Shift your expectations

Expectation is one of the most maddening belief structures you will ever encounter. At its best, expectation helps us easily, and transparently, manifest our beliefs in a variety of ways. At its worst, it stands in the way of conscious creation and blocks the creative universe from delivering our dreams in fun and exciting ways.

We speak frequently of having “high expectations” of people, places and events. We talk also of having our expectations dashed when they’re not met. But what is expectation? In terms of conscious creation, expectation can be thought of as a conscious belief that you anticipate will come to fruition. It’s usually a belief you don’t give a second thought to coming true.

You convince yourself that a particular belief is set to play out and you wait for the universe to deliver it. For example, you believe that the sun will rise every morning; therefore, your expectation is fulfilled when you see the sun crack the Eastern horizon. Expectations are formed primarily by surface beliefs and are the property of the ego. The ego wants to protect and advance the self and then sets rules around the way the world should work.

If the universe doesn’t deliver our beliefs to us in the way we expect, we become frustrated. We blame others and ourselves. We question our expectations and wonder where we got off course. Thoughts such as what did I do wrong? or why did she do that? come into play when expectations aren’t met. In these cases, expectation seemingly works against us and causes frustration, sadness or anger.

Years ago, the first lesson a spiritual teacher suggested to me was to drop all expectations. When I asked why in protest, she told me that expectations would always let us down and that we couldn’t rely on the universe to deliver things to us exactly the way we want. Talk about an expectation! While I appreciated the idea behind this teaching, it didn’t sit well with me. I thought there must be a way to incorporate expectation into everyday life that makes sense.

Expecting the worst

Expectation of negative events is a sure-fire way to make sure they come true. And in this sense, expectation can at times act as hypnosis if we’re not careful. Think about winter and the dreaded cold and flu season. Your coworker walks through the office sneezing and coughing. “Great, now I’m going to get sick,” you wail to your coworkers. You have just expressed expectation that you’re going to get sick and more often than not, you will.

Another example is seen frequently when you hear of a celebrity death. How many times does news break about a famous person’s passing when someone mentions the “rule of three,” that fictitious rule that says that bad things will always come in threes? We expect it and then watch the news waiting for two more people to drop dead. We search for the verification that this expectation will be fulfilled.

Negative expectations are sometimes hard to catch as we’ve conditioned ourselves into believing that “it’s just the way it is.” And it’s this kind of negative expectation that can hurt us the most. We’ve been brought up believing that bad situations will always get worse before they get better. We believe a bad economy will negatively affect our abundance. We “plan for the worst and hope for the best” and in the process find ourselves faced with expectation’s actualization, giving us exactly what we thought we’d get.

Fearful expectations cause us to look at the world through a different filter, a fearful filter. That filter then causes us to reorganize thoughts around fear, creating more fear and eventually causing a big manifestation of fear. It’s a viscous cycle and can set up some difficult challenges in the future.

Setting high expectations

The other main area where expectation trips us up is when we set ours too high. I am guilty of this frequently when I go to restaurants. I expect good customer service when I go out to eat. When my expectations aren’t met, I’m upset and bewildered. It took me a long time to even think about adjusting my own expectations or even shifting them to a different perspective. To my untrained eye, I was simply at the mercy of uncaring workers.

When we expect other people to behave in certain ways—positively or negatively—we’re in for an awakening. It can be a rude awakening or a pleasant awakening. True, law of attraction will generally bring us those things that match our vibration and our beliefs. However, it’s sometimes the hidden beliefs that attract others and their actions and those hidden beliefs often get attached to expectations.

Here’s an example using my restaurant expectations: I expect good service at a fancy restaurant. So when I sit down, I’m prepared for exceptional service. If expectation was the only criteria and I believed it fully, I’d get good service. But what if I have a hidden belief about being worthy of good service, a belief I’m unconscious of? A small, hidden belief that says I don’t really deserve to be treated well at all. That smaller, corollary belief then attracts its own reality, which may manifest as bad service. If I remain unaware of the underlying belief, I think my expectations have failed me.

So what good is expectation?

As I’ve thought about this over the years, I’ve discovered the benefit of expectation is to apply it generally without getting too specific. Trying to control the specific outcome of any situation or person can be wrought with difficulty and frustration, so ratcheting back to a more generalized approach helps frame our expectations in a more positive light.

Structuring expectation in a positive, general way can help train your conscious and subconscious mind to look for evidence of your expectation and diminish frustration if it’s not met. Consider these types of positive expectation statements:

I expect to learn something from every situation.

I expect to find the best in this.

I expect that no matter what happens, I’ll be safe.

I expect that everything happens in the proper time/space sequence.

I expect that anything that happens to me is in by best interest, even if I can’t see it now.

Similarly, becoming mindful of our negative or fearful expectations and then eliminating them can help move us in the right direction. Watch out for these damaging expectations:

Things will continue to get worse before they get better.

The economy is going to affect my bottom line.

No one cares what I think.

People are bad drivers.

It will take me forever to get through security.

Some of these statements can seem over generalized but you can appreciate the sentiment behind them. Rather than eliminate all expectations, let’s shift them to a more positive, generalized belief and allow ourselves some space to let the universe work it’s magic.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: