Ten years ago on my anniversary: I had already imagined my (ex) partner coming home with flowers. Thats what I ‘decided’ would show me he loved me, thus no flowers meant he did not.
My expectations on how he ‘should’ behave and how things ‘should’ be, left me feeling disappointed as his smiling face entered the room….empty handed.
Poor boy. Apparently he was not a mindreader.
Like many women, I had created a habit to overthink and create expectations about how a conversation would go, what dinner should be like, or how someone else should behave. I was focusing on how things were ‘supposed’ to be. without realising that these expectations were creating an intense gap between what is and what will be.
Thankfully, I started to notice a pattern. My anxiety would increase as things didn’t go as my mind had planned and I would feel consequently feel disappointed or let down.
I was the one who was creating this problem for myself. I was expecting others to not be allowed to act as they are. This was a refreshing realisation as it meant I could learn to STOP it and change my behaviour (rather than trying to change theirs).
Fast forward to today and I am a different person. I catch myself starting to lay down expectations and can reframe my thoughts immediately. My relationship flows like none I have had before and I live for the present moment, because I can’t control the future. My mantra “It is what it is” stops me getting stuck inside my head. This mindset shift a f**king game changer!!
What would change for you if you could shift your expectation to wonder and curiosity?
When we let go of expectations, we live in the present moment. We open space for more curiosity, more creativity, more connectedness. Expectations feed our worst nightmares of uncertainty, doubt, hesitation, self-consciousness, anxiety, fear, and worry.
Author and neuroscientist Robb Rutledge says “Happiness depends not on how well things are going but whether things are going better or worse than expected.” However micro-managing and overthinking every detail in our life reduces our feelings of happiness.
*I want to add here that I am not suggesting you remove your boundaries or your moral code. Some of our expectations are healthy and expectations that others will obey laws and not harm us helps to create inner peace and trust within our communities.*
“Trade your expectations for appreciation and your whole world changes in an instant. ” – Tony Robbins .
How to create the shift
To start creating the shift in mindset for yourself:
1) Become aware of your overthinking and the expectations you are holding for the people and situations around you.
2) Explore how it feels to change your language from ‘hope’ ‘should’ ‘expect’ to ‘wonder’ or that of appreciation of what is happening right now.
Old thought: “I hope he gets here early”
New thought: “I wonder if he will get here early’.
Old thought: “She should stop telling me what to do”
New thought: “I wonder why she feels she needs to tell me what to do. I’ll ask her.”
3) If required, think of one thing YOU can do now to get yourself closer to the preferred outcome. Remember that the only thing we can control is how WE respond to a situation.
What expectations in your life could you drop and trade for appreciation or wonder?
Ready to shift your thinking and remove the expectations making you feel like sh*t? I invite you to 8 weeks of personalised coaching – Just you and me.