"Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed."
We all know what it's like to feel the sting of disappointment when we expect something that never comes. The unpredictable causes of our disappointment can be traced back to the expectations that we put on a situation, something, or someone.
Something we all need to keep in mind is that people and situations are unpredictable. We often find ourselves at the mercy of these changing variables and have made the mistake of placing expectations on them, resulting in negative feelings of irritation and disappointment.
Realizing that it was the expectations that I had placed on people or situations that led me to feelings of disappointment and inadequacy, I came to realize that when I removed the expectations of MY desired outcome, I removed those negative feelings and emotions that were bound to follow.
Accepting the unpredictable situations that were a result of other peoples' actions and completely out of my control, helped me to focus on the positive things that I could do to contribute or help a situation.
Here are some key factors that I consider before I think to put expectations on people or situations:
Opinions - People having different opinions other than me offer me perspective. It is crucial for me to let the people I'm interacting with that have differing opinions know that I appreciate and respect their perspective. I think it is very important to reassure these people that I don't judge them, but that I also appreciate their willingness to share. This builds trust.
Perfection - I've been put on a pedestal before and I don't like the feeling of constantly trying to live up to the perfect image that people may have of me. I wouldn't want to put that kind of relentless pressure on my family, friends, or the people around me. Others' imperfections make them unique.
Happiness - Happiness is self-made. Others may have influence on my feelings, but ultimately it is up to me to decide if I am going to be happy or not. There is strength and emotional intelligence in being able to identify those influences and consciously remove their control over you.
Mind Reading - One of my biggest challenges in keeping expectations at bay is that I expect people to do what I want, exactly how I see it in my mind. I have to exercise trust in others that they will do what I want to the best of their ability, and not to judge them harshly when they fall short.
Acceptance - Once learning that accepting unpredictable situations that arise, I discovered that I was better able to focus on the positive aspects of the event and live in the ever-present now. When I am able to do that, I am better prepared to focus on creating the best possible solution to any problem in my path.
Think of a situation or a person who has "disappointed" you, then think of the ways you could've viewed/handled that situation that could've helped you to remove expectation. By consciously utilizing the practical tools listed above, you will soon become well-versed at the unconscious practice of not placing expectations where they don't belong. As a result, you will remove disappointment and the negative emotions that go along with not receiving what we unjustly expect.