ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Finding Your Way; Real Life Coaching Solutions for Real People: Managing Expectations

Updated on February 9, 2019
Deborah Demander profile image

Deborah is a writer, healer, and teacher. Her goal is to help people live their best lives every day by sharing her joy and love of life.

Release Expectations

Source

The Source of Suffering

In Buddhist philosophy, it is said that pain is inevitable and suffering is optional. You will experience pain during your life here, that is an unavoidable fact. Whether it's the physical pain of a broken bone or sickness, or the emotional pain of a broken heart or loss, you will feel pain.

There is no need to suffer. Most suffering comes from unrealistic expectations and a desire to control people and situations. You cause yourself a great deal of unnecessary suffering by harboring unrealistic expectations and resentment.

This article will help you let go of those things that cause suffering, and learn to live a peaceful life.

Be Real

Source

Living What Is

Managing your expectations doesn't mean you give up, settle into the chair and forget your dreams and ambitions. Instead, managing expectations is about letting go of an ideal of perfection and embracing the reality of what is. It's great to want things to be a certain way, but sometimes reality doesn't match your expectations.

While it's important to maintain optimism and striving for improvement, don't forget to embrace the truth of your life. While working toward a goal, don't get discouraged if everything isn't perfect. The truth is, nothing is ever "perfect". Besides, your definition of perfection is entirely different from someone else's idea of perfection.

Let go of your desire to control the outcome, let go of unrealistic expectations and the idea of perfection, and embrace your life as it is. This is the path to peace and a full life.

Personal Expectations

Goals and expectations are not your enemy. Having high standards for yourself helps you to work hard, stay focused and strive for improvement. Suffering happens when you set an unattainable standard for yourself. Always trying to be perfect causes you to always fall short and never feel like you are good enough.

If you grow attached to a specific goal or a predetermined outcome, then you will suffer. Things don't always work out the way you'd like, and that's okay. It's not the end of the world, unless you decide it is. And that is when you will suffer.

The key to managing your expectations of yourself is to maintain a high standard, do the best you can, and let go of the outcome.

If things don't go exactly as you'd planned, then you have a choice. You can fixate on the end result and beat yourself for failing once again, or you can evaluate the situation, assess your role in the outcome, and continue doing your best.

Take responsibility for your part in the way things turn out, without becoming overly invested in the final outcome. Learn to let it go.

Keep Moving Forward

Source

Perfection Paralysis

Unrealistic expectations and the perfection ideal create a lot of suffering in your life. Striving for perfection not only makes you miserable, but it can also prevent you from moving forward in your life.

You cripple yourself with the phrase, "I Should." As in, "I should be... better, stronger, smarter, prettier, richer, kinder....." The list goes on and on, of all the things you should be.

You create an unrealistic expectation of the perfect should. What you should be in order for everything to work out exactly right.

Get a grip.

There will always be someone better. There will always be room for improvement. There will always be mistakes and missteps. Stop comparing yourself and your situation with anyone else. Every path is different. Don't judge your own path based on the journey of others.

You are fine, just the way you are.

If you are working toward your goals, aspirations and dreams, then you can't do it "wrong." You don't have to do everything (or anything) perfectly, in order to move toward your best life. Get started by taking a step in the right direction. Don't suffer by clinging to the outcome.

You might never be the fastest, smartest, richest or prettiest person in the room. So what? Life is not about getting to the end. It's about enjoying the process of living. Let go of your unrealistic standards of perfection and take one step in the direction of your best life.

You Do You

Source

Suffering in Relationships

Another cause of suffering is relationships. Your unrealistic expectations of other people causes you a great deal of avoidable suffering.

Whether its personal relationships: friends, your partner, parents or kids, or professional relationships like your boss, employees, coworkers, a boss or whomever, relationships potentially create a great deal of your suffering.

Unfortunately, you bring it on yourself.

Two things are important to remember when managing your expectations of other people. First, you have no control over anyone but yourself. Let that sink in for a minute.

You can't control anyone. Except yourself.

The best way to stop suffering is to give up the illusion of control.

Secondly, to manage your expectations of others, you must communicate. People can't give you what you want, if they don't know what you want. Be clear and concise about your expectations.

Once you've expressed your expectations in any given situation, the other person has options on how to respond, and you have options as well. Using clear communication helps in every relatinship.

Give Up the Illusion

Source

A Final Thought

As you go through life, its important to know where you want to go, who you want to be, and how you want to show up.

Your expectations of yourself and others will help you work toward those desired outcomes, and your best expression of who you truly are. As you learn to manage your expectations, releasing unrealistic expectations and the illusion of control, then you find freedom from your suffering.

Ultimately, you create a more peaceful, meaningful life.

Managing Your Expectations

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Deborah Reno

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Deborah Demander profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Reno 

      2 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      Lora,

      Thank you for taking the time to read my article, and for writing such a well thought out comment. I appreciate your time, and your insight.

      You make a great point, the nature of life is unpredictable. But we can learn to let go and enjoy the flow as things unfold before us.

      Thanks so much for commenting.

      Namaste

    • Lora Hollings profile image

      Lora Hollings 

      2 years ago

      An excellent and very well written article, Deborah, on finding greater happiness and peace in our lives by not placing so much emphasis on outcomes! Instead enjoy the process of learning and striving to do better. When we become so attached as you say in this article to a specific goal or predetermined outcome, then we will suffer. We have to stop trying to strive for perfection and realize that we cannot always control outcomes. I like what you say about relationships too. We can communicate to others what our expectations are of them but ultimately we have no control over anyone but ourselves. If we accept life for what it is- a journey along a path in which we are constantly learning and striving to achieve our goals but that life by its nature is unpredictable and we must learn to be flexible and accept life on its terms rather than our own then we can find fulfillment and happiness. Your article has much wisdom and insight into leading happier lives and alleviating stress, worry, anxiety, and unhappiness. Thanks for writing it! Namaste

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)