4 Easy steps to avoid disappointment by Julie Furlong
I’m tired of planning things that don’t turn out the way I’ve thought they would. I often lie in bed and plan perfection, with high expectations. I think to myself, “it’s going to be great”. And then I often come to the realisation that my expectations were far too high. The last few years were full of high expectations for me. Of which, most were not met. After the whirlwind of events, I asked myself, what the hell happened?
The thing is, you can plan your life in great detail, but there is never a guarantee it’s going to work out how you expected it to. People will rarely behave exactly how you want them to and their actions are out of your control, and things may not turn out as you had expected. A plan is supposed to be a plan. It’s not the real deal, so don’t allow other people’s actions affect you and prevent you from enjoying the experience altogether.
We get so obsessed with finding the perfect path, perfect partner, perfect kids, perfect family. We set ourselves impossible tasks and have these huge expectations of ourselves and who we want to become. I know that every time I do this and things have not panned out the way I had hoped, I become increasingly frustrated, disappointed and upset. When I expect people to do their very best with my big expectations, I set myself up for disappointment, and unfortunately most often, leads to sadness and dissatisfaction.
On reflection, I’ve realised it’s not about executing the perfect plan, it’s about reflecting and changing your actions and expectations along the way. The perfect plan is about having a go. If it doesn’t work, understand why then readjust, negotiate and make the changes.
Happiness lies within the management of your expectations. Do not expect things out of the situation, be realistic and go into them with an open mind. People don’t always do what they promise and there are many reasons why. Not everyone shares the same experiences, circumstances and perceptions as you (Read: Uniqueness), so;
- Stop expecting people to live up to your expectation, of what you think they should be
- Allow people to be themselves
- Stop expecting people to know and understand what you are thinking
- Don’t expect people to suddenly change. You can’t change people and you shouldn’t try
You don’t have to expect people to always be nice to you, like you or agree with you. Just, be nice to yourself! (Read: Positive Habits of Thought). Some people will agree with you, and some people won’t. You can only control how you treat others and how you treat yourself. If you can’t live without expectations, start by being aware of them and perhaps lower them along the way. You’ll find yourself living a happier life. The biggest challenge is learning to accept people for who they truly are.
Once you realise that your expectations cannot change people, the better off you will be.
Acceptance is a hard trait to develop and continue to be mindful of. You need to maintain a true awareness of your own circumstances and work towards a realistic plan. People will not always respond to you in the way you have hoped. When things do not work out the way you had expected, realise that it’s just how life works sometimes, rather than becoming upset about the situation. You live in the present, so make your decisions and choices based on that moment (Read: Enjoy the Moment).
Give it a try. Expect the unexpected, when you have no expectations.