What do you think of when you hear that someone “lacks expectations?” If you grew up like me, it makes you think they have low standards, no motivation, and doesn’t really care about life.
But the truth is, expectations regularly bite us in the ass!
We expect that a certain action will get us a certain outcome. This creates a problem, because we are then focused on what we think we are entitled to or guaranteed to receive. We EXPECT something in return for an action we took.
And if it doesn’t come, we are then trapped in a spiral of toxic focus on what is absent. What we should have gotten. What someone else got and we didn’t get. Anger, frustration, jealousy.
This toxic cycle of expectation manifests everywhere in our culture, from small squabbles between siblings to social foundations of discrimination and bias. When any one of us expects and anticipates that we will get something, and we do not get it, it triggers negativity toward ourselves which then is acted out on others around us. Especially the “others” we think have received the benefits or outcomes we were entitled to.
So what is the alternative? Of course, we don’t want to live without standards. Healing this wound lies in recognizing the difference between a desire and an expectation. This process is often a part of mindset and manifestation coaching with my clients.
Often when we expect something, what is really going on is we desire it. This could be a job offer, a romantic partner, or the toy your kids can’t seem to share. Because we have a desire, we expect it should be satisfied. And when it isn’t, we are disappointed.
But if you want something, you simply have to keep acting toward it. No, this doesn’t mean continuing to pursue the same job opening or person who has told you “no.” But it does mean staying oriented in why you desire to find the right new job, or the right new partner. How do you want those things to make you FEEL? Is it more inspired? More treasured? More supported?
Defining WHY you want what you want is the work at hand for you. The creation piece of defining the reasons opportunity should manifest for ourselves is our work. And it isn’t easy work, which is why spiritual intuitive coaching exists. When our desires will come together, who the characters are—it’s not only out of our control, but none of our business. All that is up to God.
Being too focused on the how, and expecting what our desires will look like, can often cause us to miss them when they manifest. For instance, imagine you really want a cardboard box, because it will make you feel more organized. (Bear with me.) You are visualizing a box with polka dots. So when a box with stripes presents itself, you reject it, because it doesn’t LOOK exactly the way you imagined—even though it would make you FEEL exactly the way you imagined if you accepted it.
Reality check: you are not entitled to receive box after box until one meets your exact expectations. In fact, no box you find probably ever will.
Whether it’s the opportunity we chase today or something coming in the future, manifesting our desires is a three part puzzle. And the terrible-yet-magical news is, the middle piece of the puzzle is out of our hands. The first piece is our work of intention and creation, defining how achieving our goals and desires will make us FEEL.
This is powerful work because it pushes us to focus closely on the truth of who we are. Admitting to some of the feelings we want to chase is an act of healing and in some cases an act of rebellion.
But then, all we have to do is stay oriented in those feelings and take the steps that draw us closer to what we want. This promotes a grateful focus on what is present, not a lacking feeling of unmet expectations. When we focus on the power of the reasons behind our desires and intentions, we are freed to sit in the lap of God and talk about what we want, releasing what we expect about what it will look like when we get it. Because we are focused on how we will feel when we receive it.
Our standards aren’t lowered, but our expectations are removed. And that in turn removes a barrier to receiving what it is we wanted to begin with.
My coaching for breakthrough success is part of the support system that can help you achieve this shift. If you want help practicing the release of expectation and tuning in to your motivations, I am here for you.