How often do you stop and think about expectations versus reality? It may happen more frequently than you realize. Especially this day and age with all of the social media platforms. With Pinterest “nails and fails”, Instagram feeds that refresh every minute or so and Facebook posts that look like they are straight from a magazine- it’s really easy to feel inspired ooorrrrr defeated.
When we set these expectations for ourselves, our spouses, our children or those around us, we are doomed, friends. And the real “kicker”? We ALL do it.
For me, it’s safe to say I set expectations for myself on just about EVERYTHING. Whether it’s having dinner ready on time (is this a thing?), getting my children out of the house on time or maybe even having the most romantic date night just because we have a sitter. I do it too often and therefore, I find myself disappointed more than I would like to admit.
So how do we solve this?!
Last week in my weekly mom’s group there was a guest speaker talking about the topic of expectations. One great quote I was able to take away was “The only thing in life I really have control over is my response”. WOW. This got me thinking… How do I respond when my expectations are unmet?
Most of the time I am not only frustrated about an unmet expectation, but then I respond by letting it affect the rest of the afternoon, morning, outing, day, etc. This then affects others in really negative ways.
Have you ever felt like you’ve walked into a conversation that wasn’t meant for you and you can literally FEEL the tension? Or awkwardness?
This is the exact feeling I have been projecting when my expectations aren’t met. How unfair! And do you know what is even worse, friends?
Since it’s usually my husband or children closest to me- they are the ones to receive the prickly attitude or demeanor. This was something I was prompted to fix ASAP.
What now? You really cannot walk through life just never expecting anything. Not only is it impractical, it may be impossible. I think the change lies within the “response”.
Since really focusing in on this expectation reality, it has been so worthwhile to shift this mindset. I didn’t say it’s been easy! However, it’s such an easy thing to let unmet expectations take over your happy place. It really doesn’t matter if it’s big or small, an unmet expectation can easily become a large disappointment.
Therefore, I have found the importance of my response to be thought out. Instead of letting the feelings of disappointment or frustration take over- I take a moment to feel the feeling of being annoyed and then MOVE. ON. It’s not always easy to be the optimistic one, but I have found when it comes to being around the ones I love most- I will work hard on my responses.
How do you respond to anxiety? Fear? Unmet expectations?
I would love to hear from you!