EXPECTATIONS : How To Manage them and Let them GoApr 11, 2022
HOW TO MANAGE THEM AND LET THEM GO
Today I'm going to be talking about expectations. How to let them go and let life flow. Somebody asked me this week, "How can I let go of expectations?" which I think is such a brilliant question because expectations can literally be the downfall of our day, our month, and our lives. We either have too high expectations or too low expectations, either way, it's kind of a minefield on what is going to serve us best.
So, as always I like to strip everything back, and let's look at it one day at a time. When you wake up in the morning, it's a brand new fresh day. Nothing has happened. You don't know what's going to happen. Anything could happen. Yet, we have an expectation of how we think the day is going to go, what we think is going to happen, and how we think things should happen. We have so many expectations around the next 12, 15 hours. And what are they based on? Most likely the day before. The day before that. The months before that. The years before that. And why is that? Because as I always say, 80% of your thoughts are the same as yesterday. So you are already thinking in the past. You're thinking about the past and worrying about the future. So you are worrying about the future based on your past experiences.
Often the expectation is a form of protection. Based on past experiences something has not gone well so you predict and protect yourself by expecting the same result. Even though the thought is negative, it's comforting because it's returning a familiar outcome.
What about the flip side, when you have high expectations? You are expecting something really good to happen because previously in your past it was that way, so that is the familiar pattern and thought. Now, one isn't better than the other because often you can have really high expectations of things going well and when they don't, it feels frustrating and disappointing.
So where do we find this comfortable middle ground around letting go of expectations? How can we get comfortable letting go of low or high expectations and find a place of peace?
This is something that I try and practice myself most days. I practice the art of letting go of expectations in the morning because the day has not yet started, nothing has happened, yet your mind is full of expectations, predictions, and thoughts about what's going to happen, how it's going to happen and how you will be if it happens!
So how can we level it out? How can we let them go? Start to practice sowing the seed in your mind each morning that you wish to allow whatever is going to happen, to happen and let it be. Now, I know that might sounds difficult for people that have never practiced this before, and it will be. It is like learning a new language or a new musical instrument, you have to train your brain like a muscle and continue to practice this mindset. I have a mantra that I often write down or say in the morning to help me remember, it goes like this: "whatever happens today is meant to have happened that way and I accept it". Or "I live each moment like it was chosen to be that way" is one of my favourites. Or "Even though it may not seem like it at times, everything is working out just the way it is meant to".
Petrina my business partner has a great saying, "you never know what your bad luck just saved you from". You could have had a really bad experience, but it saved you from something that was even worse. Say you missed your bus (bad luck) but it saved you from getting somewhere on time where there was a crash (worst luck) You just never know what is going to happen. Expectations are Perceptions. You are just perceiving how something should be, how it shouldn't be, and it builds such angst in us and worry and frustration. These are the emotions that we feel around expectations. So if you feel frustrated, worried, or anxious, start to make a note and inventory your expectations and how you can ease off them to see if that helps.
When you wake up, prepare your mindset, and understand that you can allow anything to happen, it is not good or bad, it is just happening. Try not to expect how they day is going to go based on previous experiences and emotions.
Now, I know this sounds like a difficult concept because we have "bad" things happen, for example, my child has chickenpox at the moment and someone might say, "Well, Alice, how can you say that's not good or bad? It's bad. Your son is ill. He has chicken pox." Okay. That might be a bad scenario if you want to look at it that way. You could equally look at it as a good way because it's boosting his immune system.
When it is too difficult to see good in a bad situation and we can not change it, we can look at the way we choose to respond or react to it.
Life is constantly happening every single day. You cannot predict what is going to happen. If you are in a constant state worried about the predictions that are going to happen, it's just a story in your head because you don't know. You don't know what is going to happen. So you are worrying about something you don't even know is true. And when something does happen that is true, it's happened. It's in the now, it's happened. You're onto the next thing.
So honestly the best place to start is in the morning if you can really think about your expectations on the day, how you can manage them. How you can choose to react or not react. How you can choose to respond. So, if something bad happens today, I would like to respond to it in a calm manner knowing that it was out of my control. It's happened. We move on. I'm okay. I am safe. I am loved. I'm okay. And then onto the next thing.
I want you to think about how you want to respond to the scenarios or things that are happening in your day. If it's not something you need to worry about in the next five years, then don't spend the next five minutes worrying about it.
I hope this was helpful.
For more information you can follow me at www.alicerickard.com, or for more journal questions check out The Journal Workout at www.thejournalworkout.com. Have a wonderful day.
If this blog resonated with you and you want to discuss anything further, book a free 1-1 discovery coaching call with me to see how we could work together
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