With the news this month of the royal baby due in the Spring , it seems like a great time to talk about expectations. What are yours? Do you even know? Some people say expectations can be the thief of joy. I can see that, yes, maybe so.
We develop expectations in our minds about the way we think things should be , look , and sound. The most dangerous of all, are our expectations for others. Especially when they dont know what we expect of them. Things get real messy in this case. For example, I drop 10 pounds before meeting my husband on vacation . The entire time I am losing these pounds, I am thinking about how impressed he will be . I arrive for vacation and he doesnt even notice me minus 10 pounds. Obviously, not a good start to our love fest.
In this case you can see how expectations can really cause resentment, shame and possibly even rejection. I wrapped my self worth up in my partners ability to notice my weight loss. And oops, I forget to clue him in. So things go downhill quickly.
Expectations can be a really slippery slope. Often they are tied into others opinions of us, which of course, we have no control over . Or even when we base our opinions of ourselves on our expectations , this can be problematic. It can leave us feeling less than joyful. The thing we most anticipated and expected.
And so, how do we avoid our expectations tripping us up? First, we become aware of what we expect . We try not to ever have expectations for others, because, well because thats unrealistic. We are not the boss of others, and surely cant have expectations that involve another person . Especially without their knowledge. For example, I am having a dinner party with a friend. Its helpful to sit down with this person and discuss our thoughts and how we are thinking things will play out, in our minds. What we would like the party to be like. This way we are both on the same page. We consider the other person when we include them in our expectations. This sets us up for a win/win.
Next we try to uncover what our unconscious expectations are, for example, when I have this dinner party , I naturally want everyone to leave feeling lovely. The thing I have no control over. Its more realistic for me to feel content about my contributions to the evening. The one thing I do have control over.
Most important of all, we can not tie our worth into our performance. For example, I am worthy if I give the dinner party of the season. No, no no. We cant place something so important as our worth on something conditional. We must love ourselves, and know we are worthy right now, just as we are. No entertaining required.