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5 Ways High Expectations Hurt You

In Losing Control, Finding Serenity I explain how high expectations are a driving force behind our need to control our loved ones, children, friends and others. High expectations of others pressure them to do and be what we want, or what we feel is best for them. As such, we are imposing our will on them.

Have you considered how high expectations hurt you? Here are five significant ways:

  1. They create dissension in our close relationships.People resent it when we pressure them to be other than who they are or wish to be.   We are in effect telling them they are “not good enough.” This leads to resentment and dissension, thus impacting our bonds and connection with them.
  2. They divert us from pursuing our personal growth. With expectations, our focus is on others instead of where it can do us the most good: ourselves. They divert us from working on our shortcomings and enhancing our personal talents and attributes.
  3. They create unnecessary anxiety.   Expectations are results-driven. We become concerned and anxious that future events will not be as we had wanted—or expected. Moreover, unmet expectations lead to disappointment and more anxiety.
  1. They transport us from the present. Expectations assume that our well-being and happiness are dependent on future events happening in a manner that will satisfy our perceived needs.  Such linear thinking is contrary to life’s unpredictable ebb and flow (or impermanence), in which change is the only thing that is constant.  As such, expectations transport us from the only place where our needs can be truly satisfied: the present.
  1. They deny us the blessings from accepting life and people as they are. As will be made clear in my forthcoming book, The Gifts of Acceptance*, there are significant blessings when we accept life and people as they are. However, when we expect too much from others and things, we aren’t accepting of them. We are either trying to control or change them.

In addition to sharing my own and others’ acceptance stories, my new book offers effective ways in which you can moderate your expectations. For now, here are two practical posts that will help you do that:

Click here to read “How to Lower Family Expectations.”

Visit this link to read “Let Go of Control by Moderating Your Expectations.”

In the meantime, remember to

Let It Go—and Accept What Is!


*You can download a preview chapter of The Gifts of Acceptance  by clicking here.

**If you like this post, please share it with your Facebook friends.

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