Expectations basically means to set a belief that everything will run great in life, without any hitch. This is where the problem begins! Life is a series of events and not everything always turns out the way we planned. Trouble begins when we expect that everything or everyone will bring the outcome that we want and hence end up setting unreasonable demands. When these are not fulfilled, we set ourselves up for disappointment or worse.
Kinds of Expectations
1. Expectations from self- In many situations, we find setting up unrealistic and superfluous expectations on ourselves. This happens when we experience success from our plans and hence, we always want more (now, that is human nature- we always want more of what we have). This is not a balanced response. We get caught up in our fantasies so much that we fail to take necessary actions.
2. Expectations from others- When we expect things from people, we tend to blame them for not fulfilling our demands. These demands are usually not well-framed or justified, and hence cause a lot of strain on our relationships.
3. Expectations from things or situations- When we are in a phase where we have invested in bringing about a change, we expect that a particular situation should occur in our favor, or a something should fulfill our demands. However, when this doesn’t happen and our expectations go out of proportions from situations or things, it is likely to lead us to discontentment and hence can stop us from growing.
1. Acknowledge the Limitations- It is very essential to acknowledge and embrace limitations in ourselves, others, and situations. When we do this, it automatically reduces the level of our expectations.
2. Assess your Expectations- It is important to assess if the expectations you are carrying are realistic or unrealistic. It is also important to appraise if your expectations are going to lead towards disappointment or contentment. The amount of time, effort and emotions vested in visioning these expectations should also be assessed of its worth.
3. Flexibility- It is very important to be flexible in your expectations. The rigid you become, the tougher it gets. The ideal solution is to accept yourself the way you are, the people are, and the situation you are in- life on life’s terms. When you start to live on the basis of this attitude, life seems less complicated.
Expectations can make us desperately crave what we don’t even like. Our brains can’t help but look forward. We spend very little of our mental lives completely in the here and now. The power of expectations is so pervasive that we may notice only when somebody pulls back the curtain to reveal a few of the cogs and levers responsible for the big show. We forget how much of time, effort and emotion we devote to watching and worrying over shadows.
It is useful to remember that wanting has a purpose. It gives us the motivation to pursue a goal. Once the goal has been achieved, wanting moves along.