85. Throw Out Your Manual

Putting expectations on others is an unnoticed habit we are all guilty of. But did you know that those expectations are actually leading you to feelings of disappointment and resentment?

Listen in to Learn:

– Why it’s okay that your companion isn’t kind

– How to be more open to the way others live

– How you can show up with more confidence and compassion

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0:00 Hello, everybody, it’s Jennie Dildine, the LDS mission coach and you are listening to the LDS mission Podcast, episode number 85. Throw out your manual. I’m Jenny, the LDS mission coach. And whether you’re preparing to serve a mission, currently serving a returned missionary or a missionary mama like me, I created this podcast just for you. Are you searching for epic confidence? Ready to love yourself and to learn the how of doing hard things? Then let’s go. I will help you step powerfully into your potential and never question your purpose. Again. It’s time to embrace yourself. Embrace your mission, embrace your life, and embrace what’s next.

0:53 Hey, everybody, welcome to the podcast. Thanks so much for being here. I am super, super excited about missionaries. Did you know this such good good work that we’re doing here together on this podcast learning all of the tools. And I’m just so excited today. And grateful maybe it helps that the sun is out. Yay for the sun in February. But, um, it I just have kind of this excitement today about the possibilities of really helping more missionaries. I wanted to we’re gonna get to all of the stuff about manuals here. And it’s a really cool tool that I want to be able to share with you all about manuals. And here’s a little hint is that usually we have manuals for other people. So there’s a little there’s a little insight to what we’re going to be talking about. But I also wanted to say a huge thank you if you’re listening and and like a ginormous thank you if you have taken time to rate my podcast on Apple podcasts and review it. Here’s what’s fun you guys is I have been sharing this podcast on Google Drive with tons and tons of missionaries. I’ve got some listening in Zimbabwe, Croatia, it’s just, it’s just really cool to see how this podcast is helping missionaries all over the world. And so I don’t always get reviews on Apple podcasts, obviously, because these missionaries aren’t listening on Apple. But I do get emails from them about the ways that this podcast is helping them and I wanted to share one of those with you today. So this is from a missionary. And she just said, Hey, Jenny, I just wanted to let you know, I’ve been loving these emails, she also gets my weekly email, and the podcast as well. She says, it’s all been so helpful, and I truly needed it. I admire what you are doing. And just thought I’d let you know you are truly changing lives. Have a great day. Ah, doesn’t mind just make your heart want to explode. Thank you so much to this missionary who emailed me and let me know that it really does make such a difference. So if you’re feeling the poll to help me get the podcast out to more people. Go ahead. And if you would just subscribe to the podcast and review it on Apple podcasts. And then we can, the more reviews that we get on the more listens that we get, the higher we go in the rankings. And the easier it is for people to find it. And so I just always appreciate all of your feedback, all of your reviews all of your ratings and just like makes my heart like it’s gonna burst. So thank you for listening. And thank you for supporting. So let’s move on to what I wanted to talk to you about today, which is manuals. So the way I want us to sort of think about this is you know how you have a manual for your car. And usually it just kind of sits in the glove box because when we get a new car or we buy a news, like a used car off the lot, we sort of get to know the car and we expect that it’ll perform a certain way. And so that manual tends to just sit in the glove box. We don’t pull it out very often, because we just don’t need to we sort of have I have this idea already of the way that the car is going to behave. Now, if you’re like me, have I told you guys that I still drive a minivan? I probably don’t need to drive a minivan, but I do. They just have really nice sound systems and leather seats and I love it seat warmers and all the things anyway, at some point, I’m gonna graduate to like a SUV of some kind, maybe, maybe, but I actually really love my minivan. As a side note, my daughter who got her driver’s license for like, don’t you want the minivan? It could be the party van. And she is like, I don’t think so. So anyway, I totally side note, but picture how, at least with my minivan, I always forget when I get the oil changed how to reset the little Maintenance Minder. So every time I get the oil changed, I go in, I pull out the manual, I look for like oil maintenance, or whatever. And I’m reminded, oh, yeah, that is how I’m supposed to do that I’m this is how I’m supposed to make the car behave in this certain way. So what I want us to think about is, do we have manuals for other people. Let me give you an example it could be, do we have a manual for how we think our companion should behave? Do we have a manual for how we think our husband or wife should behave? If you’re a little bit older and listening to this podcast, or return missionary, do we have a manual for how our boss should show up. And think of it like we have pages and pages of unsaid things in this manual that we think a person should do, I thought this would be a really good podcast to do right before Valentine’s Day. Because many of us have manuals for the people in our lives have a way that we expect that person to behave. And it’s all sort of like subliminal subconscious unless we start to actually pull that manual out of the glove box, and start to notice what’s going on. So for Valentine’s Day, my boyfriend should text me on Valentine’s Day, not only should he text me, he should probably get me flowers, and take me to see a movie, and we should go out to dinner. Now, that all works great. If number one, you’re very clear about what your expectations are. But number two, it becomes problematic when someone doesn’t know what’s in our manual. Okay. So it leads to disappointment. It leads us to when he doesn’t buy us flowers, or when he doesn’t take us out to dinner, then we have this expectation that doesn’t get met. Now, my guess is if you kind of went through the relationships that you have in your life, you would find that you have expectations or a manual about how you think those relationships should be. Also, I want you to kind of consider that we have sometimes manuals for the experience that we have. So if we weren’t like talking about a manual for how I think my boyfriend should show up, or my boss should show up, or my parents should show up. Sometimes we have a manual for the experience. I’ve talked to many returned missionaries, who had a manual for the way they thought The mission should go and what it should look like. Or sometimes the way their first job should go. Like it should look this certain way and it should offer me this sort of things. Or I hear a lot from my clients, right? A manual for what a first date should look like, or what someone should do or the way they should behave. Also, I see this a lot with some of the missionary moms that I work with with marriages. So we just in our minds create this manual, this operating manual for other people. But guess what? I wish we could make people behave the way that we want them to, or force experiences to be what we want them to but we can’t

