The Unexpected Problem of Expectations
Expectations are a natural part of our lives. From a young age they can provide excitement over a trip or gift. As we grow, they can build anticipation over relationships or seeking out a career. Expectations can come from many sources, whether our own desires and dreams. They can also come from tradition, parents, spouses, friends, co-workers, or bosses.
But there will come a time in all of our lives where we hit a wall with our own expectations. The main disappointment will come from our unmet expectations. When life did not turn out as planned and we did not achieve an expected result in our life.
Because we all have expectations it is necessary to manage them appropriately. To understand their purpose and ensure they have a productive place in your life. Otherwise your expectations could be a constant source of frustration and disappointment in your life.
1) Be Realistic
First off, you need to be realistic about your expectations. Even the most calculated, best laid plans will be met with some unexpected force. There are too many outside forces at play in your life to be able to control every situation. In order to avoid frustration when it comes to your dreams it is important to be realistic. Be realistic about your goals, how you will get there, and how you will feel if you don’t.
Adding a dose of realism to your life takes the pressure off of meeting them exactly as planned. Which can eliminate frustration and being derailed from your goals or life.
2) Be Willing to Change
You need to be willing to change your expectations as your life evolves. If you are still holding onto an expectation of childhood or your younger years. It may be time to reevaluate this goal. Times may have changed, you may have changed, or your circumstances may not allow this expectation to come into fruition. This is not a bad thing, it is just different.
Be flexible enough with your expectations to change as needed. This ability will allow you to explore new opportunities you never imagined. You will also let loose of unmet expectations which might be holding down.
3) Avoid Being Rigid
You may also have expectations which are still attainable, but not as expected. Don’t box yourself to tightly into a certain path where you forsake your entire goal because it might not happen as planned. Insert some reality to your expectations every time you take a step closer to them.
Rigidity can be one of the greatest causes of frustration in your life as you attempt to execute against your goals. At every step in the process be reflective enough to ensure you are not being too rigid. Give yourself enough space and air to make adjustments as needed for optimal impact.
4) Avoid Expectations from Others
No matter who you are someone has an expectation of you. These irrelevant expectations need to be avoided as much as possible. The reality is you cannot avoid all of these. You still need to meet your bosses expectations, within reason. But if you have friends or family members who are placing unrealistic expectations upon you, learn to let them go. You may not be able to address them face to face, but you can learn to set them aside because they are not your expectations.
On the flip side of this coin, avoid placing unrealistic expectations upon others. Most people will never be able to meet your expectations. The more you place upon others, the more frustrated you will become when those needs are not met. In both situations you will be expending an unnecessary amount of emotional energy. Focus on what you can control, pour your energy into those projects, and don’t worry about others.
5) Live Life on Your Terms
When it comes to yours, or others, expectations, learn to live a life on your terms. Be realistic in looking into your life, ability, time, resources, and energy and build your expectations on what you want to achieve. Your expectations can be a close ally if used in the right manner.
If your expectations are ever causing you frustration then it is time to revisit them in order to put them in there appropriate place. Learn to live a life on your terms and let your expectations be useful tool in ensuring you meet your goals.
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