Well, in all honesty: having no expectations helps. Have you ever gone to a place or event without having the slightest idea what you could expect and it turned out it was really, really awesome?
Then, why, when people come up with that idea that they better not have any expectations, they usually do that with such a tone of resignation and sadness? Most of us believe that when you do not expect anything you will not get anything. In fact, a lot of the pep talk these days, especially for women, talks about being more assertive and demanding so that “you get what you want.”
Don’t get me wrong, I am not against clear communication. You will obviously not get your hot drink from the coffee shop unless you ask (and pay) for it. When you sit in your little cubicle, smiling shyly whenever the CEO passes by, taking on all the work your colleagues don’t want to do and hoping that one day, they will all recognize how fabulous you are and feel an incredible urge to promote you and raise your salary, you’ll get a different outcome than your colleague who asks for a raise.
Yes, clear communication helps.
It is amazing how many people seem to believe that secretly expecting others to meet their needs is enough to make it happen.
The problem with expectations is often that we are so stuck on HOW we have our needs met that we completely fail to see the abundant availability of what we need. The problem with expectation is that we give ONE meaning to every situation and believe this is the truth. She forgot my birthday = she doesn’t care about me. They did not approve my proposal = (they believe) I am not a valued member of the team. They leave their dirty clothes lying around = they believe I’m their servant and do not respect me. He did not show up on our date = I am unattractive and will never find a partner.
No squirrel will starve before an empty nut. It will move on to feed on another. We, however, are stuck on one source. Sometimes for years.
Let’s change the perspective. Letting go of expectations actually means understanding that I HAVE access to what I need and want if only I release my grip on this one source and open my eyes to the abundance around me. Ready? Then read on.