Having the ability to successfully manage our expectations when things do not go to plan, is the difference between acceptance (and the peace of mind that usually comes with this) versus feeling a host of negative emotions such as frustration, anger, sorrow and disappointment.
Often our expectations come from our hopes and plans; how we perceive things will turn out. Sometimes, they stem from our thinking around how other people might behave in certain situations.
If we reflect on our expectations of a particular scenario honestly, we might realise that they were unrealistic in the first place. This sometimes comes to light when I deliver coaching sessions to clients. A client may feel disappointed about how someone has behaved, for example – possibly a family member or friend. I have to point out that just because my client may have acted a certain way in a situation, we are all different and we shouldn’t expect others to act as we would. When a client realises that, there is often a ‘light-bulb’ moment. They now realise that there is something that they can do to make themselves feel better as it is their reactions to a situation which result in how they feel.
Understanding this helps them to realise that they have more ‘power’ than they think – in terms of managing that situation. The power is actually in adjusting their thinking by realising that how they see something is only their perception and not, in fact, reality. Successfully managing their expectations can be the difference between peace of mind and the negative emotions mentioned earlier.
- Don’t expect others to behave the same as you would in a given situation – we are all different. That’s what makes us interesting!
- Don’t become despondent when things don’t go to plan – just consider the next stage in the journey.
- Certainly don’t give up on a scenario just because it doesn’t work out at first. Nobody said that the course of life would run smoothly (believing it should is, in itself, a totally unrealistic expectation!)
- Understand that it’s your reaction to something that affects how you feel about it – adjust your thinking around it, if necessary.
If you can do the above, you will undoubtedly start to feel much more in control of your own emotions.
Don’t forget that you can always contact me at Podio if you wish to discuss your own experiences in relation to the subjects in my blogs. I love to know how you are all getting on.