I don’t look at expectations as realistic or unrealistic. To me an “unrealistic” expectation is simply an optimistic expectation. After all, you truly desire the outcome you are focused on. You really believe it will make you happy.
The problem comes when you will not let go. When you are forcing the outcome and not actually seeing it doesn’t fit. You are behaving like the ugly step sisters in Cinderella that are willing to cut off their own feet to make the shoe fit.
Having expectations is healthy. It what keeps us going. Expectations are learned from the very earliest years. First you are hungry so you cry. You get food so you learn early that when you cry you can expect food.
What if you are raised in a place where there is such abject poverty that there is no food for you. You quickly learn not to expect to be fed. You will have a much different perspective than those that feel that food is a given.
Sometimes our expectations can work against us. This happens in a lot of relationships. We expect the other person to treat us a certain way because we have always been treated that way. The other person has a totally different experience and really doesn’t understand what it is we want.
This isn’t just about expecting to be treated like a prince or princess. Many people have grown up without encouragement or with their parents expectations of who and what they should be. This can cause them to fall into the trap of expecting what their parents wanted rather than what they want. It can also lead them to set extremely low expectations.
Fortunately expectations can and do change over time. What you expected your life to be doesn’t always match what it is. That isn’t a bad thing.
When life looks different from what you expected, it can be a really good starting point. It allows you to seriously think about what you want, rather than what you thought, based on input from others. Sometimes what you want is exactly what you have been expecting. A lot of times it is very different.
The key to using your expectations to change your life is simple. Be brave and really get to know yourself. Think of all the things you love and are passionate about.
A lot of my clients think this means abandoning their jobs to follow their passion. This is not a requirement. Just begin by honouring what your talents are.
Healers for instance, will heal wherever they work. They do not have to start a business to heal. In fact this sometimes works against them. They spend so much time trying to make enough to live on that they are really not pursuing their passion for healing.
Writers will write regardless of their day job. They won’t always get published but they will write. Musicians will make music whether or not they have a hit CD. Music will be in their heads and everywhere they look will be inspiration.
Many people expect that pursuing their passion will make them rich. This can lead to a great deal of unhappiness. If it doesn’t happen they think they have done something wrong. Not true. When you pursue your passion for its own sake and remove expectations, you will realize that everything is unfolding just the way it needs to.