Saturday, January 29, 2011

☺ Inspirational: Expectations ☺

I have briefly mentioned "Expectations" in the past and decided it was time to elaborate on this important topic. 

Too often, people believe that having expectations is a beneficial thing. That without them, you are not respecting yourself. That without them, you are going to get hurt or pushed around. That without them your life will not be what you want it to be. But the reality is that Expectations only get us into trouble. They are dangerous things to have that usually set us up for imminent disappointment and, therefore, a drop in our happy moods.  

Now, it is important to differentiate for a moment the difference between "expectations" and "standards." 
Standards are useful guides for us to use that can contribute to beneficial decisions in our lives. Through the use of standards we have a realistic and healthy idea of what we do or do not want. When people or situations do not meet our standards (that contribute to our healthy well-being) we can then choose appropriate action. Do not mistake standards for expectations. Expectations are the unrealistic products of our minds. They are usually set ideas that, when they are not fulfilled, leave us disappointed. They are usually too high for anyone's good. They are usually the "best" possible outcome you can imagine from a situation so we become attached to these ideas as a result. Therefore, they become a set-up for us to not look at the actual outcome to a situation positively, because you have already become attached to a different outcome created in advance in your mind.  

Now, I may sound a bit repetitive here, but I want to make sure you understand why expectations are not beneficial and why they are worth letting go of. 

We create an image in our heads of exactly how we want things to go. We resolve, at a subconscious level, that if the situation does not turn out in that imagined manner then we are miserable. We become attached to that particular outcome and close ourselves off from the potential that could arise in its place. Therefore, setting ourselves up for failure or disappointment. 

There are two different places in which we tend to place these expectations; on people and on experiences. Everything I have already mentioned applies to both people and experiences. However, I want to take a moment to talk about why placing Expectations on People does not help a relationship... 
When we place expectations on people then we are, by fault, placing limitations on that person--not a positive attitude to have. These expectations are also unfair and usually too high to begin with. We are no longer accepting who a person is and instead think we know them for who we want them to be. If they don't deliver on your expectations then they become failures in your eyes, and enforce a negative attitude for both people involved. The reality is that they are not the ones in the wrong for not delivering on the products of your mind. It is unfair to yourself and to them to have such expectations of them to begin with. If you love someone and care about your relationship with that individual then you will not place limitations and expectations on them. You will allow them to grow and be who they are. Quite simply, if you expect nothing more than people are who they are, and you are who you are, then you won't be left disappointed. Let people grow and not limit them or make them feel like failures or unworthy of you. We are all human and we all have things that we need to work on. Love is unconditional and any relationship needs this base to grow from. It is a point of respect in which both people can actually grow. However, if a relationship is not working then its simply not working. Move on. Learn to accept that placing expectations on the individual won't make them change, it will just add unhelpful pressure. Realize when a relationship is healthy or destructive. Live by your standards but don't place expectations. And learn patience.

So, such as with people, placing expectations on life gets us into unneeded trouble. Unfortunately, we tend to do this with most situations, whether there is another person involved or not. Expectations place the unrealistic idea in your head that you can control and/or predict everything that happens in your life. You can't control everything in life. And you certainly can't predict what has not yet happened. It is much easier to ease up and go with the flow. When you let go of attachment to outcome then you become open to what will actually come in its place and can then enforce that positive mental attitude.  

Stress can easily be connected to what I'm talking about here, because stress arises due to our minds. 
"Stress happens when the mind resists what is." 
So when we have an idea in our heads of how things are going to go we then go on to resist what IS instead of what COULD BE. 

So stop mapping out every situation in your mind. We often do this without even being aware that we are doing it, until it's too late and we are left feeling upset because things didn't go how we wanted them to (or how we Expected them to). 
Start paying close attention to the products of your thoughts, catch yourself when you are able and let go of these expectations. Pay attention to your hopes for a set outcome. This will take effort and practice but is well worth getting into the habit of doing. Your life will transform if you do. Pay close attention. 

Start relying on yourself, especially for your mood. No more blaming others or life for not delivering on your expectations. Life is spontaneous and forever changing--just like people--stop trying to predict the unpredictable. Ease up and enjoy the natural flow and outcomes of life. 

Become open to the unexpected and the unpredictable. Life is much more exciting when lived in this way.

Let go of Expectations to a set outcome. Be Happy no matter how things turn out. 

Peace & Love,

If you found this article to be helpful, please consider a small donation or visit the shop. Thank you for your love and support.


  1. Bianca, this post is perfect timing! Lately I've been thinking a lot about expectations, not just those I have and am trying to get rid of, but that others have of me.
    They set us up for disappointment. An ex once said that the key to happiness is low expectations, but I believe that just encourages apathy.
    I like to have dreams and ideas of what might happen, but still be happy when things don't turn out as I had imagined.

  2. yes "low expectations" is a kind of negative way to look at things I think. But like I said, I think there is a thin line between expectations and standards and people often mistake one for the other.
    Keeping an open mind and welcoming what may is definitely key.

    Hope you're doing well xo :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger... Save $100 on Blendtec Factory Recertified Blenders + Free Shipping