It’s easy to get locked into a mindset of wanting or expecting things to look or be a certain way.
When we set our sights on a goal, or embark on a journey toward some destination, we get a vision for what it looks like, how it will manifest.
That vision is often shaped by our preferences and desires. Somehow those preferences turn into expectations.
When our experience doesn’t match our expectations, we find ourselves in suffering.
This is how we create our own suffering.
When we get locked in our expectations of how things should be, we resist how they are. Resistance causes our suffering.
Expectations create resistance.
Resistance causes suffering.
Expectations create suffering.
We do this with ourselves:
How we expect to show up. How we expect to feel in a given situation. What we expect from our performance under given circumstances.
We do this with other people:
How we expect others to act. What we expect others to say.
We do this with life circumstances:
What we expect to be true in a given situation. Where we expect our life to be at certain moments.
We get caught up in our expectations so often that we don’t even notice it most of the time.
One clue to expectations is the word should. Whenever you hear yourself using that word, it tells you that you have an expectation.
Should is a clue to your suffering. It says
This is different from how I expected it would be.
When we are caught up in should we are resisting our actual experience.
This often provokes feelings of anger and frustration: at others, at life, and at ourselves.
We don’t need to stay in this trap. Instead of getting frustrated or angry or upset because something or someone is different from how it should be, we can shift the moment.
First, recognize that the should is a construct you created based on your preferences and desires. There is no should.
Second, use the should as a trigger to pause. Tune into the present moment. Take a breath and release the should. Release all expectations and focus on what it actually happening in your experience.
Third, as Tony Robbins says,
Trade your expectations for appreciation.
Find something right here, right now that is great. Focus on it with gratitude.
When we trade expectations for appreciation our whole world shifts.
Give it a try and let me know how it’s working for you.