No expectations, no disappointments…this is a motto I use to live by. I finally listened to the people around me and got rid of that phrase, but now I’m wondering if that was the right decision.
I recently had a set back in at my day job. I had done all my research and after speaking to the manager, he made it sound like the job was mine. Turns out, that wasn’t the case. This rocked my world. I thought I did everything right. I know I killed the interview, and the manager basically said he wanted to hire me. I mean, with all of that in place, I had started writing mental checks for all the great things I was going to do and get with my promotion. So when it didn’t happen, all the things I had set up for myself to do and get with this promotion were dashed against the rocks. It took me a long time to realize why I was so upset. I was disappointed…in my self. I should not have allowed myself to get carried away with made up scenarios in my mind. I shouldn’t have written those mental checks without it first being in the bank.
Now that I’m about a week separated from the emotions, I’m able to better analyze everything. Why did this wreck me as bad as it did? Easy. I had expectations of another person that I had no right to have. I have learned that expectations of others always lead to disappointment. The reason being, they can never live up to the made up image in your mind. We cannot control others. We cannot make others into people we want them to be. We cannot make them behave the way we want them to. That is just a truth of life that we must accept, or face constant disappointment.
I learned this again a few days ago. We got our oldest daughter some Christmas presents that we thought she would love. She opened them, looked at the box and we, “really?” Pushed it aside and kept going. This cut me deep. Why did it bother me so much? Because I always wanted an Easy Bake Oven as a kid, so I expected her to want one as well. She had no idea what it was. She has used it since and I believe she will learn to love it (because it’s a legit cool gift…anyways). It hurt me because I was projecting myself onto her, but she isn’t me.
Where this motto or phrase can go wrong is the misinterpretation that we should walk around expecting everyone to fail us. Though that is not wrong, it isn’t complete. There is one person you should be able to count on…you. You should have high expectations of yourself because you know what you are capable of. You can control how you behave. You have all the power over yourself to make your expectation a reality. Looking at my day job, I freak’n killed the interview, which was within my power to do. After that, I do not have control. I did everything in my power and didn’t get it. I’m still proud of myself for what I did. And for the Christmas gifts, we shouldn’t get caught up in if it makes them so happy they cry or not. If we give from a place of love, not selfish projections of our repressed childhood dreams, then their appreciation of the thing is with them. Even if the gift misses, you still learn. For example, we thought my oldest loves to cook. Maybe she does, or maybe she just likes to do things with mom and dad, who mean the world to her, maybe both. We’ll see.
So, as we head into 2020, lets shed the expectations we place on others and look inward. Let’s see the potential within ourselves and maximize that. Let’s do what it takes to be proud of ourselves and get rid of self-disappointment. We have all the power to do this in 2020.