Issue: Face it – we all have expectations!
Of others, and probably most importantly, of ourselves. We have expectations of how we should show up, and how others should show up – perform, behave, and treat us.
Most definitions of expect or expectation include the words hope and anticipation. Such as a young child (or adult) expecting the sound of the music that signals the arrival of the Ice Cream truck.
However, what gets us humans into trouble is that our expectations are actually more demands than anticipation. And the kicker is that most of us never actually voice our expectations. Our expectations are unspoken, and we get mad, crushed, disappointed and disillusioned when they are not met.
Where do expectations come from? Now this is an interesting question! My experience is that expectations are born from past events and patterns. It could be as simple as – my Dad always opened the car door for me – so now I expect ALL men to open my car door. And some of us will turn this into a demand – an unconscious (or conscious) expectation that if you respect me, you must open the car door. And notice how this evolves without any conversation with the poor guy who has ventured into your life!
The trouble occurs when we take these simple ‘expectations’ and blow them up into something big. Not opening a car door can turn into a huge blowout argument about the car door when, in reality, the issue is actually about feeling respected. Oh, the tangled webs we weave!
Play in the Energy of Expectancy and Anticipation and see what unfolds for you this week.
“When you let go of your expectations, when you accept life as it is, you’re free. To hold on is to be serious and uptight. To let go is to lighten up.” ― Richard Carlson
1) Speak up – ask for what you want.
- The first reason most people won’t ever live up to your expectations is because you’ve never actually spoken them out loud.
- Some of us are afraid to actually speak our truth (a topic for another day) because we worry that we won’t measure up and ‘they’ will leave. So speak up – from an objective, loving and neutral space and delivery. Read: no right or wrong! Others will never love you the way you want to be loved if they don’t know what that looks like for you.
2) Create agreements vs expectations
- The second reason people won’t ever live up to your expectations is because the word expectation itself implies there is no room for discussion. Turn your expectations into agreements. Have a discussion where both people get a say. Agreements carry commitment and a mutuality (I get to make up words when I want)
3) Let go of your attachment to outcomes
- Situations also fail to live up to our expectations because we get attached to the outcome. Have you ever gone on a trip or a date and the ‘event’ didn’t live up to your expectations? Why is that – because you were comparing a future event to a past person or event – or to an image in your mind or a movie that has never yet happened. We get so attached and emotionally built up to the ‘expected’ outcome that we are totally deflated when it doesn’t turn out that way. Or maybe before attending a new event or seminar, you have asked – what should I expect?? What if we began answering that with “Expect to have fun!” “Expect to be transformed!” “Expect to enjoy your experience!” “Expect to be fully present!” What would you create in your life if this was your approach every day?
- Expectation is future based. So play in the present. Put on an attitude of curiosity. Enjoy the moment that is – after all, isn’t this all we have right now? Embrace the possibility instead of the expectation. This opens space for the unfolding of the Magic of the Universe. What if – something even mo’ better evolved?
My invitation to you: Play in the energy of expectancy and curious anticipation and see what unfolds for you this week.