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Are Your Expectations Setting You Up for Disappointment?

Waking up to who you are, requires letting go of who you imagine yourself to be. Read that again and get it into your head!

When I was young I expected life to be fair: do the right thing and the right things will happen, treat people well and they will treat you well.

But it didn’t quite work out that way and it still doesn’t. Horrific things happen to good people and bad people get away with murder.

We expect those around us to be kind because we are; we expect them to be loyal because we are and we expect them to treat us with respect because we believe we deserve it.

But that’s not what we get and it’s not the way the world works. We need to stop expecting of others and more importantly expecting too much of ourselves. We will always fall short, we will always disappoint ourselves and we will always beat ourselves up about not living up to that picture we have of who we should be.

In no way am I saying we shouldn’t strive for better and in no way am I saying you shouldn’t set yourself goals and targets. I’m saying you should forgive yourself when you don’t meet them and work out why, as that is a better use of your time than punishing yourself for at least trying.

Here are some of my thoughts on expecting too much from others and yourself. As in all things, I am a work in progress and I don’t always do what I know I should do. I fall short and make many mistakes. That’s just life, we can’t get it right all the time and we need to forgive ourself when we don’t.

When expectations rule our lives, we set ourselves up for disappointment. We judge ourselves and others harshly for it and we expend so much energy doing it that we feel tired and frustrated. It’s a road to nowhere. If you expect less right away you have a better life. For example, if you expect someone to simply say thank you when you have supported them, and they don’t you get frustrated. If you don’t expect them to, and are happy that you had a chance to feel good about helping someone - you win. If they do say thank you and it’s unexpected, then again you feel good! Nothing has changed only your expectations but everything has changed inside your head.

It’s your call, do what you want but, for me, I would rather do what works.

Take care - I use this phrase a lot, and what I mean by it is take care of yourself. One of my favourite quotes is from the Bhagavad Gita.

“Lift the self by the self, never let the self drop down, for the self is the self’s only friend and the self is the only enemy.”

Take care of your “self”

David Toney


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