Sometimes the way you envision things in your mind isn’t quite the way they pan out in real life.
It can be difficult to accept when things don’t turn out the way you expected them to. But this only really happens when reality fails your expectations. On the flipside when you’re expectations are surpassed you’re happy, you don’t question it.
The reason failed expectations bother us so much is because we allowed ourselves to get excited at the thought of something we want to happen. Then, when reality falls short we’re now disappointed because we know how things could have panned out and things could have turned out much better.
There are moments in life that you daydream about and hold dear even though they haven’t happened yet.
But eventually the stars align and the dream moments that you once longed for are brought to life.
Sometimes we find ourselves overjoyed when the reality matched up to our dreams. Other times we find ourselves disappointed because the reality has fallen short of our daydreams.
When you’ve built up something in your mind to be this amazing and wonderful thing, anything less just won’t do. And so even if the dream moment is actually pretty good in reality, it’ll never be good enough.
The idea of something is often much more appealing than the reality.
When you get caught up in a daydream about life, you’re in control you can make it whatever you want it to be.
You can come up with an idea that is totally impossible in the real world but plays out with ease in your mind.
But when reality strikes, when the thing you’ve been thinking about finally happens, it’s always very different.
It could be owning a designer bag.
You have this idea in your mind that you’ll be happier, that it will grant you some sort of status and that you’ll be more confident.
The reality is that you’re exactly the same, you just have a bag that was super expensive.
We create this fantasy that can only ever exist in our minds which often leads to us just feeling disappointed.
Sometimes when it comes to doing what’s best for you, you don’t consider yourself to be important.
And so, instead of making a decision based on what’s best for you and your wellbeing you put other people first.
You make choices based on people pleasing and fear of letting people down or having them be disappointed.
When you do that continuously, you’re the one that ends up feeling disappointed. Meanwhile, everyone else is totally oblivious to the fact that you’re over extending and on the brink of being worn out.
You have to learn to set clear boundaries such as not over working yourself to please people and being okay with saying no when you know you don’t have the time or energy.
Sometimes we make plans that involve others without speaking to them first.
You get so excited and carried away that it doesn’t even occur to you to let the other person know.
Instead you just assume that of course they will share your excitement.
And it’s not that your plans are bad but when you don’t ask the other person but expect them to be involved you might end up disappointed.
When you hold yourself to certain expectations it’s likely you’ll end up disappointed if you can’t meet them.
That tends to happen when you put too much pressure on yourself.
Furthermore, how you feel toward yourself will override how anyone else may feel about you falling short.
You could be told that ‘it’s alright, you did your best’, or even ‘it was good, you have nothing to worry about’. But the thing is when you hold yourself to a standard of ‘nothing less than perfection’ it becomes difficult to be comforted by the reassurance of other.
It’s hard disappointing yourself, feeling let down and having no one else to blame. But it gives you a great opportunity to think about what can do better next time.
Expectations can be an interesting thing. They often span from our desires and wants or even our imagination.
But they will also leave you disappointed.
As much as it can be good to hold people to a standard, it’s also important to ensure that you aren’t creating this whole other person in your mind of who they should be.
For example, you might expect someone to make time for you because this is someone you enjoy hanging out with. But then you end up disappointed when they aren’t as keen to do what you want.
In a situation like that you need to assess where your expectations are coming from because you might find that what you’re expecting doesn’t even align with what this person was ever willing to offer.
You got so carried away with our own wants and desires that you were no longer willing to see things as they are.
The idea of luck is great as a one off thing but if you grow to rely on it you’ll end up becoming lazy and disappointed.
You’ll be lazy because you’ll live your life assuming that you don’t have to try so hard because luck will balance things out for you.
And you’ll be disappointed because at some point things won’t balance out and you’ll be left wondering why?
Luck isn’t sustainable to rely on for the life you want but it’s great as an addition to a life you’ve worked for.
Luck is like the icing without the cake or the digestive biscuit without the chocolate, you’re perfectly fine without it.
Granted, there’s nothing wrong with holding the belief that things will turn out swimmingly but you can’t really expect that when you’ve taken the do nothing approach.
Or perhaps the title should read ‘How to be eternally disappointed‘.
I don’t believe in working yourself to the bone (well it’s not for me anyway) however if your expectations are sky high, you might have to.
You can’t sit around passively going through life like a sociological ritualist and expecting the world.
You’ll only end up disappointed.
You can’t be half-hearted either.
You gotta go, go, go with full gusto.
But to avoid burnout you have to be smart about your approach and find ways to be productive and get things done whilst maintaining your overall well-being.
A few ideas are to have set working times, get at least 7 hours sleep a night and make time to do something relaxing like meditate, get a massage, or go for a walk.
How do you feel when you try something that doesn’t work?
One of the things that limits people from trying new things or just being themselves is not the thing itself but the feeling that comes afterwards.
That feeling of being exposed. Of all eyes on you and nothing to show for yourself. The thought of people knowing you tried and failed.
Especially when you already feel your own disappointment.
So, how about if instead of focusing on how bad it feels you focus on being kinder to yourself.
After all it might be worth acknowledging that you had the courage to try in the first place.