Setting Yourself Up For Disappointment
Today I want to talk to you about what you can expect when you’re expecting. I was recently thinking back all those years ago when I had that book when I was pregnant. Any woman who has had a child knows about this book. We first time mothers studied it from front to back to get ready for our baby coming.
I want to go a little off that subject, though, and talk about this. When we put so many parameters around our expectations, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment.
Live With Purpose
Disclaimer: you know that I believe that we should live our life believing that the world is rigged in our favor. We have purpose. We have plans for our life. We are uniquely made and one of a kind. I truly believe in great things for all of us!
I’m talking about, as we go through our lives, so many of us are disappointed because things don’t turn out like we think they should. Like we expect them to. I’ve heard an analogy before about a tangerine, but I’m going to use a pineapple.
The Pineapple Analogy
My husband and I know a couple living in Florida who, for the last 10 years, has sent a box with 2 pineapples in it. I always know when to expect it, and I’m excited about it!
So here’s the deal with expectations. I know how that pineapple will taste – syrupy, sweet, like summer. It’s going to be wonderful! BUT…what if, when I cut it open and take the first bite, it’s mushy? And it doesn’t taste sweet? I’m going to push my plate away and throw the pineapple away. I’ll be disappointed!
On the flip side, what if I cut it and did everything like I normally do and took a bite, and it tastes like every pineapple I’ve ever had? It tastes sugary and sweet, but it tastes like any normal pineapple. Nothing special about it.
The first scenario, when it was mushy and bland, let me down. There were unmet expectations. I thought it would be sweet, but it wasn’t. The second scenario also let me down, because it was plain and nothing special.
Isn’t It Ironic?
Here’s the irony. The first one wasn’t good, and the second one wasn’t good enough. That’s how so many of us, including myself at times, live our lives unhappily…or unfulfilled…or disappointed. Because we’re ready for the next thing to disappoint us. Nothing really meets our expectations. So you can expect, when you place all these expectations on things, to be let down.
What if we removed those expectations of how our pineapple should taste? What if I went into the situation like I had never tasted a pineapple before? Like I didn’t know what to expect? I would be very curious and impartial and objective. I would really pay attention and savor it while eating it. Like it would be a brand new experience!
Attitude Of Gratitude
So now you can substitute this pineapple with your life. What if you went into your relationships, your work, your friendships, with no expectation of how they should be or how they shouldn’t be?
Now, don’t get me wrong, you’ve got to have some criteria in your life. Do not get into relationships that aren’t good for you. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying, what if we went into them not judging how they should or shouldn’t be, but instead go into experiences and relationships savoring every moment? What if we went into them with gratitude? What if we didn’t numb it down, but rather we truly experienced them?
I coach people all the time, and I work with people all the time, when they get into a situation and they think it’ll be one way. You must pull back those expectations and truly experience it. Learn from it. If we really knew what to expect when we’re expecting, we probably wouldn’t have the next child.
Go into things with a spirit of gratitude and objectivity. That way, you and I won’t go through life disappointed so much. Instead, maybe we would just live in a state of gratitude.
If you got any value out of this, or if you know someone who may need to alter their expectations, please share it with them! I love paying it forward, and I believe in the power of sharing our knowledge and life experiences with one another. Most of all though…just remember to pull back your expectations!