Is it fair to say that you get what you expect in this life? Or is that a tad too harsh for you? Well, think about it for a second. If you don’t believe you will do well, how hard are you even going to try? And without that full blown effort, how successful can you be? I know: No matter how low you lower the bar of expectation, some people manage to roll right under it. Sheesh. Speaking of which, coffee has given me unrealistic expectations of productivity…but I digress.

Where do your values and beliefs come from? Okay, perhaps your beliefs won’t singlehandedly determine your health, wealth, or happiness; but your mentality and mindset have immense power in your life. Think of it this way, sweet friends: Your views and assumptions are like the filter on your camera through which you view life. Don’t believe me? Put on some red sunglasses. Voila. The world suddenly turned red.

Your beliefs may draw you toward people who validate the feelings you have – not only about yourself but about others, as well. Do you even know which expectations are pulling the strings in your life? Getting married and living happily ever after? Working hard will lead to that coveted promotion? Work. Really? Again? Didn’t I just do that yesterday? P.S. Don’t celebrate your promotion by doing something that will get you fired.

Fill in the blank, please: “I need to be ______.” What’s the first thought that leapt into your mind? If you find yourself having negative views, what benefit would you gain if you gave them up? You’re unlovable? You can’t cope with life when things go sideways? Who said so? You may have to rewrite some of your positions and change those attitudes, my friends. Reject those self-limiting beliefs, please.

Too down on yourself? Do you believe at times that you are a bad person? Disliking yourself fundamentally and feeling shame reduces hope and all efforts to change for the better. Not only do your convictions influence your own behavior, they sway the actions of others, as well. How, Caroline? Not quantum physics, really. Simply put, if you are upbeat, positive, and cheerful, it helps alleviate others’ insecurities, while instilling confidence. And for a bonus, secure people tend to be more bighearted and beneficent.

Did you know that folks with positive beliefs about getting older live an average of nearly eight years longer than those with negative ones? Hmmm. Speaking of which: Don’t let aging get you down. It’s too hard to get back up. Heh. But as you get older, please do not let regrets take the place of your dreams. Speaking of wishes, don’t you wish you were a kid again so everyone would be proud of you for taking a long nap?

Yes, life is chock full of suffering that you do not deserve and that you certainly did not invite. Even if you land yourself in a pot of unfortunate circumstances, you can still start noticing and appreciating more of the good things in your life. For starters, you can decide every morning to approach the day with positivity. Hey, some people see the glass half full. Some see it half empty. I see a glass that’s twice as big as it needs to be. Lol.

Simply put, if you belief that you are happy, guess what? You will find things to be happy about.

Think of how often you interpret an event based on your emotional state. Someone just cut you off on the highway big time. What’s your first thought? What’s your reaction? Is it based on any evidence whatsoever, or is it an interpretation you made based on your life experience? Did you give the benefit of the doubt? Hmmm. You know, some people just don’t know how to drive. I call these people everybody but me. Lol.

By all means choose empowering beliefs like: “I can choose to be happy despite my circumstance.” It’s been said: We don’t believe what we see; we see what we already decided to believe.

Caroline is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis counselor, and writer with an office in Queens.  She works with individuals, couples, and families.  Appointments are available throughout the week and weekends.  She can be reached at 917-717-1775 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or at