Have you ever wished that people around you would change their behavior according to your expectations so that you would feel better?
Or did you enter new encounters with certain expectations?
So far so normal – but not really helpful – for us and for others.
Most of the time we want to influence situations and people in a way that helps us keeping a sense of security and control. After all, our mental and emotional system prefers to stick with old familiar patterns. No change please – because change means the unknown and the unknown means danger. So the best way to stay with the well known is to try to change our environment – including people – so that it matches what we know, our expectations.
Expectation is based on experience
Apart from the fact that it hardly brings anyone joy if we want them to change, expectations and demands are like a prison for us and others. Expectations are based on experience. I can only expect what I already know. But if I continuously move through the world and approach other people within the framework of my known expectations, I deprive myself from the chance to get new experiences – and I deprive people of the desire to really open up.
Expectation kills curiosity
In addition, I limit my openness to new things, my confidence that there are other ways to reach my goal, and my curiosity to explore those ways.
How can I free myself and others from this prison?
Dropping expectations is easier said than done. The following three tips can help you get closer to that goal:
- Humbleness: You may think what you expect from a situation or a person is reasonable. But how do you know if it really is? Your frame of reference is only ONE frame of reference. There may be many other possibilities that you can’t even consider due to lack of experience.
- Spirit of discovery: Keep the curious spirit of discovery of a child. What if you knew nothing, what if everything was new to you?
- Courage: Have the courage to leave the box of your expectations. Perceive them and then question them and step out of them consciously. Stay open for what happens – even if it does not develop according to your expectations. Marvel and learn – also about yourself.
The best things happen unexpectedly
Try it out for the next week. Catch yourself having expectations and try to let them go. It’s worth it!
When we succeed in freeing ourselves and others from the prison of our expectations and demands, we often get more than we could have ever imagined.