One of the largest sources of dissatisfaction in our lives comes from our own expectations. Generally, frustrations experienced in our day-to-day life come from things not being as we expected them to. It may be a situation that didn’t have the outcome we thought it would. It may be that someone in our life isn’t behaving in the way we would want. Often it is simply we are not living up to the expectations we have of ourselves. These expectations may be created consciously or subconsciously, but they will ultimately lead to that feeling of anger when things don’t work out the way we want. Learning to release expectations in your life is critical in feeling ultimate fulfillment.
The first step in releasing these expectations is realizing that they are an illusion. We put this pressure on ourselves and experiences in life because we think that things are supposed to be a certain way. We think that our spouses should show love in a certain way, friends should show loyalty in a certain way, situations should have certain outcomes to be classified as successful. These “should’s” are simply expectations we created throughout our lives. They are nothing more than your thoughts and desires. Understanding that expectations are ultimately not created by outside, but generated from your perceptions gives you the control to change or release them.
The next critical step in releasing expectations is acceptance. Once you begin to allow things to be versus comparing them to something created in your mind, you allow the situation or person to just be as they are. This includes perceptions of yourself. You can begin to accept things as they are instead of focusing on what they aren’t. This is what will allow you to be engaged in the moment fully instead of only being engaged in your thoughts.
Finally, be grateful for how things are, especially if they aren’t the way you would have expected them to be. Often there is a gift as the result of the situation ending how it is or a person acting as they do. Looking for the beauty how things are instead of focused on how you wanted them to be will allow you to avoid any frustrations and experience more joy than you can imagine.
So, next time you find your self thinking- “I should be…” or “They should have said…” or “It should have worked out…” stop yourself. Accept the situation for what it is and find the beauty in it. Practicing this will allow a higher level of joy and fulfillment in your life without having to change a thing!