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Expectations Versus Reality

We live in a frantic world; expectations are all around us.

We all have expectations to varying degrees of ourselves and others and there are expectations placed upon us.

We expect others to live by our standards, values and beliefs.

We also have expectations that others will act in a certain way based upon past experiences: let us down, break our trust, leave us.

Our expectations lead us to judge others and feel disappointed if they don’t meet them.

When you become a parent there are expectations you place upon yourself and there are ones placed on us by others. Either, we are seen to do too much, or not enough, for our children. There are expectations placed on us by work, partners, children, family, friends and neighbours and by us on them.  Expectation leads to disappointment.

“Expectation is the root of all heartache.”  William Shakespeare.

So either improve your reality or lower your expectations.  Allow yourself and others to make mistakes and accept the flaws that each other has.  You will be better off when you realise that your expectations will not actually change another person, just create frustration for yourself and potentially damage your relationships. Try to maintain your goals and aspirations but don’t make them so high for yourself and others that they are impractical and perfectionistic.

Ways to avoid expectations:

  1. Be present – Mindfulness teaches us to be present. Slow down and enjoy the moment. If you are worrying about what you or anyone else has not done then it will consume your focus and you will not enjoy the present moment. Focus on what your reality is in the present; not what happened to you in the past or what may or may not happen in the future.
  2. In relationships, expecting too much of each other is not healthy. We need to love each other unconditionally. Everyone makes mistakes. It is not wise to put partners, family or friends on a pedestal – there is only one way they can go. Try to see things from each other’s perspectives.
  3. Don’t expect others to ‘mind read’ what we want or need. Be responsible for ensuring others understand what we want and are trying to say and reach a compromise together.
  4. Other people are not responsible for how we feel and we are not responsible for fixing how others are feeling. Support and love each other without taking responsibility for their happiness.
  5. Practice being grateful for what other people do for us instead of focusing on what they haven’t done.

Expectations lead to obligation and resentment. By all means share thoughts and feelings and goals with others. If everyone took 51% responsibility for thinking about other people’s feelings and 51% responsibility for ensuring the other person understood what we meant then the world would be a happier place.

“Trade your expectations for appreciation and your world changes in an instant.”  Tony Robbins

When you let go of your expectations you can enjoy things for what they are rather than what you think they should be.

What are your expectations serving you?

2 Responses to Expectations Versus Reality

  • Very true, love the way you’ve summed up such a big topic in so small a space but still covered it all!

  • After reading this blog I got a reality check! so true!! lets just live, laugh and love.
    You have written this is such a way that anyone can relate to this message. Awesome K

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