How many times have you expected for something to happen and it did not play out as you expected? Personally speaking, this has happened to me too many times to count 😅
Welcome back friends, today I am finally back to blogging after a very lonnnnnnnng break 🙈. Today’s blog post is on EXPECTATIONS. I am going to expose how expectations affect our mental health and destroy all types of relationships if not well managed.
There are two sides to expectations: internal and external. In my definition of concepts, internal expectations are what we expect from ourselves. Examples of personal expectations can be getting good grades, becoming more active, becoming a better person or accomplishing your dreams and career goals. Having personal expectations for yourself is motivating because it pushes you to meet the standards that you have imposed on yourself. The power is in your hands when it comes to internal expectations. You personally decide what are your expectations for yourself are and only you can fulfill those expectations through your actions, time and determination.
Neglect, distraction, and fear are some elements that can hinder the manifestation of your personal expectations. When one fails to meet their personal expectations, it is often their own fault, not external situations or other people. As humans, we love to justify our failures and fabricate excuses. This is our defense mechanism when our reality does not match our expectations. We often do so because our brain is trying to avoid or reduce negative emotions that come with unmet expectations. Unmet personal expectations wreck our mental health; they can leave you feeling like you are less than / not good enough.
Is there such a thing as having expectations that are too big? Yes, there are in some cases. To my visionaries and big dreamers remember to be realistic with your personal expectations. Having irrational expectations correlates to your mental health because it is a setup to feel stressed, anxious, depressed or have low self-esteem.
Tips to manage internal expectations
1. Know why you have chosen the personal expectation. When you know the reason you want to do something, it is easier to stay focused and accomplish your personal expectation.
2. Reinforce your personal expectation. When you remind yourself of your goals it becomes more likely that your expectations are met because you will work daily towards your goals.
3. Have a plan because a “goal without a plan is just a dream”. Figure out how you can realize your expectations, do your research and take action.
On the opposite side, there are external expectations. I define external expectations as what we expect from others, situations/ circumstances and the universe. When it comes to external expectations we do not have the power because we are dependent on external factors. Fate is similar to external expectations. An example of external expectation is winning the lottery.
In some cases, we can only attempt to influence the outcome and hope that it turns out in our expectation’s favor. We all know someone that likes things to ALWAYS go their way and does not take no for an answer. Some people who are eager to have their expectations always met tend to use manipulation, dominance or threats to have what they expect.
External expectations come with incertitude, your expectations are not guaranteed because they depend on factors that are outside of your control. It is harmful to your peace and happiness when you have high expectations in external factors because when they are not met you are left disappointed, angry and discouraged. Expectations affect our reality, therefore, it is not wise to expect the worst from others. If you express negative expectations, then you will see the results of your negative expectations.
Tips to manage external expectations
- Accept that you cannot control external expectations. Do not worry about things that you can control because it is a waste of time. Be strong and do not let external situations steal your happiness.
- No one likes to feel obligated to do anything, therefore let people have free will. Do not impose your expectations on other people because we all have the right to make our own decisions.
- Stay positive and have hope in people and in life working out in your favor. Our thoughts have an impact on our wellbeing and have a way of affecting our reality. Therefore, if you think positive you will have positive results.
Expectations in relationships
In a relationship whether it is a friendship or a romantic relationship, each person has their own ideology of how the relationship should be. Expectations strongly influence relationships for better or worse
Think about the last fight that you had with your friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, parents or siblings; often fights in relationships are caused by unmet expectations. Your friend expected you to be there for them, your lover expected you to love them a certain way, your parents expected you to be responsible and your siblings expected you to not finish all the food. When expectations in a relationship are not met that leads to frustration, arguments, and heartbreak.
In my opinion, unmet expectations in a relationship hurt even more than unmet internal or external expectations because as humans we were created to desire relationships and relationships have a huge place in our lives.
Tips to prevent expectations from killing your relationships
- Clearly communicate your expectations of the relationship and what you expect from the other person. Relationships run smoother when everyone is on the same page and it is an advantage to have the same expectations.
- Do not ask others to buy you the moon, in other words, be reasonable when it comes to having expectations in relationships. It is necessary to be understanding and forgiving in relationships because no one is perfect and people will not always meet your expectations.
- It is not easy but if you are mentally strong enough, avoid having expectations in relationships altogether. The truth is no one deserves anything and no one is more worthy to have their expectations met but if our expectations are met, we call that grace and favor. Try to not expect anything from others, therefore you will be appreciative when good happens and less broken when bad happens.
To conclude, positive or negative expectations manifest themselves into reality for those who let expectations dictate their lives. Expectations have an influence on our performance, mental health, and relationships. I hope that this blog post challenged you to examine how your expectations affect your life because you will be surprised to find out that unmet expectations are at the root of many of our troubles. I pray that you may regain your happiness from unmet expectations that left you broken. Stay blessed friends and remember that you are fearfully and fashionably made!