For some of us, expectations can be motivating and give a sense of direction and purpose, however for others they can be a distraction and affect personal wellbeing. This is the time of year when expectations can be high, as we set out our New Year Resolutions and goals and put pressure on ourselves to get to the end result. Pressure can mount on us as we try to attain the targets that we have set, some of which may not be realistic and equally we may put too much expectation on others including our partners, children or teenagers, which can cause added stresses and strain if they don’t live up to it. In the latest blog from Becoming Aware, based in Eastbourne, we investigate the topic including the definition of expectation/s, the detrimental effects expectations can generate and how we can complete our goals.
Definition of Expectation
The Oxford English Dictionary defines ‘expectation’ as, “A strong belief that something will happen”.
The Collins Dictionary expands on this by saying that our expectations are, “Your strong hopes or beliefs that something will happen or that you will get something that you want.”
Detrimental Effects of Unrealistic Expectations
· Cause suffering
· Put a lot of pressure on you or others
· Can leave you feeling let down
· Are often future-orientated
· Can disconnect rather than connect
· Can be confusing
· Can cause you or others to give up
Expectations often make us focus on the end result and bypass how to make it happen and consequently the end result is not attained. There can be a lot of pain and suffering as a result of expectations not being met. Unfortunately, we do not have a crystal ball and we struggle with how things will pan out for our children and ourselves in the future.
How To Achieve Your Goals
Basically, it is important to be realistic and not to expect too much and not to put so much pressure on ourselves to achieve resolution/goal. It’s crucial to try to stay in the moment and enjoy the journey by letting it unfold in whatever way it needs to. Celebrate each little step rather than focusing on the end destination the whole time, which can be detrimental especially if you have a long way to go and don’t know all of the steps of how to get there. You are far more likely to achieve whatever it is, if you can stay in the moment and enjoy each step of the way. Avoid feeling like a failure by not getting to where you want to get to.
· Be realistic about the situation
· Ask yourself what you are expecting from the situation or person
· Break it down into small steps for that regular sense of achievement
· Look for positives in what you have
· Don’t get down on yourself for feeling disappointed
· Be kind to yourself.
Just because we expect something to happen, doesn’t mean it will. What’s meant to happen will happen regardless of our expectations. We’re more likely to succeed if we enjoy and see achievement in each part of the process, as that is when we are truly living our life. It’s not just about achieving the resolution/goal; it’s about the whole journey from start to finish. If you place too much importance on the expectation of the end result, you may be under pressure and have missed out on days, weeks or months of happiness in between. If you find you constantly have high expectations of yourself or others, do seek help from a professional to break the habit.
What To Do Next
Karen Hoad from Becoming Aware is a qualified and experienced Emotional Healing & Wellbeing Practitioner. She has vast experience in mental, emotional and physical health issues and works with people to release emotions. Call Karen on 07766 427966 for a free without obligation chat or email
“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed” Alexander Pope