Expectations play a huge role in our lives. They play an important role when we are driving down the right side of the road and we expect people coming from the other direction to stay on the left. We expect that when we board a plane we are going to land safely at our destination. They are what allow us to go out into the world, for the most part, safely.
However, expectations can also set us up for disappointment when we let our lives be run by them. When we have expectations for future events we have a good chance of being let down when what we thought would, happen didn't.
It can be something as small as sending a friend a text message and expecting them to text back quickly. When we are checking our phone we are looking for the expected outcome, a return message. When that message does come as quickly as we wish, or at all, we feel anxiety and disapointment.
Or if we are expecting the vacation we are about to have is going to go off without a hitch. When problems arise we are disappointed, yet again when we didn't receive the expected outcome.
The best way to have no expectations is to have no expectations. Easy enough right? Here are some tips.
- Firstly, be aware of when expectations are entering your mind. Once you learn what you are feeling you will be more equipped to release them.
- Remember how disappointing expectations can be. Put yourself in a prior situation when your expectations didn't meet outcomes. Remember how that felt to feel disappointed.
- Understand that people and situations are unpredictable. We have no way of knowing what is going to happen tomorrow. We can't plan for everything.
- Realize that "unpredicted" things that happen are called life's little surprises. If you head out on a trip and take a wrong turn, that is not you getting lost, it is you discovering another way to get there. Learn to enjoy that.
- Lastly, try something new. The reason new things are sometimes scary to us is because we feel we have no control because we don't know what to expect. What a way to release expectations than put yourself in situations when you have no choice but to.