The Down Side of Expectations: Warrior Mind Podcast #319

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Over four years and going strong!  With over 400,000 downloads from over 9 countries and 5 continents’…. this is expectationsthe Warrior Mind Podcast.

In this episode of the Warrior Mind Podcast I’m going to go to go over how expectations can adversely affect your life and personal performance.

Expectations are one of the hot topics that come up during my coaching sessions. They are difficult to deal with at times, and can cause a wide array of emotions in people. I will discuss expectations and acceptance as far as the personal aspect of this material. I am presuming first that all of us have the same motivation to feel satisfaction about the type of people we are and our lives.

We can have a difficult time dealing with both of these meaningful words on occasion. These words, though, will often decide how discontent or content we are with our lives. Yes, these words hold this much power over us.

Expectation and Acceptance Definitions:

  • Expectation – the state or act of anticipating or looking forward
  • Acceptance – the action of receiving or taking something that is offered

Not everyone realizes the correlation between these words. When there is a lack of realization on this matter, it is the main cause for a person not attaining personal or professional success. The majority of people just flounder around in their attempts to turn expectations into tangible results. They not only waste a lot of time and effort, but also part of their lives. All of us need to understand how far to take our attempts in this area. Our expectation level needs to be in line with our ability to deliver on this topic.

Having expectations from various things in our lives is normal. We must be careful, though, that most of our expectations are not out of our reach since this could lead to issues and unhappiness. However, this is not to say we just give up on our efforts.

In addition, we might have specific expectations with our own actions. These could be another reason for unhappiness and disappointment. On occasion, we place excessive demands on our abilities, which we may fall short of delivering. In this event, we can just strengthen our capabilities or skills and accept our shortcomings.

 Enjoy this podcast the effect of expectations



Once we master the use of these two powerful terms, we may begin to realize a positive, new perspective on life. We also will be able to please those around us on a higher level. Everyone we come in contact with will see us as helpful and well-adjusted individuals. I completely agree with and have direct experience with the saying below:

Happiness is related directly to acceptance while conversely related to expectation.

The Relationship Between Confidence and Expectation

A high number of people who participate in my personal coaching sessions do not realize that expectation and confidence are two different ideas. They think people have a great deal of confidence when they have set high expectations, but this is just not true. Setting an expectation too high or rigid can be detrimental to the development of our confidence. Check out my definition below to understand better the difference between the two words:

Confidence is one’s own beliefs in his or her abilities or powers, and its focus is on self and level of ability.

Expectations, though, are about looking forward to the positive results from exerting our abilities. Their focus is on results.

Confidence is basically the belief that comes prior to our performance without any expectations of the results. On top of this, confident people are not critical of their own actions based on outcomes, results or expectations.

How do expectations negatively affect our confidence? For one thing, we face a win-lose scenario. We may or may not achieve our expectations. In the event that we fail to achieve them, we will begin to question our performance. We set ourselves up to fail prior to even beginning on our journey. One thing we forget to consider is that we are not in control of any of our expectations. Yes, this is completely true, as for the most part, when we anticipate certain results, these results are dependent on the actions of others.

When people achieve enough success, they often set a number of high expectations in regard to their abilities or actions. I feel that expectations are a natural byproduct of achieving certain goals. These people will then feel that anticipation-oriented thinking is normal. Besides, why shouldn’t we expect a quality performance of ourselves? It sounds logical to demand a quality performance in anticipation of positive results. Thinking in this manner may seem correct, but in fact, it only sets us up for possible frustration and dissatisfaction when we do not perform adequately to attain our expectations.

At times, we can be so strict with our expectations that we expect total perfection, and this makes them even more detrimental. One example of this is having the expectation of a profitable day each time we sell door to door. Another example would be earning a profit the first day a company opens its doors for business. We may also expect never to make a mistake at our daily tasks. All of these are unrealistic in nature and practically impossible to attain.

For this reason, I conclude that setting expectations can be detrimental to our confidence when a high level of confidence should be our ultimate goal through success with training and performance without the judgment that comes with the anticipation of the outcome. Consequently, the development of confidence minus all expectations is part of my strategies for success.

I can just hear you asking if we still need to set goals? Yes, setting goals provides us a target to aim for, focus on, strive for, and are motivation for all our actions. Just be careful which goals you set. Below are three types of goals:

  1. Outcome
  2. Practice
  3. Performance

Goals based on outcome provide us motivation and a target on which to concentrate on to achieve our practice goals and performance goals. On top of this, it is helpful to set realistic, short-term and mid-term SMARTER goals and outcomes that are void of judgments in place of expectations.

My Solution

Do you have an expectation of perfection, but lack the confidence to make it happen? We may all suffer with this, but we should think in the opposite manner. This will be a surprising fact for many of us, especially when we understand all the terms in the earlier formula. Attaining a high level of confidence on top of setting realistic objectives provides us with a positive focus without the hindrance of unreal expectations and specific desired results.

My solution is as follows:

  1. Determine what unmanageable expectations negatively affect your confidence.
  2. Learn how to focus the power of your confidence while you understand that expectations differ from confidence.
  3. Set realistic goals in place of expectations. Concentrate on manageable micro-goals, short-term goals, and mid-term goals. Remember, not to turn your goals into expectations.

You Can’t Improve What You Can’t Measure

The Mental Toughness Questionnaire is an assessment that determines someone’s Mental Strength…at this moment.   The questionnaire also provides tips on improving your Mental Strength.  You can request the Mental Toughness Assessment by going to

Request an Introductory Consultation right now if you wish to learn additional information on expectations, confidence and acceptance.

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