Mindfulness & Expectations

Monday, June 19, 2023

Mindfulness & Expectations

There’s an old saying that those who expect nothing are blessed because they can never be disappointed. How could they? They are free of expectations. In the lives so many of us lead it is, of course, difficult to rise to such a liberated, free state. Expectations, for ourselves, for others, are everywhere. The new job, a vacation, your son or daughter’s tryout for a dance, a play or a team. Or perhaps most pressing, the weight of everything we expect to get done in a single day. The myriad of work projects, the errands that never seem to get done, the workout you know you should do, and so on.

In this latest blog, we want to explore 7 steps we have found especially helpful in creating realistic expectations.

Let's start by defining what an expectation is:

An expectation is a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future.

Personal expectations play a big part in, and are a key factor in our life, work and relationships.

Managing our expectations with a mindful approach will help us envision our future in a grounded, healthy way. Setting personal expectations can be a positive practice in your life but it is important to stay realistic.

When goals become excessive or unrealistic it can spark negative feelings like avoidance, negative self-talk, confusion or even fear.

Our expectations should help provide a clearer direction and accountability while keeping us focused on our long-term goals. Now let's look at how we can navigate setting expectations that will help us to find success...

  • ​Keep it Clear
    When it comes to life, new projects or relationships it is a great idea to spend some time creating expectations. This will set the tone and help enforce boundaries. It will help our creativity while sparking time management and encouraging accountability. These expectations are created by you for you.

  • ​Letting Go
    If you don't meet the expectations, it can be a slippery slope into negativity. As soon as we notice that our expectations are getting in our way we need to let go - We will validate how we feel, realign our expectations and get refocused.

  • ​Positive Self-Talk
    You control your thoughts so keep them positive and healthy. Try to guide your mindset to avoid those detrimental thoughts. Some ideas can be checked in on your feelings and thoughts. By examining and being mindful of the words you are using can help you analyze if these are weapons or words of encouragement. Using a journal to help write goals, track our process or write positive affirmations can be a great tool.

  • ​Surviving Setbacks
    Life happens - Deadlines are important to help accomplish goals, but we are human there will be timeframes we don't make. Providing yourself some understanding, empathy while reframing due dates can prevent burnout. We understand this can be frustrating and our natural reaction is to work harder and push ourselves to be faster than we are able - This is not a realistic request. In order to address this potential setback we need to be flexible, give yourself some room to accommodate potential situations.

  • ​Celebrate EVERYTHING
    Success is success. Even if you have accomplished a minor detail of your plan that positively contributes to your project or lifestyle, take the time to recognize and celebrate. Thinking about what you have accomplished will help keep things in perspective. It will help you feel successful, show your development and growth.

  • ​Gratitude
    Take the time to appreciate what you have. Rather than feeling overwhelmed with what you want, try focusing on what brings you happiness, joy and love right now. Embrace your hobbies, friends, family and joys in life

  • ​Creating Confidence
    Self-confidence can help you overcome challenges. You will be able to ask for what you want and need, pursue your passions and help you live a fulfilling life.

Now that we have discussed realistic expectations for ourselves we can look at coping with other’s expectations. All areas of life and the people with whom we come in contact with may impose unrealistic expectations which could disrupt our peace and well-being. Now this is where we need to focus on what we can control. It is important we avoid feeling pressured and don’t accept expectations that cross personal boundaries or are not achievable. We want to work on coping skills and how we can improve the situation.

Unfair or unrealistic expectations from others can be developed by life experiences, childhood or their family and society. Without modifying your own expectations these factors can be considered and help us understand and see things from a different point of view. We recommend speaking openly and keeping the conversation transparent. This may help them adjust expectations and overall improve the relationship with them. It may take some trial and error to come to an understanding and also complete the end goal or meet the expectation.

Here are some factors we need to consider to help us determine if the expectations others are requiring are healthy. We can ask “Are they…”

  • ​Appropriate
  • ​Fair
  • Harmless
  • Fulfilling Personally or Professionally
  • ​Accepting
  • ​Respectful
  • ​Productive
  • Honest

In summary, setting realistic expectations for yourself and having methods of measure when it comes to expectations set by others is both a healthy life management skill and can improve well-being. We want honest, realistic timelines and honest standards. Working on this thought princess will help achieve your goals and keep life in perspective. We want to always keep further self-growth, fulfillment and our long-term goals in check with our sanity. We want to avoid setting expectations too high that may have the potential to discredit ourselves. We want to aim to live our healthiest life: psychologically and physically.

Did you find this helpful? Did this spark an area of potential growth for you or someone you know? Let's dive deeper - Reach out to the team at Wholeness Psychology so we can assist matching you with a member of our skilled and qualified multidisciplinary providers.

Mindfulness & Expectations

Monday, June 19, 2023

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Hi, I Am Jessica


I post daily inspirational content on social media
to empower you to experience the love you desire & deserve!