When’s the last time you felt disappointed? You may have felt disappointment in yourself. It might have been that you felt disappointed in someone else? You might feel disappointment happens far too often. You may not even remember the last time you didn’t feel disappointed.
Disappointment can lead to feeling demotivated. It can trigger a low mood and contribute to feeling low self esteem.
Disappointment can grow from the expectations we hold in life. You might have expected to be in a higher paid job by now? You may have expected your business to be running more successful? You might have expected a partner, a house, children?
Any of theses sound familiar?
Sometimes it might not be what we expect from ourselves. Instead it could be what we expect from someone else. Did you expect that reply? Were you expecting that apology? You might have expected to be considered?
Although our expectations are close to hopes they are not quite the same. Hopes are like us saying ‘this is what I would like to happen’. With expectations instead we are pretty much saying ‘this is what should happen’. There is danger in this word ‘should’ because it gives no flexibility. If we leave ourselves with no room for manoeuvre we can feel stuck or lost. When our expectations do not meet our reality and things don’t go to plan we can feel devastated.
Why? Because we haven't allowed ourselves to be open to alternatives.
So what I’m talking about here is opening yourself up to this thing we call life. In understanding that we are all on separate journeys it can help. Recognise that while you might expect something from someone, they may not be in the place to meet you there. Communication could help with this. Why not try communicating with the person you feel you have expectations of? Help raise awareness for them of what you would desire. This can give you both the opportunity to explore wants and desires. It can keep you both informed on where you stand.
And how are you communicating with yourself?
You may be beating yourself down for not meeting that deadline. You might be putting pressure on yourself to do more than you are? You may even be comparing your life to those around you and feeling you’re failing because you’re not like them?
Let’s interrupt and slow down that self-defeating talk for a moment.
Check in with yourself: What’s actually going on in YOUR LIFE right now? What’s actually been going on in YOUR LIFE recently? Sometimes when we’re on this constant treadmill it's easy to forget. Our lives don't only revolve around our list of things we want to get done. There are external factors that wind sweep our lives sometimes. This can leave us in a completely different state to that which we expect. Be aware of the things you have found difficult. Congratulate yourself for pulling through. These are all achievements. Keep positive focus. Recognise your path is individual to you and like the sun and moon we all shine at different times.
The hardest thing when it comes to expectations may be in accepting reality. Now this is not something that can happen overnight but in time. Practicing acceptance can close the gap between expectation and disappointment. This involves first accepting yourself, as you are. Then accepting others, as they are. Imagine this for a moment. Mindfulness and Meditation can help with this. Some closure on internal conflict and a start to inner peace.
‘Peace begins when expectation ends’ -Sri Chinmoy
How about challenging yourself this coming week to act without expectation…
-If you feel you have been struggling with anything mentioned above please get in touch. You can book a complimentary 30 minute consultation. During the call you can find out how Less Ordinary Therapy can help. You can ask any questions you may have. Sign up for your call here. I look forward to hearing from you and exploring how I can support you.