Learning to Let Go of Expectations

by - May 07, 2018

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How many of us have expected to have a stress-free Friday afternoon at work only to find out that things didn't go the way we thought? What about buying shoes, expecting that they would look good, but also perfectly fit? Expecting to see your friends this weekend only to be let down at the last minute because they've got other plans? Each one of us has certain expectations. Somehow we can innocently plant them in our minds and can often harbour them for weeks. Unmet expectations can trigger disappointment and sometimes push our hidden buttons on issues not even related to the situation at hand. There's nothing wrong with feeling disappointment - don't shame or blame yourself for feeling it, emotions are not the enemy here. When we're so focused on living in expectation, on making sure our little, neatly drawn expectations are met and materialized in the way we want them, in the way we expected them, we can really miss out on the world out there. Life doesn't work according to our expectations. The people around us and the world as a whole don't operate according to our expectations. So why are we so stubborn in our desire to continue creating expectations?

Once we've designed the expectation and securely tucked it in our thoughts, we are left satisfied when the event in question is unfolded according to it and can happily move on to the next. But when the event doesn't unfold the way we expected it, a little havoc ripples through us and we either end up blaming the situation or ourselves. We can't even think of seeing beyond it, because it's all we can focus on. Then we'll modify our expectations and lower them or exceed them, depending on the circumstances, confident that we won't be surprised or disappointed next time, because we'll be prepared. But wait, is there such thing as prepared? Can we prepare for what life is and for what it can be? You can prepare for rain tomorrow, but you can't prepare for everything out there. Expectations are limiting, they limit the way we perceive, the way we think and act, the way we live.

Now here's a different scenario. You've decided to let go of your daily expectation. There might or might not be an empty parking spot, but also you might stumble upon something even better. There's no expectation attached. You don't know, but you know you'll be all right either way. You know that you don't need an expectation to guide your day. You don't need to create one and you don't need to wait for it to be met or not. You just go along with what is and you feel even more contentment within you, because you are open to experiencing life outside of the expectation boundary, outside of the boxes we like to build for ourselves.

Once we release our expectations, we open our hearts and minds to more possibilities. Because the available options won't be just the two ones we've expected. They could be more, but it can only happen if we fully let go of expecting and if we open ourselves to the newness and vastness that there is. You can live a fulfilling life without the go-to expectation, it's not an essential ingredient to who you are. Don't allow expectations to dictate how you feel. Yes, your friends might have other plans, but does it mean that you can't enjoy your weekend without them? The shoes you've picked might not turn out to be the most comfortable ones, but instead of staying angry at yourself and decide to wear them regardless or march down the store to return them, perhaps they can fit better someone you know? When you don't carve out expectations, you have the chance to feel the abundance in life and become less negatively affected by change, less susceptible to disappointment and anger. Daily things won't have the same power over you and the way you feel. They won't matter like they used to.

And just to clarify any misconception, expectations are not to be mistaken with the feeling of hope or with having a positive or negative outlook. Releasing your expectations doesn't stop you from nurturing hope and having a positively inclined mindset. You are simply leaving behind what's restricting you and holding you back.

Challenge yourself not to create expectations at least for a month. Every time you catch yourself expecting a certain outcome, set it free. When you wake up and before you go to sleep, remind yourself to let go of expectations and to open your heart. Place a daily reminder to release yourself from expecting, to see your life and self in new, unlimited way. Release so that you may receive.

I hope you have a day full of love!

Inner Quiet is all about you. We will tackle the thoughts and fears of living in a world that keeps going even when you feel that you need a break. When a stressful life wraps you in its claws with no-way-out, we will try to show you another possibility, another solution, another way. No matter what you do or what you want to see yourself doing, we want to help you to shine through you. To be a human is hard enough without the constant pressure of being perfect and in this day and age we might feel it's impossible to live free of self-imposed constraints and others' expectations. Let's prove it wrong.

Previously on Inner Quiet - Why It's About Time to Stop Seeking Approval

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