The importance of managing Expectations
Expectation, what is that?
The expectation is the killer of living life happily. It’s the quickest route to trap the mind in an endless cycle of worries, concerns, and struggles. When we want to change our lives lies in The importance of managing Expectations, where it must be clear that the word “everlasting” is not possible. When choices are made based on expecting a different outcome, one lives in a constant state of doing, attempting to manipulate change to work, and stress the self to get a particular outcome.
This kind of behavior has a tendency to limit us in our relationships, decision making and discovering creative solutions. Such behavior rarely gets a favorable outcome. In fact, at its’ core, expectations will keep one tired and burnt out, which is also why many, who are doing contemporary yoga and meditation are receiving very little benefits. We are still trying to control ourselves in the process of relaxation, self-care, and de-stressing.
All beings want a favorable outcome, they want some sort of guarantee which is usually driven by a fear of the unknown. Change only knows the unknown and not expectation. Many join self-development pundits and mimic their method, in hopes to get the same outcome without releasing any old habit patterns from the past. We try and substitute them as quickly as possible as though time is running out, which again brings us to expectations. One is caught in an endless cycle of “why am constantly repeating struggle?”
I really use to look up to coaches and marvel at their way of optimism. I often had forsaken my own practice given by my spiritual friend, because it was far more boring to surrender and give up stuff. I use to believe in needing goals and a commitment to a secure future, something coaches are famous for. It felt more exciting and motivating to have self-empowering tools to feel good and forget about dealing with the thorns of emotional struggle.
Eastern philosophy has continuously emphasized on the opposite. Temporary relief is still pain. The key is to develop a muscle of effort to be effortless, drop the expectations factor to live a so-called happier life. So why do we need so many tools, methods or right ways to achieve the secrets to success?Is the “right” image of success an unnecessary expectation?
I remember, as I had decided to sit with myself and find out who I really was, my spiritual guide had shared with me “Kirti, what you are doing is not it”. I was annoyed! Here, I was following what everyone expected, do what everyone was doing and be surrounded by “have a coach” syndrome to achieve this positive success. They seemed to be the answer to move forward in life, so why wasn’t it happening? I felt like an episode of Karate Kid, where I was given chopsticks to understand life.
I resisted his words, I did not want to hear them, in fact, the coaches all shared how negative I felt because I had all these emotions re-surfacing and was honest about them. Why was it so frowned upon? I often thought “What a loser, I must be” and I began to place this enormous pressure on myself to change to be ‘positive’. All it ever resulted into was: another dead-end. I felt bad, why judge coaches? They really do have good intentions but I just couldn’t fulfill some expectations. I couldn’t place my finger on it. Perhaps not everyone is meant to follow that road, I thought.
Early last year, the coaches who kept telling me what to do, lead me to have some freaky breakdown. I decided no way, no more. Taking the pressure of the self and surrendering at the moment, was similar to taking off a heavy coat of self-expectations and feeling a sudden sense of release. No more pressure to force the self to be someone who I really have no desire to be…and be ok with it.
It was scary, who am I…. if I let all these expectations go?
I could feel the arrows of hope, desires and all kinds of expectations stabbed into my back… and as I lay there on the bed, instead of breathing, I was bleeding and exhausted. The time to surrender had arrived and a freedom showed up. For the first time, I tasted a moment of freedom, that was motivation enough to relieve my addiction and un-coach the self.
Leaving the coat behind and into quietness, I became acquainted with the demon of self-expectations. No longer fighting it and using the tools of stillness, I would take her out for a cup of coffee. No more aggression, no more words, or forcing the self into meditation or yoga. Just practice, practice, practice undoing all the complexities of a personality and return to being a simple human being. Honesty and sincerity with the self is a skill to master, a skill to no longer hide from anything that showed up. A skill that the demon of expectations struggles with. Within a few days, my life started to fall apart together. Watching the mind was no longer an enemy or a friend, and the acceptance of subtle expectations became more visible.
What is my take on coaches… now?
I don’t have anything against them. I only understood, if you choose the path to become friends with yourself for the benefit of all your relationships, coaching and spirituality will clash. The road of truth is not for the light-hearted. It takes courage to fall down because the truth never lies and offers no temporary relief. A feeling of peace will arrive and can remain.
Coaches are beneficial but serve little purpose when it comes to being free from expectations. Spirituality trains the mind to un-train expectations, and allow stillness to be there even when the mind is chaotic. By sharpening the focus, self-pressure is relieved and a space of clarity shows up. For a long time, I felt guilty, letting amazing coaches down, because I sensed a danger with simultaneously mixing coaching and spirituality. It feels like a battle between reaching a goal and going goal-less,. It’s a choice on how to manage the expectation, a choice that really cannot be mixed, at least not in my situation.
Each day of practice, I find the self smiling at the most simple moments in relationships. The desire to achieve success or perfections has softened away and a patience to accept relationships as they arrive. I’m careful now when clients approach me for #befriendurmind techniques. There is one question I now ask: do you want to feel better or do you want to be honest with yourself? Two very different intentions, roads and options in managing expectations.
One thing is certain, freedom is a goalless goal, that which is clear from any expectations. Regardless if you like the situation or not, the shift in it largely depends on the way expectations are managed. This requires a skillful approach to questioning our intentions, motivations, and desires before we express ourselves.
The Wise teachers of the East understood something that only constant practice to be effortless delivers: it’s the art to manage expectations. It will bring a lasting contentment, and the choice is left to every individual.
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