Expectation, has been the root cause of a lot of my social mis-encounters.
I always believed expectations are centered on standards and that it involves some element of being mandatory. It is a hard lesson to accept that expectation is just an illusion of security.
Expectation is defined as a strong belief that something will happen. It is not a guarantee. It is a belief.
The release of expectation is not seeing the glass half empty or half full but realizing that you can just be grateful for the cup. You really only have the ability to control what you choose to do with it. It is about freeing yourself from attempting to control things that you cannot possibly endeavor to master. Say this with me:
“I have no control over how someone else manages their life or how they prioritize their time.”
Hoping someone does right by you and expecting them to are two different concepts. I still hope people are courteous enough to hold the door for me but my day and/or mood will not be ruined if they let that thing swing back in my face as they walk through it. No one owes you anything. Fully accepting that is a challenge within itself but once you finally believe it and incorporate that understanding in your life you will feel a different level of gratitude and release. Those small gestures people do like holding the door for you or saying ‘thank you’ will just hit different. Those grand gestures that some are moved to perform for others will be even more special.
The release of expectation applies to others as well when you look inward. I do not know how many opportunities or chances I may have allowed to slip by because I either laid crazy expectations out for myself or I was so consumed with what other people's expectations of me were that I could not focus on being grateful for where and who I was at the time.
How many of us have been expected to be the strong one so you have to be the fixer in everyone’s life? Or the empathic one so you must be the listening ear? Or the responsible one so you need to be prepared at all times for whatever may happen? We are expected to be reliable which means always having to be available even when our cup is empty and we are tired and drained. The list goes on and on.
Now in full reality change takes time. All change in behavior needs to be a practice before it can become a part of our routine. Practice the art of curating your time. One thing about 2020, it opened up our eyes to just how fleeting and precious life is. We are only on this earth for a short amount of time so be selective with it. Care for it like your best luxury purchase because it’s priceless and you can’t get a refund on it honey.
It starts with being honest with yourself about how you want to manage your time. What events do you believe will really add to your spirit? Be realistic about what you are actually capable of doing. Sometimes we’re so buried under the expectation that we can’t miss out on things we don’t listen to our inner selves as it's screaming out in protest. I put this action into practice and I felt the benefits right away. It impacted how I operated in my professional life, how I was able to tackle finishing up school, how I stuck to commitments to my health as well as how I managed my familial relationships, friendships, and professional connections.
Curating your time for yourself helps free you from the expectation others place on time. You can live your life on your own terms and release guilt that has been built up from not living up to someone else’s expectations of your time. You cannot be the full master of your own life if you are living to please someone else’s ‘belief’ of what your fate should be.
Personally, in the past I found myself spiraling under the tornado of expectations. So now I work on trying to be intentional with my time. After one significant panic attack I had stepping out of the shower one morning I realized I needed to be as selective and precise with my time as I am with my coffee. “Medium Columbian roast, no sugar, with 2 pumps fat free French vanilla creamer please.” And that's on what? Period.
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