No Expectations, No Disappointments.
We are all guilty of setting expectations at some point or another, which means we have almost all felt frustration, defeat, and disappointment due to those expectations not being met. An expectation is something we believe should happen, now, or in the future, or that someone (maybe a partner, sibling, child, or even ourselves) should or will achieve something. Then you get caught in that sticky cognitive distortion of "should's and would's" shoulda, woulda, coulda, right?! but here's the thing, there is very little that any of us have control over. Other than ourselves, how we react, respond, take care of ourselves, not much else is ever truly in our control. What really screws us up in life is the picture we create in our minds of how it's supposed to be. As Shakespeare once said, "Expectation is the root of all heartache." He was onto something. We set unrealistic expectations about how our lives are supposed to be, unrealistic expectations on ourselves and others. That right there is damaging to our inner peace and happiness. We may feel let down by others, especially when our expectations of them are too high. I can almost guarantee that there have been times you felt as though someone let you down and didn't try hard enough. I would challenge you to consider that maybe their best is just less than you expected. That's where it becomes a you problem, not a them problem.
We believe life should be fair. It's not. Subconsciously many expect life to be fair. Some of us even believe that any unfairness we have endured will eventually, somehow, be balanced out. I urge you to get out of that mindset! When something you deep "unfair" happens, you can't rely on anyone or anything to help you get back on your feet. The sooner you stop expecting the world to grovel at your feet because of that unfair thing that happened to you, the sooner you will be able to see that you have the power. You and only you can take the necessary actions that will help make a difference and lead you down a more positive path.
Very often, maybe more often than not, we create our own heartbreaks through expectations. Perhaps you interview for your "dream job" and you know you are qualified, you are told that "you would be a great match" however, you don't get the offer, and feel lousy because you expected after the interview and feedback that you had it in the bag. You then become discouraged, perhaps feel as though you will never find a job, never be successful in your career, and your thoughts spiral to the worst possible destinations due to the expectation that you were getting this offer. We have all interviewed for those jobs, the truth is, the expectations we have can be both helpful and harmful, at the same time. Going into the interview like you have the job may exude confidence, however, if one's not careful it could come across as cocky. Opportunities don't just fall into our laps, or at least that's not the norm. Yes, maybe you deserve a raise, or a promotion, but it doesn't mean it's going to happen. You have to work hard, make it happen. Ask yourself what you need to do to get what it is you are after, what steps need to be taken? and what obstacles may be in your way.
We set expectations in relationships, sometimes these expectations are really healthy boundaries. For example, expecting someone to be honest with us, loyal, kind, and treat us well. I don't know about you, but I don't want to feel the need to live up to someone else's unrealistic expectations. Expectation fuels frustration. It's an unhealthy attachment to people, places, things, and situations that we wish we could control. But we can't.