Stop Having Expectations

By Alan Irazoqui.

We all have expectations of ourselves, other people, our lives, just as other people have expectations for ourselves. We might care or we might not; but we are most likely to care. When we have expectations, it usually is accompanied by this little thing called disappointment. We had this great visualization in our heads of how something would have unraveled but reality is not even close to it, and this is when disappointment kicks in. Not the best feeling in the world, huh?

The best solution to this is to stop having expectations and start having appreciation; meaning that you should let yourself be surprised by others and even your own self. Don’t try to predict anything; instead, be surprised and appreciate those surprises. Sure, this is easier said than done, but here are some ways to put this into practice:

1. Be comfortable with embarrassment

Some of us like to think ahead of possible scenarios that can play out in the day so we can know how to act according to those possibilities because we don’t want to be embarrassed. Not knowing what will happen can take us by surprise and only God knows which kind of reaction it might prompt in us, so we like to be prepared rather than sorry.

But, here is the thing: You can’t predict every single thing in the future. Start getting comfortable with embarrassment, victory and defeat, loss or gain, praise or blame, pleasure and pain. Be your authentic self. We need more of that in these times.

2. Forget what you’ve heard

You’ve grown up listening to the expectations society has on every individual, such as: you have to go to college, get a job, get married, have kids, retire. Please, forget everything anyone has ever told you on what they expect your life to be like. You are the one that chooses every step you take. It’s good to have a plan but be flexible with your own self, and then you’ll be flexible with others. This flexibility will help you to stop clinging to expectations and take life as it comes.

3. Remember we are all human

We all make mistakes. You probably have expectations of those who love you, like you would expect them to be there for you when something tough happens but they might be incredibly busy or going through something tough as well. They’re only human. We are all only human. Sometimes people won’t be there for you, sometimes your job won’t be amazing as you thought, sometimes your partner won’t feel like listening to your story on how you accidentally dropped your Starbucks in the middle of the street. Not everyone will be there, so you have to learn how to depend on only YOU. You’ll be happier and more carefree this way.

4. Appreciate what you are doing

Be present. What you are doing is what you are supposed to be doing at the moment. There is a higher power that considers that your life should be at this stage you are in currently. Maybe it is not what you were expecting, but is right what you needed, and you have to trust and appreciate the timing in your life. You have most likely failed at some point, use them as stepping stones to getting where you want to be.

5. Believe in yourself

You should be your very best cheerleader. One that cheers you on when you win and when you lose. You are the only one that can make or break you, not people’s expectations of you. Your mindset should always be positive. So, instead of expecting things to go a certain way, choose to have a positive view of it. Something good happens? Good, celebrate it! Something bad happens? No worries, identify the problem and give yourself a round of applause for trying!