It is the basic nature of human beings to take things for granted.
Expectations hurt because we tend to place them at a much higher level than most other things we value in life. There will be cases when we fail to communicate these expectations properly or if we do; we carry this fear that we may hurt them with the ideological standard we placed upon them.
We all have various expectations. In my experience(s), I have found carrying expectation to be a happiness killer. The times in my life where I just followed my heart, doing what I was good at — everything turned out great. It was only when I started having grand expectations of myself with what I wanted, that life started throwing me a curve ball.
Expectation can really hurt us, because we can’t predict an outcome. All we can do is do our best, living in the now and staying present.
These expectations we carry is similar to a backpack with useless things: sifting and sorting through them, lowering them and raising them, adding onto them… expectations in and of itself do not necessarily hurt, but meeting the expectation or having others fail to meet the one you may have set upon them do. An example of this would be a parent expecting their child to be the class topper so they may “secure” a bright future – but what of the child? They are just as capable of carrying the expectation of hoping their parents would encourage them to pursue their dreams or ambitions…
Not meeting either party’s expectations will be hurtful, so what is the solution? Could it perhaps be that too high of expectations are set or where the expectations set, wrong?
I know for me, being the go-getter that I am, it’s tough not to not have expectations albeit through dance, school, my career etc. (I am my toughest critic). During my “acting” phase – I had this expectation that the first film that I was a part of would be a success and recognized for the song, story and actors that brought it to life. Thus, during shooting, I was extremely pumped and when the release date neared – the excitement to see the final product was buzzing through my bones. Yet… I vividly remember the night I first saw the film the disappointment I felt. I won’t go into specifics, but I felt I let myself down along with expectation I had set in regard to the team…
I was even more disappointed when the film was put in a local festival against a few others that lacked in some areas where the film I was a part of was strong in – it was later understood that the “awards” went according to favorites and satisfying certain people in the field, and of course who knows who in the “industry.” I was disappointed, but it was from that moment onward that I realized to stop carrying such high expectations – especially from others whom you may be associated with.
What is it that we expect from ourselves, and others? Expecting too much sets us up for disappointment. So many relationships fail because of expectations we put on the other person and ourselves. When we learn to accept and be grateful for what we have and who we are, we let go of expectations.
Living in the now lets us be more aware of the present moment — experiencing the event. Don’t you think it would be better to just live your life, experiencing it as it happens? By taking this action, you really don’t have expectations; you’re just experiencing something as it unfolds.
Rather than expecting things from people, try to start accepting people the way they are. Practice what is empathy – just for a second, place yourself in their shoes and think from their point of you. You may then start to understand as to why they carry such expectations or lack of them thereof…
So, stop expecting things from people and start accepting them as people – this includes yourself too by the way – learn to accept you for who you are in all your flaws and beauty. That is after all, who you are. Start building up your own happiness and confidence on something you DO have power over: your thoughts and beliefs.
Featured Photo Credit: Jay Seth Photography