Expectations are a set of beliefs that a situation will have a specific outcome in the future. Another example of this is the conviction that a person will react in a certain manner. Lastly, we can have expectations of ourselves, having faith that one might defy all odds in tricky situations. How often do the expectations we have turn out? When they don’t, do you find yourself disappointed in people, places, or situations? Ever been on the other side of this in which someone held an expectation of you that was unattainable? An expectation leads to a vicious cycle of “shoulding”. I should have been able to do what they wanted. He should have been able to complete the task in a matter of minutes. The doctor’s office should have gotten my lab results by now. “Should should should should should!” When unrealistic, expectations are doorways to disappointment, anger, and loss of trust. We begin to question our own ability when we can’t meet them, or the integrity of others when they don’t meet ours. While it is important to have standards with regards to how others treat us, and how we treat others; it is helpful to explore if one’s life is ruled by unrealistic expectations. This not only will help in seeing yourself realistically as a human being with limits, but it will also begin to remove layers of judgement that accompany failed expectations. Sometimes all we can do is our best in any relationship or situation. It is in the removal of unrealistic expectations that we can find peace in knowing we did the best we could, judgement free.
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