So often, we try to avoid frustration and unmet expectations by having a death grip on our schedules. In our minds, we think that if we can just know exactly what is going to happen, when, where, how, and with whom, then there will be no chance that our expectations will be broken.
So, in an attempt to avoid being frustrated, we try to make sure we understand everything that is going to happen in a world that is always changing. Trying to make tomorrow safe by creating it before it happens.
The problem with this logic is that life happens. You can never predict tomorrow. You might think you know what is going to happen, but your plans are never set in stone. If you’ve ever had a picnic rained out or called in sick to work, you know just what I’m talking about here.
So, when something doesn’t go the way you expected it to, or someone gets sick, or it rains, you’re put right back where you didn’t want to be…the land of unmet expectations.
The tighter you try to control your reality, the more expectations you set, and the more expectations you have available for the reality of the ever-changing world to break.
This turns into a very vicious cycle for some people. The more frustrated you get with things not living up to your expectations, the more you try to create your reality. This is where people turn to anger, jealousy, guilt trips, temper tantrums, crying, and passive aggressiveness to get everyone and everything to conform to the reality they created in their own minds. Often times, after this behavior has become a habit, these manipulative tactics are done subconsciously.
If you find yourself frustrated and sad because of unmet expectations on a regular basis, and you want that feeling to change, you must understand one very important rule.
You can only guarantee change that you make from within.
You can never manipulate others into the kind of real lasting change that will make them able to read your mind and live up to your expectations.
The change you need to make to rid yourself of the frustration of unmet expectations is not to make more expectations or to manipulate others to live up to the ones you’ve set. The answer is to rid yourself of expectations.
- If you don’t know what is going to happen, you won’t be upset when it doesn’t happen.
- When you don’t make someone commit to a time to be somewhere, they can’t be late.
- If you don’t worry about who is going to be there, you won’t be upset when they don’t show up.
- If you stop expecting someone to behave a certain way, you won’t be frustrated when they don’t act that way.
When you go with the flow, you can’t get washed over by the waves.
Have a joyful day!
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