Have you felt like you are constantly on a hamster wheel or spinning plates?
Some days it feels like I am scrabbling upward in an endless struggle. Aiming to do well, but subconsciously drawn towards doing the opposite. Take complaining for example, it can be so easy to wake up and think about all the things we could complain about. The weather, the information we see on the news, our commute to work. And before you know it, you have descended into something you promised yourself you should avoid. How do you reverse this pattern? Slashing unmet expectations is the only way to maximise your potential.
Do you find that the little things turn up and spoil your plan to pursue self-development? How do you let go of those urges or impulses to make unwise choices?
Daily struggles are real, and emotions can sometimes cloud our judgement so that we launch enthusiastically into making a poor choice. Maybe we do something out of feeling. Someone walks into your office to tell you all their problems and you don’t have the time to listen to them, so you snap at them unintentionally. Or perhaps things haven’t gone the way you expected them to. You asked someone at work to complete a task and suddenly you feel annoyed at that person because they have taken actions that are different to what you requested.
- Expectations are a huge area we battle with.
- Unmet expectations can become that silent stalker that follows us, ambushes our productivity and shadows any possibility.
- We hold expectations for most choices and actions we make in a day. This can lead us down wrong paths or cause us trouble.
- Effective planning and prayer is necessary, so that we act at the right time and don’t rush into making off the limb decisions or reactions.
We will never be able to be in control of everything or everyone. Learning to deal with unmet expectations means you develop strategies to manage your own expectations to situations. Are they realistic? And if you find that people are eating away at your optimism and energy, then it might be a solution to surround yourself with positive and uplifting people and minimise contact with such people, if you cannot avoid them altogether. The complication arises when you cannot evade onerous people and have to identify ongoing ways of interaction.
Recently we spoke about being naive, where allowing our feelings to be the determinant for our actions can often lead to foolish decisions being made, rather than being brave or courageous.
Most times it is better to sit tight, sleep on matters, wait until your emotions have subsided and think again, all the while praying and seeking God’s guidance. We all are guilty of wanting to do something with good intent, but the results are often quite the contrary, because we followed the urge or the right feeling. Depending on our emotions can be like an unending roller coaster. We need strength to embrace the struggle. To adjust how we feel and what we expect in the reality of life choices. Face it, we can all relate to this.
- We see this in the workplace, at home, in our social circles.
- Unmet expectations affect relationships with colleagues at work, with your spouse, significant other, neighbours and friends.
- If not addressed this can seep into our hearts and create something toxic or harmful.
Perhaps like me, you are a planner and analyser. However, I am realising that in life sometimes I have to just go with the flow; while maintaining healthy and realistic expectations. Something simple as investing in a book to deal with unmet expectations, can help you learn how to plan, communicate and equip yourself for differing sequence of events. Whether that would include dealing with clashes at work and managing conflicting situations. Stepping into a brand new future with your fiance through marriage. Or coping with the demands varying relationships can trigger. So that our hopes are placed in God’s expectations not our own.
10 uplifing quotes to spur innovative thinking
When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are. Donald Miller
So the secret to good self-esteem is to lower your expectations to the point where they’re already met? Bill Watterson
Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed. Alexander Pope
I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine. Bruce Lee
You can’t expect everyone to have the same dedication as you. Jeff Kinney
You don’t ask nobody to give what they can’t give, or be what they can’t be. You’ve learnt that, you got a headstart on heartbreak. Jack Farris
Don’t lower your expectations to meet your performance. Raise your level of performance to meet your expectations. Expect the best of yourself, and then do what is necessary to make it a reality. Ralph Marston
Do what you can with what you have where you are. Theodore Roosevelt
Expect to have hope rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways. The dry seasons in life do not last. The spring rains will come again. Sarah Ban Breathnach
If you align expectations with reality, you will never be disappointed. Terrell Owens
So how do we deal with unrealistic expectations?
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:3)
Take everything to God – He regards the prayer of the destitute and will not despise it. (Psalm 102:17)
Acquire the knowledge of wisdom to your soul, because when you become wise, there is hope for you! A bright future lies ahead! (Proverbs 24:14)
But if we must keep trusting God for something that hasn’t happened yet, it teaches us to wait patiently and confidently. (Romans 8:25)
Live in eager expectation and hope that I will never do anything that will cause me to be ashamed of myself but that I will always be ready to speak out boldly for Christ while I am going through all these trials here, just as I have in the past; and that I will always be an honour to Christ, whether I live or whether I must die. (Philippians 1:20)
One thing I can promise you is that you will never be disappointed in God, who can meet every unmet expectation you bring to Him. To uncloud your hopes and align your expectations with what God would plan and purpose for you. So that you won’t feel a sense of frustration or anger with specific areas in your life. Where you are always hoping for something better and overlooking the stage of simply being content. Maybe you expect too much from others. Or there is no room for grace. Now your attitude and thoughts must all be constantly changing for the better [Ephesians 4:23]. In the process I am learning continually, that I should allow others to be who they are and not who I think they should be!
Share your thoughts…
How do you handle unrealistic expectations? Have you thought about whether your expectations are set according to your timetable or God’s?