Letting Go Of Expectations — (Life, Relationships, and Positivity)
Expectations are an interesting concept because they can either be motivating or hold us down. We place exceptions for our lives, friends, and even people we’ve never met. Often, these expectations are never reached, creating an unpleasant cycle of disappointment and frustration.
We found that the easier way to handle unmet expectations is to let them go. By harboring unmet and unrealistic expectations, you are ultimately just met with frustration and your mental health suffers. Keep reading for tips on how to let go of expectations in your life, relationships, and expectations of others.
How To Let Go Of Expectations In Life
When we set expectations and expect them to go according to plan we typically get frustrated when they don’t and become unmotivated. Expectations take us away from the present moment and leave us unprepared for what life might throw at us.
To let go of your expectations, we recommend the below steps.
What Are Your Expectations
First, you must identify your expectations for yourself, others, relationships, etc. Write all of them down on a piece of paper. Next, go through the list and ask yourself whether each expectation is something you can control or is beyond your control which is known as a high expectation. If it’s something you can control, this is realistic as you can handle how it unfolds, and this can be a healthy goal; if an expectation is beyond your control, it’s best to let it go.
Keep A Positive Mindset
When faced with unmet expectations and goals, it’s easy to have a negative mindset toward everything. But this does us no good when it comes to our expectations, and instead, it’s essential to focus on a positive attitude. When you fall into that negative trap, stop and think of the positive side of the situation. Healthy, realistic expectations are a great tool for self-improvement and working towards a positive mindset.
Plan For Different Outcomes
Now, you should be letting go of expectations and instead focusing on goals in the present moment. It’s essential to have a plan B, and maybe C, for when things don’t turn out the way you want them to. It’s better to plan for different outcomes than not have something go to plan and just be met with frustration.
Understand That Some Things Will Be Out Of Control
Expecting things to be happy a certain way doesn’t mean you can control every outcome. There will be things in life that are out of your control. When letting go of expectations, inner work is also essential for living life with the best intentions. This means awareness of the emotions you experience so you can understand the motivation behind your expectations and if they are realistic.
Acceptance for positive and negative events in life and share them just the way it is. Gratitude towards things and experiences in life that help you appreciate the positive aspects of your life to keep you grounded and more optimistic. Last is mindfulness, which is the ability to stay present at the moment, which helps you to become more aware of what you are doing, feeling, and thinking.
Letting Go Of Expectations In Relationships
The problem with relationship expectations is that they are based on one person’s opinions and values. Everyone has different opinions and values, and everything often doesn’t sync up. This is where arguing and fighting take place and why it’s essential to let go of expectations and focus on the below instead.
Your entire world will change by focusing on appreciation instead of expectations for your partner. Instead of focusing on your partner’s negative attributes, try to value the positive ones. By focusing on the positive, you are being reminded of what initially drew you to your partner.
Compassion is at the top of the list of what to expect in a relationship. Instead of holding your partner to expectations, demonstrate compassion by prioritizing love. While it’s essential to understand and define the relationship, remember these are themes used to facilitate connection. The relationship is the most important thing; it needs nurturing from both sides to foster and grow.
Respect For Healthy Communication
Respect is the fundamental foundation of any relationship we have in life. Showing respect to your partner means you value the other person’s perspective and needs. This allows for healthy communication because trust is secured, and everyone feels safe. An excellent way to practice this is next time during a disagreement, take a step back to breathe and seek a more understanding way to bring clarity to the situation. It’s always helpful to never lose patience with your partner but to be curious and ask more questions.
Quality time is something all healthy relationships need to be successful. Quality time is uninterrupted and distraction-free time for the two of you. It’s time to work on building your relationship or a sacred time to enjoy the company of each other. Quality time shows that you both value the relationship, and it’s a priority to nurture your connection.
How To Let Go Of Expectations From Others
By focusing on expectations from others, you are setting yourself up for frustration and not a happy life. While it seems complicated, it can be possible to let go of expectations from others and unload this heavy weight.
It’s important first to notice your expectations. This is the initial moment you felt frustrated or disappointed, and we would encourage you to write them down in a journal. Then you can examine them, determine where they stem from, and if they are realistic. The first step to letting go of expectations is to change the status and reason behind expectations. When you’re familiar with your expectations and the underlying reasons, you can start working on letting them go.
Second, always remain optimistic and look at the positive side of things. When you are dealing with unmet expectations, this can bring up a lot of negative emotions and thoughts, but it’s essential to focus on the positive. Instead, finding the positives forces you to nice what you already have instead of thinking about what you could have. Last, learn to embrace and enjoy the journey instead of just viewing the result.
Enjoy the entire process and small successes and even setbacks that occur along the way. This allows you to reflect and learn from your mistakes. You are embracing and living in the present by focusing on the journey. You are paying attention to what’s here and now instead of what will be and the what-ifs. It is a friendly reminder to let go and not worry over things you can’t control.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens when you let go of expectations?
Letting go of expectations means letting go of control and taking responsibility for your happiness and the direction of your life. You take ownership of your needs and feelings and don’t let unrealistic expectations weigh on you.
How do you come out of expectations?
To let go of expectations is to instead focus on creating realistic goals. By envisioning realistic goals, you set yourself up to achieve them and will not get frustrated when you do not. Often, we set unrealistic expectations and are disappointed and frustrated when we don’t meet them. Instead, focusing on realistic goals, accepting that you can’t control everything, and learning to embrace the journey allows you to come out of expectations.
Conclusion – Research by Findithealth.com
By letting go of expectations, you are releasing the need for control and instead embracing the art of working towards realistic goals. You are living in the present moment and becoming more adaptable to the changes we evolve and progress through.
When we let go of expectations, our researchers at FinditHealth found that we free ourselves from unnecessary disappointment and stress in all aspects of life. You are ultimately the only one in charge of your life and happiness, and we wish you love and light as you let go of expectations for your life.
Luz Chacon is a Health Educator, Wellness Coach, and EFT Tapping Practitioner with 30+ years in health advocacy. Specializing in stress management, wellbeing, and holistic health, she created a 40% stress reduction employee program. Luz is dedicated to helping busy individuals prioritize self-care, break patterns, and reach goals. She offers programs for organizations and individuals. Luz is passionate about sharing her health research and guiding informed choices!