Are you disappointed sometimes because you have built something up so big and grand in your head, that when the time comes, you feel let down?
I have been doing some real thinking on this subject lately, and I presented a free training on it this morning. In that training I shared three instances that have me in true reflection and thought lately, and I’d love to share them with you.
Let me share my first experience.
I was able to see Rachel Hollis in person. She wrote the book Girl Wash Your Face. I was excited and couldn't wait to hear what awesome things she was going to say to energize and empower me to be the best me. (Because that is kind of what the book is about). Plus, I know she's highly sought after as a speaker, so my expectations were HIGH, HIGH, HIGH! What I can tell you is that I left the event feeling disappointed. So much so, that I saved my opinion until after my friend gave me hers. We all see things differently...right? Was it where I was at mentally that day? Maybe! Do I have too high of expectations of speakers? Probably! So, of course, I had to seek out my friends who were also in attendance and see what their take was. What we discovered is that her message was crafted to hit a segment of women, not the wide range in the room. Which is totally cool, just wish I had known that ahead of time. Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy her book and will buy the next one. Because, in the end, she spoke to many women in the room who were happy to say they loved it. The difference, I believe, really came down to EXPECTATIONS and the picture I had created in my head. Let me just say, I’m pretty good at creating that picture in my head, and usually with a pretty good story to go with it 😊
Are you more of a person that creates a larger than life picture with high expectations, so no matter what you always walk away just a little disappointed? Or are you a person that has realistic expectations?
This leads us to example two.
I bought my husband and I two tickets to go see Vince Neil (he was the lead singer of Motley Crue for anyone who doesn't know) as his Christmas present. He's a big 80's band guy, so why not. We both looked at it as an opportunity to go out, have a drink or two and dinner, and for sure some good people watching. Our expectations were low as far as the concert. Which overall was fun, and we walked away with a lot to talk about. The thing about expectations, is people were walking out of the concert super mad. I guess they thought they were going to a concert with the 20-year-old Vince Neil...ummm... not sure how or why they'd think that. The disgust and irritation were evident for a lot of people. As we stood there saying, "It wasn't bad, and we enjoyed it". Others were walking out saying, "that was awful, and I can't believe I paid money for that!" Definitely, high expectations verses low expectations, and that made a difference in the experience.
In that case my low expectations really set me and my husband up to enjoy verses look for what expectation wasn’t met. I truly believe that when we can begin to understand we are in control of our expectations, which impacts joy, we can start to “let people off the hook”! Which brings me to my final example.
Last weekend was my 45th...yes, 45th birthday. Now in the past, I’ve always had this hidden expectation, I called it a hope, that my husband and boys would really treat me like a queen on my birthday. You know, plan a day that I would love, bring me breakfast in bed, buy me flowers, and blah, blah, blah. Yes, I know there are families out there who do that stuff (Yay for you), and that is exactly what I was setting my expectation on. Other people, so dumb! So, what did I do? I “let them off the hook”! I planned my birthday to be exactly what I wanted to bring me joy and happiness. That meant coffee with friends, pedicure and shopping with a friend, lunch with my sister, and then finished off the day with my husband, sons, and my son’s girlfriend doing an escape room and dinner. Everyone won! I had a great day, and all they had to do was show up.
So where do you fall when it comes to your expectations, and how they impact your overall happiness? Are you still letting others dictate your happiness and joy? I encourage you to evaluate your expectations.
Your happiness and joy matter… let them off the hook!