Our ability to develop and maintain healthy relationships with others is essential to live a satisfying life. I believe that one of the greatest causes of discontent in our lives is often the result of having a lot of unreal expectations when it comes to our relationships. When we feel that a person has let us down or disappointed us, the real reason behind our frustration is that that person is not living up to our expectations. Life can be unfair at times, and it can be filled with unforeseen contingencies. At some point, the experience of disappointment teaches us all to manage expectations more carefully. When we adjust our expectations, we are able to reduce the amount of frustration and negative emotions. Being emotionally aware can save us a lot of trouble by preparing ourselves for different outcomes, in order to stay emotionally and mentally healthy. There are many things that we can do to accept people and situations as they are, and increase our happiness. We need to understand our feelings in order to channel different emotions, and better deal with them. it is impossible to fix what we can’t understand. Our personal happiness is directly related to how we choose to respond to frustration. Ask yourself if your expectations are realistic, and avoid setting high expectations to yourself and others. Realising that you could change your perspective in order to improve our mental health, can change your life.
If you catch yourself getting frustrated, try to realise that imperfection is simply the nature of being part of the human species. Visualise different outcomes and embrace them. Focus on something concrete and achievable, and always strive for what really can be done, instead of things that are out of your control. Stop trying to please everyone, and remember that disappointment is normal when you set goals beyond achieving. Being realistic is about expecting people to disappoint you, because all humans make mistakes. You also need to stop giving others the power to hurt your feelings. Expect others to let you down, to make mistakes, and to disappoint you now and then, and keep in mind that you are going to disappoint others too, whatever you do, many people will dislike you. When you decide to let go of expectations you need to be compassionate with others and with yourself. Acceptance allow you to increase your self knowledge and reach a stage, where you can change and improve your relationships. It brings you the opportunity to start fresh, and consider all possibilities.
Finding a hobby or meditating is a wonderful way to practice mindfulness and focus on things you enjoy, instead of negative emotions. If you find yourself reflecting on unmet expectations, turn your energy to recognising all the things that are positive about your situation or the circumstances. Putting your focus on something positive and nurturing your spiritual side, can increase your emotional awareness, and lower your anxiety levels and expectations. You can only find inner peace when you let go of any expectation of perfection. Positivity is a habit, and choosing to shift your focus to better things helps you to avoid dwelling on the wrong things, and move forward.
Learning to adjust your perspective and constant reminding yourself that you can not make people act according to your expectations, is a very good way to feel more in control of your emotions. It took me some time to realise that I can try to give advice, encourage, and love people, but I won’t change them or cause them to do things for me, simply because I think they owe me the same respect and consideration I have for them. Letting go of my expectations required me to practice self-awareness and acceptance, it was about accepting others as they are, and understanding that just because I have set all sorts of expectations for myself, it does not mean I can expect other people to act the same way I would do. We all have a choice to either let go of our expectations, and our need to see things from our perspective, or accept something or someone as they are.
Working on communicating with others about your expectations, and also setting realistic goals for yourself will help you to avoid holding grudges and dwelling on your imperfections and others’ imperfections. Expectations can plague your daily life, causing you to be stressed, irritable, disappointed. Forgiving yourself and others can minimise the negativity, and open a window in your heart for life energy to begin to flow in and out again. Don’t ruin a special occasion thinking about the attention you didn’t receive, don’t focus on the negative aspects of any situation, just try to find joy and gratitude in the present moment. Think about how abundant the present moment actually is, and remember that when we are grateful about what is happening in our lives, we have less room to think about what isn’t happening. Gratitude has a way of awakening us to the present moment, allowing us to focus on what really matters: our happiness. When we prioritise our well-being, it is easier to understand that letting go of our expectations is not about giving up something: it’s about making the most of our lives and honouring our true selves.