Expectations Vitality of the Mind

According to the Oxford Dictionary, the definition of expectation is a strong belief that something will happen or be the case.


Expectations are a fabulous thing. They are the precursor to predicting the future, but we all know that unless we have mystical, magical powers we cannot predict the future. So what function do expectations provide us?


Our expectations validate a belief that we have about specific situations- typically ones we are not fond of, simply because the good ones aren’t the ones that bother us.


Have you began to list out the upcoming holiday events? If you have, have you begun to list out who will be there? Then did you start to list what each person will likely do or how they will act? The snowball can grow and grow. You may have even begun to spiral through historical events and situations with the people whom you’ve listed, whether they are good or bad.


Do you see how choosing the situations you focus on begins to change the tone or feelings you have as you reflect back?


When you began to think about the upcoming holiday events did you start to become filled with joy and glee? Did you immediately reflect back to all the happy memories you possess for the holidays and become exuberant with positivity? Or when you began your list, did you automatically skip straight to who you hope wouldn’t show up and your reasons why? And when you did, did you experience a sense of dread or some other relatable negative feeling?


Expectations can be good or bad. Good because they provide us a sense of safety, certainty and structure. For example, we always go to my parents’ house for the holiday and my parents, siblings and I all pitch in to cook the food we feast on. The expectation of having the holidays at my parent’s home and everyone pitching in to cook provides a sense of security and structure.


Expectations can also be bad. For example, maybe one of your family members had a difficult time during past holidays. These situations can easily be generalized to every holiday and depending on our reaction or interpretation of the events, they turn our expectations about the holidays into a negative one.


There are several other things we have expectations about like, how the kids are going to behave, what others will think of us as parents, family members, significant other’s, ect. There are expectations for giving and receiving the perfect gift. There are also expectations about getting the perfect reaction from the perfect gift.


Is it possible to give ourselves a break and suspend our expectations through the holidays? How about that? What would happen if we suspended our expectations?


Post your thoughts below!!! I’d love to hear how things turn out for you!!!

Expectations Vitality of the Mind


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