Expectations: we all have them. Maybe we wake up and think it will be a good day. You were on time all morning, and just about to get to work when an obstacle arises, causing you to be late, thus ruining your momentum, perhaps even your day. We have all heard the sayings, “expect the unexpected!” and “it will happen when you least expect it!” Do we ever stop to think about what our expectations are? We certainly do.
In fact, we might do it too much. We expect to have a fun time at our friend’s party, or a mediocre time during family holidays. Sometimes, we are so focused on what we expect to happen that we miss out entirely on the events. Perhaps because we expected not to have fun, and sat in a corner sulking, trying to prove our own point. Maybe we had expectations and then were disappointed with the result because they did not fit our vision. When we put our hopes into expectations, we will usually be disappointed, because expectations are a wish, not a guarantee. The only guarantee that is true with expectations is that you cannot predict what will happen.
When you enter a situation with little to no expectation of what is to come, you will find yourself pleasantly surprised. Normally, when you expect something, you control certain aspects of your life and others to try to guarantee that outcome. If you don’t have an outcome to demand of the situation, there will not be situations and people to manipulate in your direction.
When you let go of expectations, and allow yourself to be present, you don’t miss out on the event, you are not disappointed with the outcome, and you will not spend hours agonizing over the chaos later. Of course, there are always cases where even without expectations, one can be disappointed, but it takes less energy to let go of expectations than it does to worry and obsess over outcomes.
Many of us are searching for ways to siphon off some of the conflict and chaos in our lives, and I hope that today you can try to join me in letting go of expectations to achieve just that. Find one situation in which you are expecting something to happen, or someone to do something, and release your worry. Embrace being present and accept that you don’t know what is coming, but that is okay.