Managing Our Expectations (9 minutes)

We often expand a lot of mental energy in the area of expectations. Wanting things to be a certain way, unhappy when they are not, related to someone we interact with or something within ourselves. We may, for example, hold ourselves to a standard of perfection, setting an expectation that may simply not be attainable and may lead to harsh judgment toward ourselves. We may berate ourselves so much for not being perfect that we then ruminate, procrastinate, and expend a lot of energy that could be better applied to something else we have to get done.

When we have expectations, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. We can’t ever know exactly what’s going to happen next.

With mindfulness, we gain an ability to meet our experience exactly where and how it is. We realize that life typically does not play out in the way we expected and that having expectations does not truly help us get what we hope for. Loosening the reigns regarding an expected outcome, we may be more able to go with the flow, and we may develop a surprising degree of comfort and freedom.

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