Expectations (noun) a strong belief that something will happen, or be the case.
Hmm don’t know about you, but I have become victim to my own expectations before. What do I mean by that? Well we all have expectations about just about everything, how your morning coffee is going to taste, how someone will respond to good/bad/sad news, how long it will take us to get somewhere, what your first kiss with a new partner will be like, and the list goes on.
Our expectations are due to our: beliefs, values, past experiences etc. One notably for me, as a good example was seeing the Northern Lights in Fairbanks Alaska a couple of years ago. I went out in the middle of the night (supposedly the best time to see them) and froze my butt off waiting for this spectacular light show that I had seen on TV, in magazines and photographs. Well to say my expectations were not met would be an understatement. Yes, I saw the Northern Lights, and yes they were pretty and very fast moving, but no-where near as spectacular as what you see via other media. You see the camera captures light differently to our eyes, not to mention the wonderful enhancement functionality that editors, producers and photographers have at their fingertips. Now I have never seen Mother Nature get up in arms about being photo shopped, but I was pretty close to it on her behalf.
The sad thing is when our expectations are not met, we may miss out on a truly amazing and wonderful opportunity. Fortunately for me after the first night I went back to the hotel and after I got over my disappointment I did some more research. I realised that whilst the colour show I was expecting was not there, WOW I had a once in a life time experience to see the Northern Lights, a truly magical experience that not many get to experience first-hand. So I had a little chat to myself about expectations and went out the next night. I dropped all preconceptions and became totally enraptured by what I was seeing.
So what do you do when your expectations are not met, do you huff and puff, or maybe get cranky with the world? Or do you assess your expectations and see how they came about, do you give yourself another chance to be delighted and surprised? Or do you stay in the abyss of being a victim to your expectations?
I hope you take the opportunity to reassess, understand why, and then see things with a different focus.