Expectations. We know of them. We know we have them. But do we realize the depth of which we have them and what a huge impact they have on our lives and those around us?
Are a lot of your actions based on what you think other people want you to do or how they want you to act? Do you do things to give people a certain perception of you?
Or do you have expectations of people around you? Do you get mad or talk bad about someone if they do something you don’t agree with or you don’t understand? Do you judge them if they look different that you? They act in ways you don’t feel comfortable with or make life choices that seem too risky or irresponsible to you?
If you said yes to any of the first set of questions, you are not living the true authentic you. You a living to please others.
If you said yes to any of the second set of questions, you are not allowing others to be their true authentic selves and expecting them to live the way you think they should.
“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” – Bruce Lee
Why does it matter so much what people think of us? And why do we want so badly to tell everyone else how to act or what choices to make in their lives?
I moved to Portland in 2012 from Northern California. It was a totally different culture and I LOVED IT! People were so accepting of each other and everyone could be whoever they wanted to be. Some people wore crazy clothes and had crazy hair but no one cared. The business man in a suit could talk to the purple haired tatoo’d people without a thought and they got along fine. I loved this!
When my friends from California came to visit I loved to take them right into the heart of downtown to some funky restaurants where we were sure to see all kinds of personalities and styles. The first thing they’d do is get a smug, judging look on their faces and I’d stop them in their tracks and say “UH UH…that doesn’t fly here. In this city we all get to be whoever we want and we love all those different from us.” That would shift their mindset and they’d be like…ok that’s pretty cool! It was like they were set free suddenly.
It was so fun because I was used to different types of people judging each other and you couldn’t go in their circles and they couldn’t come into yours. But here you got to talk to all these different people with different personalities and it was so amazing how much you learn about ideas and passions and just being around people who think differently than you. I started to love to just go out shopping and talk to random people. It inspired me and I couldn’t get enough of it.
The truth is that it’s none of our business the way others choose to live their lives! The more we push away what is different from us the more we isolate ourselves from experiencing people’s worlds from a different perspective and being introduced to new things.
Step out and talk to those who are different from you! You’ll find it’s a pretty cool thing to love instead of judge. 😉
We’ve all been given this amazingly beautiful gift of life. Our life is our own between us and the one who created us. We all have been given different faces, bodies, personalities, ideas, passions, gifts, and the list goes on. We are here to live OUR purpose, our path, our truth.
We all have our own decisions to make. And that’s the beauty of it, they are OUR choices. Not anyone else’s.
The most important thing in this world is that we live our true authentic vulnerable messy beautiful selves. AND that we allow everyone else to do the same. It doesn’t matter what others think as long as you are following your heart and being the true you. It’s not up to us to decide what someone else does with their lives or try to tell them how to live their lives.
You may be categorized as weird, dorky, nerdy…who cares if that’s you. Own it! Love it! Embrace it!
If you see someone who you think is weird you should say “Cool, they are being their true selves”. Rock on weird one!
Let’s make it a point to be ourselves and not worry about what others might think of us. Who cares, they aren’t walking in our shoes and they aren’t us.
Let’s also make it a point to let people be their true selves and to not give our input or pass judgement. Let’s mind our own business and focus on our own lives! Be kind.
Now let’s look at a different side of expectations. These are the ones that affect our daily lives and those around us in a different way.
We go into new relationships, new jobs, an outing with friends, time with the family, etc. with certain expectations of how it’s going to go. We imagine an outcome in our minds.
If it’s something we don’t want to do like spend time with difficult friends or family members, we probably expect the worst and then go into the situation with a bad attitude already in place which in turn will affect everyone involved negatively. Then it does go bad because we already had our mind set on it!
Or maybe the car breaks down, someone gets hurt or sick and you have to end the fun plans earlier and now your whole day is ruined because it didn’t go as expected.
I used to go out and run my errands with expectations. I’d make a plan, map out my route, and off I’d go expecting everything to go smoothly because I planned it that way. Then immediately I have an annoying driver in front of me that lowers my mood, someone steals my parking place, at the store people are rude or stand in the way, or the store is out of something I needed.
Now my mood is affected and I probably won’t be as friendly to those around me as I would have been if my expectations were met. See how this works?
Unmet expectations not only bring you down but they affect the energy that you put out to the world.
Do you realize that having expectations sets you up to be let down?
Now how about if I leave to run my errands with the mindset of knowing that people won’t do what I want them to, I may have obstacles along the way but I’m making the choice to flow with whatever happens and remain in a good mood and plan to be kind to others regardless?
I can tell you the difference because this is the shift I’ve made in my life. When you mentally prepare yourself to flow with whatever is coming your way before you go, you will be prepared to deal with difficult things, people’s moods, and obstacles before they arrive. Doing this also gets your mind away from setting expectations.
I’ve also found that when I do this that I usually have some really good experiences like a chat with a stranger, people seem friendlier, etc. It is probably because I’m more chill and happy and they feel that energy.
Let’s get real here…having expectations is living in make believe land. Life is unpredictable! Have you noticed most things never go as planned?
Life doesn’t end up like we thought it would, people don’t act the way we want them to and our children don’t do what we thought they would. What is it that makes us try to plan things out and control everything? We have no control of these things!
Doesn’t it make sense to accept that life will be what it will be. There will always be obstacles and problems. We can get angry about it and let it take happiness from us or we can start our day accepting that things will happen that we do or don’t like and that’s ok. We make the choice to flow with them and know it will all turn out fine.
The mindset we should have before anything we do is that we are going to do our best to be a good person, to be kind, and to make other people’s lives better. We don’t want to be the difficult one in the group or the negative one causing everyone else to have a bad time.
Set your intentions, be yourself, let others be themselves…this is what you do have control of.
“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.” – Alexander Pope
Have a fabulous flowy week and talk to some people you wouldn’t normally talk to!
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This is such good advice. I often find I have unrealistic expectations for myself and then I get frustrated and feel bad when I can’t possibly meet them. I’m going to use this advice today!! Hope you have a flowy day, too, Denise🌞
Thank you! I’m the same. I’m really hard on myself and usually expect too much of myself. When I don’t accomplish what I planned I get discouraged or down on myself. And that’s just silly! Glad this one resonated and helped you as well! 😀
Many years after we graduated, I ran into a high-school friend while I was visiting my home town. As we were catching up on the years, he commented that he never thought that life after high school would be this way. He’d let life’s obstacles beat him down instead, as you said, flow with them. Your article could have been a life changer for him. Keep up the good work!
Stories like this are exactly why I do what I do. I’ve lived it myself. We have all these ideas ingrained in us…ways that we think everything is supposed to be based on what society or those around us are doing or telling us. We’re fighting against the flow of life which leaves us exhausted and discouraged. We have to let go of our limiting beliefs and let our lives flow and be what they are meant to be. Life can’t be planned. We are so busy trying to plow through life that we can’t hear our inner guidance, our instinct that guides us and we’re trying to force things that aren’t meant to be. We don’t even realize all these things we do internally like setting expectations that destroy our happiness and pull us off our path. It’s so very important to be ok with whatever comes your way, embrace it, learn the lesson, grow and be thankful. Life is an adventure…let’s live it! <3 Thank you for sharing!!
The best things happen when we have no expectations. This was a great read! It resonates. Thank you!
The best things happen when we have no expectations. This was a great read! It resonates. Thank you!
Thank you Brianna! 😀
Love this! “Unmet expectations not only bring you down but they affect the energy that you put out to the world.” This is very true, and it’s easy to get caught in the web of how we wish things were. Thanks for posting!