In this post I’m going to talk about expectations and acceptance on personal level. There’s an entirely different level of conversation when expectations and acceptance is used in a business scenario.
In the personal domain I’m going to be presuming that the basic motivation for all of us is to feel good. Feel good about ourselves and our lives.
Dealing with these two powerful words can be tricky at times. But also these words can define how happy or sad we are in our life, such is the power of these words.
Expectation – the hope or degree of probability that something will occur
Acceptance – the act of taking or receiving something as offered
Many people are not able to see the relation between these two words. And this is the major reason for being not very successful in professional and as well as personal life. Most of us are blindly trying to convert expectations into reality. It is such a waste of time, effort and life. What we need to know here is where to draw the line. The level of expectation should be in sync with the capability to deliver.
We always have a set of expectations from all the living and non-living things around us. Some of these expectations may be over and above the capability and if we don’t accept this fact it can result in dissatisfaction and problems.
But this does not mean that one should not try to enhance the capability.
We may have certain expectations from ourselves also. They can also be a source of dissatisfaction and sadness. At times we might expect a lot from ourselves but may not be capable of achieving it. We will only be able to enhance our skill or capability after accepting our weaknesses.
After mastering the art of dealing with these two words you might start experiencing a totally new and positive side of life. This will also help in keeping people around you happy. Everybody around you will see you as an adjusting and helpful individual.
I strongly believe in and have experienced the following saying:
”Happiness is directly proportional to acceptance and inversely proportional to expectation” – Michael J Fox
The Confidence-Expectation Connection
Many people who a personal coaching program with me usually don’t understand how confidence and expectation are separate.
Most people think if you have high expectations, you also must have high confidence, and this simply is not the case.
Here’s the dark side of strict and high expectations…it can literally undermine and suck the life out of your confidence.
To help you understand the difference here’s my definition:
Confidence is based on the strength of your belief on how well you will perform. Confidence is self and performance focused.
Expectations, on the other hand, are hopes or anticipations of a desired outcome from your performance. Expectations are outcome focused.
Confidence is simply a belief that precedes your performance and is void of strict expectations of a specific outcome. In addition, a confident individual doesn’t judge the quality of their performance based on expectations, results or outcomes.
Why are expectations so harmful to your confidence?
First, you’re setting yourself up for a win/lose proposition. You either achieve your expectations or you fail. Second, if you don’t achieve your expectations, you start to question your ability. Essentially, you set yourself up for failure before you even start.
Here’s something many don’t think about with expectations…almost all expectations are out of your control. That’s right…in most cases your expectation of an outcome is dependent on others to make it happen.
Many people, who’ve experienced success at some level, naturally have very high expectations for their performance. I think expectations naturally develop from success. Individuals then think that an expectation-filled mindset is the norm. After all, shouldn’t you expect great things from yourself?
Expect the best and demand high levels of performance. It sounds good.
Although this type of thinking sounds correct – it is not ideal because it sets you up for disappointment and frustration if you don’t execute on cue or achieve your expectations.
What makes expectations even more harmful is many people will elevate their expectations to an extent of perfection, for example, expecting to make a perfect trade (in the stock market) every time, making a profit in business during in the first day or expecting not to make any errors during a presentation, all these are examples of strict and unrealistic expectations that are almost impossible to achieve.
This leads me to the conclusion that expectations are really harmful to confidence and the ideal scenario is to have high levels of confidence (based on past performance and training) without the judgmental that comes with expectation.
Thus, part of my formulas for success is to develop high levels of confidence void of any expectations at all.
OK…I can hear you saying “What about goals…aren’t we supposed to set goals?”
Absolutely, goals are something to strive for, the give you focus and motivation behind your actions. And be careful with goals, there are three kinds of goals:
Outcome goals are intended to give you focus and motivation to achieve your practice and performance goals.
Also, it’s beneficial to replace expectations by setting long-term manageable Achievable Outcomes and mid and short-term SMARTER goals that are not based on judgmental behavior.
Do you expect perfection, but do not have the confidence to back it up?
It should be just the opposite – and this is often a revelation for many individuals, especially after they understand the definition of the terms in the above formula.
Having high confidence and manageable objectives gives you a positive, process focus in place of judgmental strict expectations and specific outcome-orientated results.
The three-step solution is:
- Identify strict, unrealistic expectations that affect your confidence negatively.
- Understand how to harness the power of confidence and how confidence differs from expectations
- Replace expectations with manageable goals. Focus on manageable mid, short and micro-goals, i.e. process goals and do not turn them into expectations.
If you’d like to explore expectation, acceptance and confidence further, request your Introductory Consultation today.
Success in life is not about luck! It’s about managed thoughts, focused attention and deliberate action. Personal success and personal failure all start in the mind. Tap into the power of your unconsciousness mind and eliminate negative beliefs that have been holding back from reaching your personal goals.
Take back control of your thoughts and your life! Grab a copy of Develop the Mental Strength of a Warrior” today so that you can start living the life you’ve always dreamed of.
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