The holidays are supposed to be a fun, joyous series of occasions. They get ruined with baseless expectations. Expectations are set ideas about what the outcome of a situation should be. They are inaccurate more often than not, and holding on tightly to these ideas can cause a lot of anxiety and pain.
One problem that arises from having rigid ideas of how things should turn out is that life very rarely follows the scripts you create in your head.
Clinging to a belief that there is only one acceptable outcome not only sets you up for a great deal of potential disappointment, but creates tension and struggle. When you refuse to release your expectations of how things should be, you’re refusing to go with the flow of life. This often results in trying to control events, which is futile and exhausting.
By holding too tightly to expectancy, or being too set on an exact outcome, you often influence your own behavior in ways that aren’t helpful or healthy. You may either push yourself to fulfill your goals in an obsessive or short-sighted manner, or you may become paralyzed by the fear that you’ll somehow mess up our desired outcome, and feel unable to take action at all.
Start changing the painful scenario by unsetting your heart on something. Having a heart that is set on a goal implies a rigid feeling and approach. Like being set in your ways, there is very little space for flow, freedom, or spontaneity when your heart is set.
There is nothing wrong with having goals and dreams. Life would become somewhat aimless without hopes and aspirations. What is potentially unhealthy though, is an obsession with the idea that there is only one very narrow path that can lead to your fulfillment, and that you know exactly, in the minutest detail, what that final destination must be like.
Holding on to expectations can also cause you to close your mind to potentially fulfilling opportunities, simply because those opportunities do not follow the exact formula you believe they should follow.
Letting go of expectations can be difficult. Most of us have been conditioned since childhood to grasp hold of goals and ideals, and to never let go. What we need to understand is that we can keep our dreams, but let go of the rigid ideas of how those dreams can come true. By learning to release your grip on how you believe things should be, you can begin to enjoy how things really are, and open your mind to the myriad of possibilities that exist in life.
Dream big and dream wide. Don’t narrow your chances for happiness to one in a million, or even one in a hundred. Trade your expectations for explorations, and discover that there are a multitude of different ways that you can be happy and fulfilled in life.