I have a really difficult time not setting expectations. No matter what I’m doing - whether it’s applying for a job and expecting that I will at least get a call because I am qualified, or setting my schedule for the day and expecting that all will go according to plan. Sometimes expectations seem harmless enough, but as soon as things go against expectations, my stress level skyrockets.
I don’t think everyone is as easily triggered into stress, but I do think that people set expectations too often. A lot of miscommunication or lack of communication is due to personal expectations not being met and people internally freaking out about it. I’ve certainly gotten frustrated with myself or others because an expectation that I arbitrarily carved into stone was not met.
The distinction I’ve been trying to make is between expectation and intention. I’ve been having a little bit of trouble because even when I think I’m setting my intentions for a certain outcome, I’m actually just setting a wishful expectation. So more often than not, my expectation is not met because I didn’t really choose for the universe to unfold a certain way. With intention, at least from what I have gathered, a person reaches deep into themselves to set an intention - and the world unfolds before them to offer those possibilities as a reality that they can choose. Expectation, on the other hand, is a hope that the world will unfold as you wish it would. Deciding that something ‘should’ or ‘will’ happen and then just going along and keeping an eye on it, becoming frustrated when it doesn’t happen as anticipated is much different from being the puppeteer and actively guiding that something down the path to make your world happen as you intended.
I see the distinction. And I’ve been trying to acknowledge when I am actively setting an intention. Finding a job, for instance. I’ve been telling myself that I am competent and would be a great employee in a number of different jobs. But I keep becoming disheartened and frustrated when the places I’m really interested in working for either don’t get back to me or ‘go another way’. Becoming disheartened is the issue. How do I maintain my internal self-worth and not feel beaten down? I’m suspecting if I set my intention, rather than just expecting to get a call back because I ‘should’, I might be getting more responses and more positive results.
But I’m not sure how to shift that. When I’m setting expectations, sometimes I’m having a hard time even acknowledging that’s what they are. When I expect something and I demand that it happen, my mind distorts this forceful, false confidence and considers it honest intention. Agh.
So today I will work on recognizing my constant expectation-setting and try to set more deliberate intentions. And of course, improving my confidence by believing I am more than able to set correct and powerful intentions. Ah, easier said than done.