Expectations are a funny thing, we all have them, and yet letting go of expectations is one of the fastest routes to true happiness. I am aware of my own expectations, which are usually self-directed and an expectation of myself that I “should” be doing better than I am. Should is an awful word. It is all about judgement, a way to beat up on ourselves, an almost subconscious thought that I am a failure. I am not sure where the expectation of perfection for myself comes from, although I suspect it comes from childhood, when being good got me love. As an adult I have to let go of this expectation of myself, and these are some of the reasons why;
1. Problems come up in everyone’s life. To expect that you are so good at life that you will have no more problems is to create massive pain for yourself. It is not the problems but how we handle them that show how we are growing as a person. Problems will come up, it is unproductive to let that be a problem in itself, much better to accept that problems are a part of life and to choose how to deal with them in a productive way.
2. When we have unsustainably high expectations for ourselves we can often lose sight of how great our life really is. We lose focus on the now and we miss the beautiful experiences that are right in front of us. It really is the simple things in life that often give us the most pleasure, an incredible sunrise or sunset, a child’s laughter and the bond we feel with others when sharing a fun time.
3. Sometimes to make ourselves feel better about not meeting our own high expectations we attack others. We see that they are not meeting our expectations and feel that they “should” be doing this or that to make us feel better. That is a lose/lose situation for both people. We have no control over others and in expecting others to meet our standards of what is right or wrong we are setting ourselves up for pain and conflict. We are the only ones who can control what we feel, we can choose to be happy but another person cannot make us happy. When they feel that we are attacking who they are because of our expectations they respond, usually in a way that leads to confrontation and argument. Allowing others to be is a much more peaceful approach.
Do you have certain expectations that are not being met? Are these leading to pain, misery, anger and conflict either in yourself or with others around you?
Do you need help resolving the issues that having expectations of yourself or others is creating in your life?
Please leave a comment below about expectations in life.
Love and Light