt invincible. There was nothing I couldn't accomplish! In time, I forgot one of the basic tenets of goal-setting — attainability. At some point, my definition of "attainable" needed to change for me, and it didn't. The result was frustration and failure. Having been so successful for so long, it never occurred to me that my changing health conditions and graying hair had changed what was attainable or even reasonable for me. I lived in denial for many years, failing frequently, and feeling badly about myself, all because of unrealistic expectations. But don't think this is
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