Do you honestly believe that something good is going to happen to you today?
For many, they only wish that good things will happen to them. They don’t actually expect good things will happen today. That is true for most of us, unfortunately.
How does that happen? We are so caught up in defining what we experience in life, based on beliefs from our past, that lower expectations become automatic. Many don’t have honest high expectations that something absolutely wonderful will happen today.
Reduced expectations never gave you the happiness and joy that you desire, has it? If they did, you’d be happy and joyous most of the time. You would walk out your door each day, expecting something wonderful to happen.
Downside of Reduced Expectations
Here is the real downside of reduced expectations. Only high expectations give you happiness and joy. Low expectations eventually lead you down a path of lower hope and even despair.
Expectations lower even more if there are no positive ones to balance everything out. Consider this for a moment. When you don’t expect positive experiences, what do you think happens? The meaning you give to what happens to you during the day affects your future expectations. If you don’t feed positive expectations to your thoughts, your expectations can lower even more.
Not only that, but low expectations causes stress. Stress raises our blood pressure, decreases our immune system response and lowers our ability to cope with future stress. It’s understandable why we lower our expectations.
We Avoid Disappointing and Painful Feelings
Many of us have been crushed with disappointment at one time or another. So we lower expectations to avoid any further disappointment.
I’m sure you can empathize with this example. Someone tries for a new position, working months and perfects their skills. They sound unstoppable, right? What they hadn’t planned on was, skills had nothing to do with getting that new position. The position was given to someone else who had better contacts in the organization. Talk about total crush. Result, they lower their expectations to avoid further disappointment.
If they continue to lower expectations to avoid feeling more pain, life becomes a struggle for them.
There Is Another Way
I think we all instinctively know that lowering expectations never really works. The momentum of lower expectations degrading into even lower ones is not easy to stop. It is possible, as I have found out. It takes baby steps at first. So why not try another way. All you have to lose is some negative expectations. I found a path I’ve taken over the years that have brought me much happiness and even joy. If you follow them, you too will believe something good is going to happen to you today.
Zen 1: Find the Story You Tell Yourself to Avoid Disappointment
It is only human to want to understand why a disappointment happens to us. We do this in hope that we can change and then change our circumstances to be happier ones. Many times we don’t know the reason. So we make up a story in our head.
If you are having disappointing feelings, stop where you are in the moment and begin to feel what has happened to you. How are you defining your experience? What are your expectations? Did you make up a story that that says something about you isn’t enough or you didn’t deserve better?
Some people tell a story they deserve to be punished because of something they did in the past. Others have a story that the world just isn’t fair and you can never get what you want. These are just stories we tell our self to assuage the pain of disappointment.
Have some compassion for why you tell yourself these stories. You wanted to be in control of your life and have better experiences. We tell ourselves these stories to stop some pain or help us feel safe and secure.
If you stop and think about the story in your head, you’ll discover it isn’t true. Stories are only true if they are true for everyone. I am sure you can find examples of many people for which your story is not true for.
Zen 2: Feel Your Power and Be In Control – Tell the Truth of Your Story
Now tell yourself the stories aren’t true. Doing this is what really gives you your power back and feeling in control. It may seem counter intuitive, but if you stick with me here, I will show you how.
Think for a minute where the power was for you. You didn’t use the stories to build your confidence or esteem as power within you. No. You fed your power to these stories to believe you controlled events in your life. You can take your power back from the story and give it back to you.
Take a hard look at the stories you tell yourself and decide you are not going to tell them anymore! Telling yourself that these stories are not true, will take away their power to define what happens in your life. You now have the power back inside you.
Be kind and gentle with yourself. If you feel guilt for something you did in the past, forgive yourself. If you are worried about what may happen in the future, bring your thoughts back to the now. That is where our power is, in the now.
Feel some sorrow for using that story, then let it go. You are now in control of what happens to you. You can make a new story. If you made the old one, you are the one controlling and making a new one.
Zen 3: Find Freedom to Have Your Hearts Desires – Redefine Circumstances With a New Story
Go back into events that got you in this place. Many of us define our circumstances by what we don’t want or as freedom from something. Redefine your life events with new positive meaning to circumstances. One way to do that is to first look at the freedom from what you don’t desire and turn it into having a freedom to have what you do desire.
Example: Someone has a story that says everything has to be a struggle to be considered valuable. They want freedom from that struggle. What they really desire is looking for a way to feel the value of their work. Then, they can make a new story that says, “They desire freedom to value their work in enjoyable ways that express their strengths, power and talents.”
When we tell our self a new positive story, our attitude about our self begins to shift. That attitude can be one that reaches for our hearts desires. Next, build an attitude of self confidence to further lift up your expectations.
Zen 4: End Struggle & Suffering – Build an Attitude of Confidence Using Strengths, Powers & Talents
There are many ways to build an attitude of confidence. This one is my favorite because of its high success rate. It also takes less effort than struggle. Think about a success that you had at any time in your life. Now think what strengths, powers or talents you used to succeed. If this is hard, find a trustworthy friend to help you.
You can take on an attitude of confidence by making a plan to use your strengths, powers and/or talents today. Find a way of using them in at least one task you do, no matter how mundane. You will find that your attitude of confidence will seep into you and your expectations will be that of success.
Building an attitude of confidence takes some effort, but far less than struggle. I have found so many who have built an attitude of confidence using this technique. Anyone can do it. There is one more component I found that lets you build to higher expectations. It is trust.
Zen 5: Add Trust – Believe and Know Good Things Can Happen to You Today
Your new attitude with higher expectations of success will build in a most positive way if you add just a dash of trust. Trust is built when we know that when we are using the gifts given by the Divine, they will do everything to support us to keep using those gifts.
We are all given unique gifts from the Divine whenever we come into this world. Even if we are born with challenges, we are given gifts of strengths, powers and talents. No one is the same; each is given a unique set of gifts to be expressed. We are meant to live our life using those strengths, powers and talents.
When we use them, it is a higher truth that we are 100% supported by the Divine.
I know that because it is true for everyone. All we have to do is trust that higher truth. When we add that trust to our confidence, something wonderful happens inside us.
We expect good things to happen! I’ve given you an antidote for your disappointment and pain by creating higher expectations. You don’t have to try it all at once. Try it with just one little story. See what happens. Take it one day at a time. Let it build as you work with more stories.
Then before you know it, you will honestly expect that something wonderful will happen to you today.
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