9:57 we just can’t we don’t get to be In charge of other people, and what the boss looks like, or what the mission looks like, now, we do have some power over it, we have some influence, we have some agency over that experience. But it’s not always up to us. So let’s talk a little bit about why we have manuals. Think about it sort of the same as an expectation or a binder of expectations, or a book of expectations that we have for someone else. So when we have these expectations of the way other people should feel, think and behave, or we have expectations of what we expect the experience to be like, it’s a safe place for our brains, it actually for our brains, creates a sense of security of certainty and of safety. It’s sort of like, I know what to expect from that. This is that I know what to expect from the mission, I know what to expect from the first day at work, I know what to expect from this job. But again, like I mentioned before, even though it feels safe to our brains, to sort of expect that from people or create that certainty, none of us really get to be in charge of other people. So the other thing about why our brains like to have manuals and these expectations is because it’s just easier sometimes. Sometimes, it’s easier for us to not take ownership of the experience that we are having. So our brains will be like my companion is the reason I don’t like my mission. My boss is the reason I don’t like my job. Notice how it’s, it’s sometimes just easier for our brains to place those expectations, because then we can just kind of wash our hands of it. Now, I’m not taking away from any sort of like experience that you are having. Please don’t misunderstand that, like nothing that’s going on with your companion matters or doesn’t matter. But just be aware that when we have these expectations of them, this manual for them, or for our boss, or for our boyfriend, or for our girlfriend or for our roommate, we kind of just shoot ourselves in the foot. And it’s what our brain will want to do on default. Because of the reasons I’ve explained, but it’s not necessary. And it’s actually really freeing. When we throw that manual out, we’re going to talk more about that. So let me give you a few examples of different pages in your manual that you might have. It might sound like this, my daughter should not be anxious. My teacher should be kind and loving. My daughter that’s in fifth grade, she’s having a little bit of trouble with her with her teacher right now, because her teacher gets kind of stern with the kids. And she has this manual about how teachers should be teachers should not get started with kids. My friend should be on time to have lunch with me. Here’s a big one, I hear a lot. My trainer on the mission should be kind. That’s all great. Like, it’d be nice to want that. And we can all hope for that. But it’s just not the truth of what is existing out there. We don’t get to be in charge of whether your trainer is kind or not. I mean, we hope they are. But we don’t get to be in charge. Here’s another one. So let’s say on your mission, you have a friend that you’re teaching more about the gospel as someone who’s interested in learning more about the gospel. We have a manual and we say, I think they should read the Book of Mormon like they said they would. That’s a manual for someone. How about this one? My mission president shouldn’t be so black and white, or mission presidents in general shouldn’t be so black and white. Or let’s say if you’re a mission president, my missionaries should meet their goals. Or this one, my boyfriend should buy me flowers on Valentine’s Day. I guess that one already came up. My room may should want to listen to me when I’m upset. My boss should appreciate me more. Or my kids should want to help with the dishes. Now we can just have pages and pages and pages in these manuals. But here’s why it’s a problem to have these expectations in If we put our experience on someone else, and we don’t end up creating the experience that we want, notice how if we’re just sort of like, my trainer should be kinder, but they’re not. It, it kind of ends there, like we don’t have to take any responsibility for it. And we don’t, we don’t get to work creating the experience that we want independent of that companion. The second problem it kind of poses is that we don’t leave room for people to be human. You know, what it’s actually true about fifth grade teachers is sometimes they get Stern. And do you know what’s actually true about trainers sometimes is they’re not as nice. Sometimes Michigan presidents are black and white. Sometimes missionaries don’t meet their goals. Sometimes we don’t get flowers on Valentine’s Day. A lot of times, roommates don’t want to listen to us when we’re upset. Your boss sometimes is not going to appreciate you. And I would dare say 99% of the times, my kids don’t want to help with the dishes. So it just does no good for me to wish that someone is different than they just are. It causes more problems, these manuals that we have for people cause more problems. Here’s another problem with having a manual is we don’t want to face what’s true. We aren’t honest about what’s actually going on I’ve been playing a lot with this idea is I work with a lot of clients who tell me I just want to feel this way in the future. And I don’t want to feel this way anymore. But until we really understand what’s true, right now, in the moment, we’re stuck where we are, because we’re not seeing it yet. We have to see it first on what’s true. And then that gives us a way out after that. Let me back up a little bit too. With this not leaving room for people to be human, there’s kind of a something that goes hand in hand with that is when we don’t allow other people to be human. What I find most of the time with my clients is they’re not allowing themselves to be human either. So they set this really high standard, this really high, like really thick manual for other people, chances are pretty good. You’re setting your standard really high for yourself and really creating a really thick manual for yourself. And the last problem, and I’m sure there are more that you can come up with with having this manual is that we set ourselves up for disappointment and resentment over and over and over and over again. So I was talking to one client, she was on the mission. And she said to me, every time we go to district meeting, the district leader just shows up, and he’s so anxious, and he kind of keeps hounding goals and hounding goals and hounding goals. And telling us if we would just be more righteous or whatever, that we would, you know, be able to meet our goals. Well, she would say to me again, she’s like, Ah, he’s doing that again. And I’m like, why are we surprised? The reason? Like he’s been doing this for a while, but why are we surprised? Like, if you would just get out the manual that you have for this district leader, you would find that this is your expectation of him, you think that he shouldn’t show up anxious to that district meeting? And if we would just throw the manual out completely. And just be like, Oh, I wonder what we’re gonna get today. You wouldn’t be causing yourself so much pain. Okay, so, last couple things here. What we should all do with our manuals for all these people in our lives and all these experiences in our lives is we should throw those manuals out, out the window, out the car window, put them in the dumpster, whatever you got to do with that manual. Throw it all out. Now you’re gonna be tempted, because a lot of these manuals have been written over a long period of time.

