Expectations … should we have them? Are they helpful or holding you back?

Last week I talked about how limiting what you put on your todo gives you the best chance for success. There is something else that is just as important to consider, our expectations.

This week I was challenged about my expectations.

Do expectations help or hold us back?

I’m sure you can think of a time where you can link your expectations to a disappointment. I know I can, and more than I care to count.

Expectations can lead us to compare our situation with someone else’s. And comparison kills our creativity + leads us to being ungrateful for the good we have in our life.

Dwell on these thoughts long enough + I guarantee you will lose your motivation to try.

Now that’s a snowball running toward disaster that I don’t want you or I to get caught up in.

So before I decided what to do with my expectations, I decided to look up the meaning.

What are expectations?

Expectation : a thing looked forward to; a prospect of future good, success or profit; anticipation; a strong belief that something is likely to happen.

Wow that sounds good, like something we would would plenty of, everyday.

Keep them or get rid of them?

So why do our expectations often lead to disappointment + even apathy? Why was I feeling let down by mine?

As I spent some time reflecting on what I was disappointed + frustrated about, I saw that I hadn’t done the work to make a proper plan for success. My expectations were built on the sand. It was no wonder I was failing to meet them. I was holding myself to unrealistic goals that were based on great ideas, not solid plans.

How often have you “got your hopes up” + even started working toward a goal that was based on misleading, incomplete or false information? I know I certainly have, many times. Just because we expected the wrong thing, doesn’t make expectations bad.

It simply show us that we need to base our expectations on the brutal facts of reality (as Jim Collins puts it in his book “Good to Great“). Adjust them where necessary, and at times we need to let them go. As much as we can we need to do our homework + create expectations that are realistic. These expectations will inspire us + move us forward.

With these kind of expectations we will have that strong belief that something good is likely to happen.

I don’t believe we can live without expectations. By not having expectations we still have an expectation of not having expectations. I almost didn’t included that as it sounds confusing. But it is true.

What to do with expectations

So I let go of the expectations that were created on shaky ground. I looked over my recent list of todos, unfinished projects + had a planning sessionI reset my expectations.

I changed some + totally abandoned others. Making these adjustments was how I took one more step towards living a life I love.

I no longer wanted to be frustrated by my own unrealistic expectations.

More than anything I want to enjoy each day as the gift from God that it is. To do that I not only have to limit what I put on my todo list, I need to make sure my expectations are realistic, inspire me + actually help me to move forward.

The best thing we can do to stop our expectations from holding us back is to make sure they are based on truth, not on wishing or blind hope.

When you find yourself with unmet expectations, listen the sign that something needs your attention + take action.

If you’re feeling frustrated or disappointed, take out a piece of paper. List all the things you have to do, goals + projects that are unfinished and even situations that didn’t live up to expectations. Write down what you were hoping for + why.

Spend a little time reflecting on what you wish you would have known before hand or what you need to know or consider to adjust those expectations so that you can strongly believe that something good is likely to happen.

Now, forgive yourself, it’s time to make some changes + move forward in anticipation of a good future!

Success comes when you #takeaction

For tips on making those changes + to set realistic goals, check out the Secret for ToDo List Success and the How Not to Get Stuck in the Planning Phase.

To create realistic expectations shop the Plan + Do printable planner kit in store :


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Share: I’d like to hear from you, “Do you find expectations helpful or a hinderance?

Are Your Expectations Holding You Back? at byjacquiesmith.com

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