So now that I have these unrealistic expectations, what the heck do I do with them?
This is the other side of acceptance - not just that one accepts the way that certain things are but that one actively works on the expectations that one was clinging to, that one finds something to do with them. Because they sure do not seem to want to be dealt with of their own accord.
They constantly speak in your ear, suggesting that you are "surrendering" or "caving in". They try to push you towards success related literature, pointing out that you are giving up perhaps at the point that success is about to become yours. Anything, they suggest, except abandoning them to the cold.
I have my own secret weapon, of course. I call it "Failure".
I have remind these sweet siren singers of the times that I did follow their unrealistic promises down the rabbit hole of dreams, of what happened when the bottom dropped out of the hole and down I fell into the rocks. Of the countless times as a youth I "fell in love" only to embarrass myself horribly. Or the time I took a position based on other people telling me that I would be a great leader, only to be a terrible one and leave after half a year. Or the time I was going to be wealthy as Midas and only ended up losing a great deal of money and eventually having to lose the house we never should have bought.
I bring these failures to the unrealistic expectations and point to them, saying "Look at this. This is where following you gets me. Off with you now. Join forces with those things that I can impact. Or abandon me to whatever you think my fate will be. But what you promise will never come to pass."
They always seem to abandon the cause and slink away, of course. Because if one thing is true of unrealistic expectations, it is that they is that they are very proud and demanding. They would rather expire than join the energy with those things that can be accomplished.