3 Guidelines For Setting Healthy Expectations

You are your own worst enemy. If you can learn to stop expecting impossible perfection, in yourself and others, you may find the happiness that has always eluded you.

― Lisa Kleypas, Love in the Afternoon


They are something we all have, from the time we are young, right on up through the time we take our final breath.

Yet, even though expectations are clearly a huge part of our lives, few of us truly learn to set appropriate expectations and manage them well.

All of the wishes, desires, hopes, and wants we carry around, which are never really quite fulfilled, have the power to greatly influence the satisfaction and happiness we experience in our lives. Like so many things in our existence, when we think something “should” happen in a particular way, it closes out all other possibilities and we miss out on a lot of great things in life.

And what is worse, consistently facing unfulfilled expectations can create conflict in relationships. Additionally, it leads to miserable experiences, and most importantly — kills our confidence in ourselves to manifest the life we truly desire.

However, when you learn to set realistic and appropriate expectations and learn how to be open for the various outcomes that the universe might bring, you also open yourself to a happier and more positive outlook on life. 

You will experience fewer disappointments and feel less discouraged about your path, making it easier to trust in the process of life and truly enjoy your present, instead of worrying about the future.

If you find yourself consistently disappointed in yourself and by the people and situations in your life, it’s time to check in with your expectations.

Here are a few tips to help you examine and adjust your expectations as necessary.

1. Examine The Expectations Of Self

You should always strive for growth and improvement, but are your goals in small, achievable steps or big swooping actions?

Trying to get everything done perfectly all at once will prevent you from taking consistent action toward your goal. Likewise, it will often leave you feeling depressed and disappointed in your abilities — which can only breed negative self-talk!

Reasonable Expectation: Start putting an extra $100 a month towards bills to get out of debt more quickly.

Unreasonable Expectation: Consistently think about how you can pay off all $10,000 of student loan debt.

How to Adjust: Begin by listing out some of the major expectations…

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