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How To Lower Your Expectations And Be Happier


Expectations are strong beliefs within a person related to the proper way you should behave or the way something should happen. Having expectations can hurt because you tend to get disappointed when they are unmet. The first step to letting go of expectations is to identify why you have expectations and opinions. The second step is to understand how you respond when your expectations aren’t met. 

1. You want others to be like you

It is wrong to expect others to replicate you and think in the same way that you do. We believe that the way we do something is the only way to do it. It is often seen in relationships. To let go of high expectations, you need to realize that everyone reacts and thinks differently.

2. You already presume the outcome 

When it comes to a particular scenario, you already have an image of its outcome in your mind. This results in raising your expectations and becoming judgmental. The negative side of this is that you end up trying to control the outcome.

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3. Deep-rooted fear of change or failure

Focus on times where you strongly reacted when things didn’t go your way. You don’t look from other perspectives; instead, you look for validation. You might seek approval and feedback from others. This indicates that you have a fear of failure. So you end up thinking that other people are crazy for doing something you’re afraid of doing. 

Beliefs like life is supposed to be fair, everyone is supposed to like me, and I’m always right. They are attached to high expectations. The second step to let go of expectations is to identify how you’re going to respond when your expectations are not met. One way is through disappointment. When things don’t go your way, you feel disappointed, sad, defeated, and demotivated.

You might also experience resentment because it is an emotional response to feeling cheated, unfair, and insults. Resentment makes you angry and frustrated when your expectations are unmet. It can lead to abuse, arguments, and even suicide. Depression is another way in which we respond to unmet expectations. 

It is caused by failure of expectations from self and is related to studies, work, relationships, friendships and play. To manage your expectations, you need to set realistic expectations for yourself and others. Communicate what they mean to you and others. 

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Instead of judging, give unconditionally.

Every individual different, and they speak their own language. You can not put people in boxes of preconceived notions of behavior patterns when you let go of your expectations from them. It will help you judge less and start giving more freely. 

People change and grow, so never say to someone that they are not the same anymore.

A quick guide:

  • Recognize your disappointment. If you are disappointed, allow yourself to be without blaming anyone for the way you are feeling.
  • Think about things differently.
  • Realize what you want.
  • Don’t hang on to the past.
  • Be gentle with yourself and others.
  • You are the only one that can choose how you react to situations.

When you hold on to resentment, grief, anxiety, and pain without fully working through each situation, all of these experiences and narratives accumulate inside your heart, making it more difficult to let things go and move on. 

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