I have built quite a curriculum for myself this May. It suddenly felt really good to take on some study and to go deeper with some things I had been working on. It’s not even half way through the month yet and a word keeps popping up in all of my studies: expectations. Today I was teaching a webinar on having break throughs while working with identifying negative emotions for a group of amazing coaches and coaches to be and one word stuck out: expectations.
It’s an important word.
I do this assessment with new clients called the Mindscan/Thinking Styles and one of the things I have noticed the most is that people have a challenge with dealing with things not working out the way they wanted or expected. The old ‘chip on the shoulder comment shows up in many reports. Holding grudges, and basically holding themselves back when things don’t go their way. Setting unrealistic expectations for yourself, others, or for situations can really throw you off your game.
One of the books I am studying this month is The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte. I was cruising along reading it and this stopped me in my tracks:
“Lay down expectations, take up sincerity.” “Expectations shrink your shine and weigh you down with worry and equations.” LaPorte says you can focus on your desires, but release your grip on the future, which can allow you to stay present. She says “Expectation liberation is the new black. Style Up.”
My mentor Mike Ferry always put it this way- “Show up, pay attention, don’t be attached to the outcome.” This always meant to me- Do good work, take the right actions, notice when something is happening and act on it in the appropriate way, and whether it goes the way you want it to or not, be persistent and keep going. (persistence will be the next blog post- from another book I am studying this month.)
It is great to have an intention of how you want things to go, have a plan of action to execute and actually act on it everyday. When things don’t go as expected, see what you can learn from it, take the learning and leave the rest behind.
You know you have set expectations in the past. How has this gotten you into trouble? How many times have you expected someone to do something and they have not followed through? How many times have you expected something to happen and it didn’t? And how long to you stay mad or disappointed about it? How much energy and success has it cost you? Was the person aware of your expectations? Were they realistic?
Learn to cultivate resilience, forgiveness of yourself and others (another part of my studies), not taking offense. Lighten your load.
Be clear with your intentions. Liberate your expectations! Follow your plan. Assess what doesn’t work. Adjust your plan. Keep going.