What I Learned About Expectations
Recognizing the difference between your expectations and reality is powerful.
Jobs, residential communities, schools or even exams set expectations by advertising descriptions that are not necessarily experienced. Aspects that make the reality clear to prospects could have been overlooked or intentionally not included.
“A life that is burdened with expectations is a heavy life. Its fruit is sorrow and disappointment.” — Douglas Adams
Unmet expectations can result in a lot of distractions and frustration. Here is what I learned to help me overcome this challenge:
Make a personal vision statement — being clear about why I do and don’t do things helps keep me focused on my personal values. Studies consistently show that this one factor, personal vision, is more important in both success and satisfaction than any other factor — more important than intelligence, socioeconomic background, or education.
Be present in the now — by paying attention to the now, energy is not wasted on being frustrated with what I thought should have happened in the past and what I think might happen in the future. Just as a hurting child will clamor for attention until heard, our feelings need attention. When welcomed and listened to in a gentle, caring way, they tend to pass. We are then freed to be in a new moment, now freed of the subtle pull of unattended and troubling emotions. Grounding myself in the now helps me focus on the real situation
“When people show you who they are, believe them.”- Dr. Maya Angelou. — this has been my hardest lesson because I expect the best from everyone. However, when a person shows you that your interest is not their priority- believe them. Instead of ignoring your intuition, trust that your gut is showing you this for a reason.
Have you ignored reality in favor of what has been advertised? Change your focus. When reality does not match up, the most dependable source of truth can be experienced by letting go of your expectations.
Originally published at www.citybornsouthernliving.com on September 11, 2017.