EXPECTATIONS; Are they leading to frustrations?

The word expectation comes from the Latin word expectationem, meaning an awaiting”. It is the act or state of looking forward or anticipating.

A person’s expectations are strong beliefs which they have about the proper way someone should behave or something should happen.

Expectations are nothing more than our own best guesses sculpted into theory. If not taken care of, they can make our lives more difficult than ever. Expecting life to always turn out the way we want mostly leads to disappointment because life will not always turn out the way we want it to… It has its own plans. Expectations are generated automatically without conscious effort. When expectations are not met, pain ensues, and we often place blame on something or someone who did not live up to our expectations.

We can classify expectations into 2 forms, the first one is expectation from self 

And the second involves expectations that we place on others, it could be our family members, friends, lovers etc.

SELF – EXPECTATION is always better than expecting from others. Expectations are healthy if we shift our point from “expect from others” to “make expectations from ourselves”. Higher the expectations we have with ourselves, better the work we will try to do; it constantly keeps us motivated to achieve our goals. No expectation means no purpose, no motivation and no hopes.

Merely expecting something to happen will not make it happen. We have to take the necessary steps to make it happen.

Whenever our self expectations are failed, instead of getting frustrated, we should try to find out the reason and evaluate our expectation first.

Either our expectations far exceeded the reality, or it’s our behavior which is at fault. If despite our full efforts we do not get expected results, then we should not be discouraged. May be life has some better plans for us.

As mentioned in The Bible;

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

We only have authority over action, not over to the result of an action. The outcome of any action is like an equation where we provide some of the variables, but not all of them. In fact, we may not even know all the variables that end up determining the outcome.

That’s why acceptance is necessary.

“It’s good to have plans and dreams, but don’t be surprised if God brings you somewhere else.” – Anne F. Beiler

EXPECTATIONS FROM OTHERS; Most of us have many expectations from others .Every relationship involves expectations, whether it’s personal relation or professional .Expectation from spouse, from children, from parents, from friends and so on.

 How we manage those expectations will largely determine the character and quality of those relationships. This, in turn, determines the direction and quality of our lives. There are few points, which should be considered in order to have harmonious relations and a better life….

⭐ First of all try to have minimal expectations with others because this is the only way to protect ourselves from hurting…. So many relationships fail because of the burden of expectations we put on the other person and ourselves.

⭐ Accept that everyone is different in their way; we can’t control them. We should accept them for who they are.

⭐ Its better to avoid unrealistic expectations.

⭐ Never try to change others. Essentially, disappointment from others is inevitable if we expect that people can simply change on their own to suit our choices and requirements.

 ⭐ Antidote to expectations is gratitude.

When we learn to appreciate and be grateful for what we have and who we are, we let go of our expectations.

If we practice to let go of some of these common expectations from our lives, then we will have a happier and content life... Here’s the list of most common expectations, which we have from others…

1. Praise and Appreciation… If we r doing good things then we should have self satisfaction. Why we are expecting others to acknowledge and appreciate.

2. Validation… often we expect others to validate our worth.

3. People should agree with me

4. People should understand what I am saying

5. Happiness… often we expect others to make us happy. But no one else can be our full-time cheerleader.

6. Why do we rely on someone else for our happiness? We have to find out our own source.

7. Fulfillment… Many people always keep on trying to find out ‘someone special’ to fulfill their lives, always expecting to meet that one person who can meet all of their criteria.

The biggest reason why our expectations from others are not being met is ‘lack of expression or lack of communication’

Someone has concluded that 80 % of our expectations are ‘assumed ‘– never really expressed. If we have expectations with someone, then it’s better to express it. Neither withhold them, nor be silent…  Also give that person the opportunity to express.

In my opinion, with proper communication and expression at least 50% of our expectations from others will be fulfilled.

Instead of having expectations, Its always better to keep our ‘HOPES ALIVE’…. Most of the people get confused between hopes and expectations, because both are wishes and beliefs about the future. But these two are quite different.

Hope is the anticipated belief regarding to events or circumstances. It is related to a positive outcome in which one desires that something has the possibility of getting fulfilled. Hope unlocks possibilities and enables us to accept anything that may come, keeping us flexible. Hope fills us with life, it is an action of humility. Having a hope helps us acknowledge that ‘God knows the best’, it produces a life of faith.

On the contrary, having an expectation can be an act of pride, it often indicates that ‘i know the best’. Having an expectation produces a life of entitlement. Expectation leads us to accept only those outcomes that are favorable. Expectations are inflexible and rigid, they entangles us in complexities.

Hope does not die when it goes unmet. Failed hopes are not dangerous as failed expectation. When our expectations go unmet we always respond negatively… become angry. That’s why Hopes are considered to be healthier than expectations

If expectations are the seeds of desires, hope is the soil where faith blossoms.

“Hope is like a light that flickers all the time   Expectations are temporary and will soon run out of shine”; Marinela Reka

No doubt, it is quite difficult to give up all of our expectations because It is natural to have expectations from others. After all we are just an ordinary human being, not a saint. What we can do is to limit our expectations.

Now It’s time to get off our glasses of unrealistic expectations and to decide whether we will manage our expectations or allow them to manage our lives.

-Dr. Shilpi Pandey

Shilpi Pandey

Dr Shilpi Pandey completed MBBS(1999) & MD(2004) Pathology from King George Medical University, Lucknow. Presently she is working in a private pathology clinic as a consultant. You can also reach her on social media

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