Expectations can be very tricky. Sometimes, they sneak up on you when you least expect it 🙂
When you have unrealistic expectations of others or of a certain situation, it can be very difficult to cope with the way that things actually turn out.
Today, I’m going to share with you my best tips on how to let go of your expectations (or at least learn how to manage them in a healthy way).
1. Write Your Expectations Down
Expectations are subjective, inner thoughts about the objective, outer world that surrounds us. The best way to ‘see’ and evaluate your thoughts is to write them down on a piece of paper. Here’s how to do that:
Take a piece of paper and pour out all of your expectations. Don’t hold back! Write everything you want, think, and obsess about. Ready? Now read them out loud. I know it sounds a bit silly, but bear with me. Reading them out loud will give you a chance to reflect better and to hear yourself from a different standpoint.
2. Turn Expectations into Action Steps
Expectations are related to outcomes that don’t entirely depend on you. Otherwise, you wouldn’t expect an outcome, but do what is needed to make it happen. Question is, have you really done all that you could do on your part?
More often than not, we use expectations as a substitute for taking action because we are afraid or unwilling to. Sit down with yourself and do a reality check of your expectations. Instead of blindly expecting someone to do something in a certain way, isn’t it a better approach to have a chat with them?
When you are genuine and come from a place of curiosity, the other person won’t be defensive and will probably share what they’re up to. And if they don’t – no worries, it’s their choice after all.
3. Expectations = Thoughts'My happiness grows in direct proportion to my acceptance, and in inverse proportion to my expectations.' - Michael J. Fox Click To Tweet
No matter how hard you try, it’s impossible to get rid of all your expectations. Like the thinking mind, expectations are a part of our human experience, and the moment you accept it, the better.
What you can do is simply see them for what they really are — just thoughts — and move on with your life. The less you obsess over them, the weaker they will get.
Until the day they won’t bother you anymore. Like a background noise from a busy street for a true New Yorker.
P.S. One of the best books I’ve read on the subject is Expectations Hangover by Christine Hassler. I highly recommend it!