“Life isn’t fair” is a well known phrase that I’m sure you’ve heard thousands of times, but a lot of us still have the unrealistic expectation that it should be. You may believe that there is some overriding form of justice that if you’ve worked hard, you deserve that promotion or if you’ve waited long enough you deserve to find the love of your life.
The danger of this sense of entitlement is that you sit back and wait for the positives to happen rather than taking action to make things different.
Rather than just expecting that life will be fair and you’ll get what you want because you deserve it, take control and believe that you are in charge of your own success.
What other unrealistic expectations do you have?
Do you believe that everyone should like you? Again this is a commonly held expectation as we find it hard to believe that anyone could have a reason not to. But all of us have had different experiences and see the world through different lenses. If for some reason a person doesn’t like you then that will be about their own perspective and life experience. Accept that wanting everyone to like you is only setting you up to fail and to get hurt, and then you will feel the weight of your own expectations lift.
Or when I achieve …… I will be happy? Whether it’s losing weight, getting a promotion, a bigger house or finding Mr Right, none of these are going to give you long term happiness. They may make life easier in the short term but to stay happy you need to feel good about yourself at this moment and if you don’t, find a way to fix it.
Perhaps you think that you should be treated the way you treat others? Another well used phrase “treat others as you expect to be treated”, unfortunately everyone’s expectation of how to behave is different. Just because you were there for a friend in bad times doesn’t mean you can expect them to be there for you. We never know exactly what’s happening in others lives and instead of having expectations about the way they ‘should’ behave take anything they offer as a bonus.
Or that anyone should keep a secret you share with them? The danger of this is that the importance others put on your secret won’t be nearly as high as the importance you put on it. If you’d be hurt by the secreting getting out, then don’t risk sharing with anyone.
These are just a few of the unrealistic expectations that my clients have uncovered and have made their lives difficult, do you have any to add to the list?
If you can let go of these expectations you’ll find that you are more often pleasantly surprised by others behaviour rather than being disappointed and that you’re progress to your goals is much smoother.