HOW GOOD IS GOOD WHEN WE EXPECT BETTER? Managing Your Expectations. Blog by Tiffany Barnard10th of March 2021
How many times have you heard someone complain about how ‘unfair’ life is?
How many times have you been disappointed by someone’s behaviour or by the way that someone has chosen to act?
Would you believe me if I told you that the disappointment in our lives, and the people around us, is entirely due to our own expectations?
When something happens in our life that leads to or causes an unpleasant outcome, it is human nature to cry foul and to lament at just how unfair life is to us! We tend to believe that life will happen just the way we want it to because that is how it is supposed to happen.
The fact is that life happens to everyone. If we wake up every day and expect everything to go wrong, the chances are we would be less disappointed. The problem is, we tend to wake up and expect to win the lottery every day and then complain about the injustice of it all, even though we never bought a ticket.
I remember when my kids were little and my daughter, whose life at the time revolved around the glitter of Disney Channel, used to berate me for not being “like the Mums on TV”… I would share with her my own disappointment in the fact that she was nothing like the daughters on TV. It took a while, but the irony did finally sink in and I was eventually spared the constant comparisons. Her expectations were based on an idea of reality that didn’t exist.
“Expecting life to always turn out the way you want is guaranteed to lead to disappointment because life will not always turn out the way you want it to. And when those unfulfilled expectations involve the failure of other people to behave the way you expect them to, the disappointment also involves resentment.”
(John A. Johnson ‘The Psychology of Expectations’)
I am sure that if you think about it, you will realise that generally we expect a lot from the people around us. We defend this by saying that we only expect what we give but still, more often than not, we are left feeling disappointed and a little resentful that people haven’t behaved the way we expected them to.
Do we really believe that we have the power to control others? No, of course not! So why do we get angry when others exercise free will and in doing so fail to meet our expectations?
What if we were to conscientiously decide to go about our lives in the understanding that we are all individuals, we all have our own beliefs and we have no control over anyone else. My bet is that it would soon become apparent that we had also become less judgemental and as a result our expectations would be lower.
Lower expectations lead to less disappointment in life and the realisation that simply expecting something to happen will not make it happen.
Gift yourself the gift of perspective. By that I mean the ability to see things from different angles, not just your own and remember that everyone is fighting their own battles and are generally doing the best they can…
Just like you.
I look forward to connecting with you!
P.S. If you feel that you have certain beliefs that may be limiting or even sabotaging you in some way, reach out. I can help you create the life you can’t wait to wake up to.