If you accept the expectations of others, especially negative ones, then you never will change the outcome. – Michael Jordan
“You don’t want to get your hopes too high,” a woman I know told me when I related how I visualized my book helping millions of people.
With a flip of a wrist, she added, “One of my friends published a book, but I told her she’s going to need a lot of luck to sell it. There are thousands of books just like hers! Only a handful of people makes a living out of writing.”
I left the conversation with many questions in my head. Was I a hopeless dreamer? Were my expectations too high? Did I need a “good dose of reality”?
After thorough contemplation, I realized that most of us are raised to believe that having high expectations of success is breeding room for disappointment.
We’re told that we need to “keep our feet on the ground” and to be practical.
We are guided to follow the traditional cycle of life: Be born, go to school, get a job that pays the bills, marry, have children, raise the children to follow the same cycle, retire, and watch TV until it’s time to die.
And while society condemns having high expectations of success, it accepts and even encourages expectations of failure.
If you’ve been laid off, it’s okay to expect you won’t find a new job quickly because of the tough economy.
If weight-loss diets haven’t worked for you in the past, it’s acceptable to believe that you’ll carry the extra pounds the rest of your life.
If you’ve experienced a difficult breakup, it’s “normal” to think that maybe you’re destined to be alone.
If people in your family were sick last winter, it’s understandable to expect the illness to appear again when the first snowflake of this winter falls.
Society tells us that we’d better accept that things are bound to go wrong. Pain is supposed to be a big part of life.
Anticipating problems and challenges is the main source of worry, one of the most negative emotional states, but there is an even more toxic consequence of our negative expectations: the loss of our ability to anticipate an extraordinary existence.
Remaining tethered to the realm of the ordinary will rarely allow us to reach authentic fulfillment. This is the reason we need to let go of negative expectations. How do we do this?
Letting Go of Negative Expectations
1.Find The Belief Behind Your Negative Expectations
Are you anticipating doomsday because someone else told you it would come? Does your belief make sense to you? Does this belief prevent you from achieving your desires?
Dare to challenge what you’ve thought to be true for years.
2. Let Go Of Limiting Beliefs
Beliefs are the result of repeated thoughts. If you want to eliminate what blocks your growth, you must change the thoughts that created those beliefs.
I could have chosen to accept the idea that I would be another “starving author,” but I didn’t. I chose to believe that I was as capable of being as successful as anyone else, and most importantly, I chose to create my own definition of success. To me, being a successful author means to share my message with enthusiasm and authenticity, and to honor my values every time I write.
3. The Past Has No Power Over Your Present and Future
Some of your limiting expectations might have originated in negative experiences.
Say, “Good riddance!” to the past and realize that only your present thoughts and actions define the course of your future life.
What’s next? Should we go wild and have the highest expectations of success? Only after we have realized the following:
4. Without Focused Action High Expectations Become Pipe Dreams
Figure out what would need to happen for your wish to be realized and take a step in that direction today.
Do you want to be promoted in record time? Commit to offering only your highest-quality work. Do you want to regain your health? Adopt lifestyle habits that are conducive to healing. Become inspired and let your actions show your level of inspiration.
5. High expectations are healthy when they’re internally driven
If you wish to become a Major League Baseball player to show your brother that you’re the better child, you are not likely to succeed, and even if you reach your goal, you probably won’t feel fulfilled.
Eckhart Tolle relates how he didn’t write “The Power of Now” to become rich or famous. He only wanted to share his ideas with the world, and would have been equally happy having a simple life and “selling tomatoes,” as he says.
6. High Expectations Should Feel Natural to You
If you desire to become an NBA star but you’re only 5’4” and can’t picture yourself scoring a single point, then you’re not likely to manifest your desire.
Let yourself expect mind-blowing success, but take action to make your desires a reality. The combination of high expectations and concerted action will send you on the path to experiencing an extraordinary reality.