19:42 We like observe what how other people show up. We also have a lot of ideas that are kind of built into even just societally and the way that we think about missions, the way we think about ourselves, the way we think about life. We have stuff That’s just kind of programmed into us and has been there for a while, like flowers on Valentine’s Day, obviously. So we’re gonna be tempted because of the way we’ve been thinking for such a long time, and we’ve created this really thick manual, we’re gonna, we’re gonna want to hang on to just a couple pages. it’ll sound like this. Yeah, I really accept the way my boss is showing up at work, except for this one thing. That’s not okay. He shouldn’t be that way. Or it will sound like this. Yeah, I really, you know, it’s so awesome that my companion chooses to show up the way they do, which is great, I’ve thrown out every expectation I have of them. But except for this one thing that they should get up on time. Notice how we want to hang on to those because it feels safe. Right? Because then we don’t have to take ownership of our experience. So if you can throw it all out, can we take every single interaction that we have with someone for the present moment without expectation? Can we also decide that we are the creator of our experience? If we can be the creator of our experience, irregardless of how someone else is showing up? So don’t hold on to a couple pages. Okay, I want to make a little caveat here about boundaries. I’m not suggesting that we let people walk all over us or have no boundaries. I did a podcast on boundaries, I think was that last week, maybe two weeks ago. So go ahead and listen to that. I’m not suggesting that other people’s behavior is just like, excusable, like, it’s okay for my boyfriend to abuse me, or it’s okay for my girlfriend to talk trash to me, or it’s okay for my companion to bully me. That’s not what I’m suggesting at all. Sometimes, what we just got to know is that sometimes other people’s best is not awesome. Okay, so I’m going to tell you what we can do, instead. But what I am suggesting is that people get to be people. To hang it, people get to be people. And as as long as we keep trying to control them, and have expectations of them, we only make ourselves more disappointed, and more resentful. So what are a couple things we can do instead? Let me share with you this analogy. I’ve been watching a lot of documentaries lately. And one of them is like the making of Star Wars. I don’t know. I’m not a huge Star Wars fan. I wish I was more of a Star Wars fan.

