Letting Go of Expectations

My expectations have always been high –  Now there is most certainly something to be said for always being hopeful, always expecting the best; but, there is also the matter of holding on to unrealistic expectation. There is an element of “magical thinking” that helps us to move forward, to imagine greater things are possible, and even at times, motivates us to accomplish things that we would otherwise be unable to do. I most certainly believe that there is power in positive thinking, however, I often forget to take into account that some things are just not in my control.

Not all of our expectations are realistic. It’s realistic and necessary to have expectations but it’s critical for them to have a basis.  – Natalie Lue

The problem with expectations though is that it leads to …

1. Guilt – Feeling that your not doing enough, being enough, or giving enough. Second guessing yourself, self doubt.

2. Placing high expectations on others – It is unfair to expect everyone to hold the same ideals and views that you do. Yes, we should all treat each other with mutual respect but that’s where the expectations must end. 

When you make someone else wrong, you hold the energy of needing to correct, convince, control ,or change someone else. Someone should “be or do” the way you expect. Blaming, complaining, or condemning becomes acceptable. When you make yourself wrong, you hold thoughts of how you should be, and end up feeling not good enough. We now see ourselves and others as objects or problems that need to be fixed.

Carolyn Hidalgo

It is time to change the way that you view yourself, the change as a whole, starts within. When I let go of expectations that I place on myself and instead focus on doing the best that I can with what I have, in turn I can extend more grace and understanding to those around me. Letting go of expectations requires letting go of control. I want to fix everything, fit everything nicely and neatly, make everything pretty –  But that’s not life! I can not force outcomes, I can not “fix” people. I can only choose how I will react in any given situation and Let Go …

If the desire to control is a central issue in unhappiness, then accepting a lack of control is the solution.

– William Berry

Expectations are prisons that we live in and create for others to live in. Expectations create guilt, fear of failure, disappointment, and disillusionment. We need to learn to love ourselves and trust that we are worthy of love so that in turn, we can love others despite the fact that they may not, most likely will not, live up to our ideals. We are here for love and connection – but in order to find and maintain meaningful connection with those we love, we have to let go of our preconceived ideas of how things “should” go and instead allow life to happen as it is meant to. We must extend the same measure of grace, compassion, and love to others  that we desire even if it is not returned. Stop drowning yourself and others in expectations – Let us instead live with love and the freedom to disappoint one another at times because after all, we are only human.

compensation-in-disappointment

Much Love with no strings attached! 😉

Leah

4 thoughts on “Letting Go of Expectations

  1. Being not satisfied is a good thing. It drives you forward.
    Not expecting is a powerful thing when it comes to relationships. Be it friends or family, expecting greater things in a relationships always brings disappointment I think.

    1. I agree with you both. Expectations just breeds disappointment, it never goes as we plan. A lot of times it’s better, but we seem to learn this lesson a million times over and it still doesn’t seem to sink in…thanks for the post.

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