When you create expectations for yourself, your loved ones, even strangers, you tie your happiness to an outcome you often have little control over. You look for answers externally by setting up scenarios that seem to guarantee your happiness instead of looking inward to create the reality you want to live. You can set yourself up for success in all situations and relationships by hacking your expectations. Follow a few intentional steps to reset your thoughts and release the notion of what should be to begin enjoying the present moment.
Don’t Take Things Personally
By creating expectations, you form a vision for how things should be. These visions come from personal bias, experience, morals, and values, and likely differ from one person to the next. Address the need within yourself to predict the outcome of your weekend plans, someone’s behavior, or a project at work. Accept that you cannot control who and what confronts you on a daily basis, but you can choose how you react. Know that you are living your best life and those around you are as well. Instead of expecting others to conform to your story, create space for the unknown and grow from both the moments that exceed your expectations and those that do not.
Give the Benefit of the Doubt
Everyone is living their own life story with different goals, thoughts, hopes, morals, and outlooks. Often when your expectations fall short of reality it results in feelings of disappointment and resentment toward a person or situation. By putting yourself in others’ shoes you can use empathy as a tool. This tool helps to change your thoughts from “How could they do this to me” to “I know they would do anything for me—I hope they are OK.” You shift your perception of the situation and exchange emotions of fear for love.
Live Your Best Life
While giving others the benefit of the doubt, throw some self-love your way as well. Instead of trying to control everything to maintain a picture-perfect life, challenge yourself to take things as they come. Hack your expectations by setting realistic goals and refrain from judging yourself when you cannot meet them. Our best life on any given day may be better or worse than the day before or the day after. As observed in yoga, our practice differs from day to day, but by trying your best and listening to your body and mind, you can take daily feedback to move forward in a meaningful way regardless of the outcome.
Photo by Ali Kaukas
Cameron Cler is traveler at heart, obsessed with seeing the world and discovering ways to contribute to positive global change. As a registered yoga teacher, she balances her constant travel and work in the startup world by channeling her inner yogi and welcoming peace in chaotic moments. Her passion is cultivating creativity and inspiration while sharing travel stories, yoga classes, wellness tips, and smiles with her friends, family, and students.