23:18 My family and I always say we’re Fake Star Wars fans. So no judgement everybody. Or you can judge me if you want to, you’re allowed to. But the idea like George Lucas created like this script. And when we have this manual, we have this script of the way people are supposed to show up and behave. Right? So but what happens sometimes is when people don’t go according to the script, we get upset. When people want to ad lib or the movie goes in a different direction, then we get mad about it. But people sometimes you guys the best movies. Maybe you can agree with me. Maybe you don’t agree with me. But sometimes the best movies are these parts where people get to add lob, ablin and kind of make up a scene. There are some directors as I’ve been watching some of these documentaries who are just like okay, here’s kind of what we want out of this scene, you guys go for it and see what happens. I’ve also noticed how sometimes they thought the script was gonna go in one direction and then it ends up going somewhere completely different. So instead of having this like set idea of the way that it’s supposed to be for someone or the way that script is supposed to go, we can just watch the movie of someone else unfold with curiosity. It sounds like this, huh? I didn’t see that one coming. I didn’t see that twist coming. Or you guys know what I’m talking about when you find out that the good guy was actually the one with all of the bad intentions, like, the one that always comes to mind for me is Hans in frozen. We never expected Hans, especially if we saw it the first time. Well, some of you might have been onto him a little bit. I think I was when I saw frozen. But many times we never expect them to think feel or act the way that they do. Like, who would have guessed that Hans was gonna let off freeze and melt or not freeze, but melt all the way God? But sometimes they do. And notice how in a movie when we see that twist, we’re not like, Ah, we’re just like, huh, whoa, I didn’t see that coming. And that’s how we can be with other people. You can just be like, Okay, I didn’t see that coming. That’s so interesting. I wasn’t expecting them to show up that way. But okay, I guess they are. Let me finally in the last little bit here, let me tell you the benefits of throwing out your manual completely. No pages left, just starting from square one. Basically, every time you have an interaction with someone, we quit relying on other people to show up the way we want them to, so that we can feel something. The example I have of this is a few years ago on Mother’s Day, as I was sort of learning this concept, as I was getting into coaching, I was always like, well, on Mother’s Day, everyone needs to make me breakfast in bed, and they need to compliment me. And they need to tell me how amazing I am. And this one particular Mother’s Day was like, forget that. I’m going to create the experience I want. And so I’m like ordered myself flowers, I got up and I made myself breakfast in bed. And I quit relying on other people to make me feel something, they can’t do it anyway, you guys, we are always the creator of our emotions with the way that we think. So when we throw out that manual of how everybody else is supposed to behave, we start creating the life we want. Okay, another benefit is that we start to understand our humaneness. And when we throw out the manual for other people and those unrealistic expectations that we have, for other people, we start to do that for ourselves. I’ve seen this in my own life, and I’ve seen it in my clients lives. And so when we give space for other people to be human, we start to give that to ourselves too. And it’s just such an amazing freeing place to be. Another benefit of throwing out your manual completely is we start to observe what is actually happening, instead of what is not happening, or even wishing it was a different way. So kind of like I talked about, we really get present with what’s actually going on now with the companion or with your boss, or with your parents or with your girlfriend, we really start to get present with that and observe what’s actually happening. Instead of where our brain likes to go is it shouldn’t be like this, they shouldn’t be like this, I shouldn’t be feeling this. We stop wishing life was different, which just causes suffering. And we start allowing what is and what this does for us, which is the final benefit is we live open, open to whatever experience that we’re meant to have. We’re done controlling people, we’re open to all of the people, all of the thoughts, all of the feelings and all of the experiences. And that’s just a really fun place to be. So I want to invite you guys to throw out your manuals, see if you can, like get rid of all of those pages. So that you can quit relying on other people to show up the way you want them to start understanding your humaneness and start to observe what is actually happening and live. Open. Open to all the people all the thoughts, all the feelings and all the experiences. It’s an awesome place to be. Alright, you guys have an amazing week. We will see you next time. Serving a mission for the church and Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints can present a unique set of challenges, and many of those challenges you might not even see coming. So, you’re gonna want a unique set of solutions. It’s easier than you think to overcome worry and anxiety serve the successful mission you’ve always dreamed up and navigate your post submission experience with confidence. That is why I created some amazing free goodies that I’m sharing in my show notes. Maybe you want to grab the free training for preparing missionaries, my video course for RMS or maybe you and I should hop on a free strategy call. If you’re ready to take your preparedness to serve or your preparedness to come home to the next level. Then go grab one of those freebies. And in the meantime, no matter which part of the mission experience you are involved in, just know that Jenny, the LDS mission coach is thinking about you every single day

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Hey! I'm Jennie - The LDS Mission Coach.

Preparing for, serving and coming home from an LDS Mission can present countless changes and transitions. I’ve seen these changes put missionaries at the mercy of their emotions and questioning their abilities. With the tools I teach, young adults empower themselves to navigate every moment of the mission experience with epic, unwavering confidence.

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