The Tragedy of Expectations

Never place your expectation hat on the heads of others.  You will be disappointed ninety-nine percent of the time.  Rather, look down your arm to your own hand.

– Victoria Volk

The past week has been life-changing.  Forgive me for being vague but the timing is just not right to fully share at this time.  What has occurred though, has gotten me to think a lot about expectations and how damaging they can be in our lives.

To give a better understanding of what I mean, I will start with an every-day example.  Take, for instance, you walk into a department store with the intention of going in and out.  You know exactly what you’re going in for and are expecting your shopping experience to go as such – in and out.  However, you are surprised to find out that there is a one-day extravaganza where with X amount of purchase you get X for free.  The place is a freaking mad-house.  People are flocking to this promotion like a fly on shit.  Immediately you’re frustrated because your expectation of going in and out just went down the toilet.  But, you need that one thing today because it’s only your dear friend’s birthday for one day – today….of all freaking days.

You grudgingly shuffle your feet through the crowd and proceed to get your item and head to the checkout, when, the woman in front of you insists on trying her chip card fifteen times in a row, continually getting the same result, even though you notice a fifty-dollar bill is right there for all to see.  In your mind, you plead for her to just use her cash.  UGH!!  The frustration of expectation!!  Yeah, sorry lady – trying fifteen times doesn’t change the freaking result!! 

We’ve all been there;  your in and out, get on with your day with a smile on your face has now turned into a cuss match against the world in your mind and you’ve allowed circumstance to interfere and steal your joy.  Instead, you leave pissed and your day totally freaking ruined by a damn promotion and a lady who can’t accept defeat the first damn time.

Why?  It all comes down to expectation.

What we expect will happen and how things will go doesn’t always pan out.  In fact, more often than not, shit just doesn’t go as we think it should.

We tell ourselves every single day how we think things should go, how others should behave, react, do, think.  We should all over ourselves every damn day.

The truth of the matter is:  no one can read your mind.  Ahh….you’ve said that before too, haven’t you?  I’m not a mind-reader.  And yet, there you find yourself – daily placing your expectations on others and likewise, others placing theirs on you.  What a conundrum!

More tragic though, is when you place all of your expectation cards in the hands of another and they fold.  Or, in turn, they place all of their expectation cards in your hand and you fold too, it’s then a cat’s game.  No one wins, therefore everyone loses.

Think of the relationships in your life that have fallen to the waste-side.  I would wager the reason that happens, in most circumstances, comes down to unmet expectations.  I know for me personally, this has been the case.

I have learned the tragic lesson, as maybe you have, that you never get time back.  And the sad truth is – it never had to be a cat’s game.  If one person would have just stood up and said, you know what – regardless of what I think you or you or you should do, I am choosing to do this.  Do something.  Take action.  Take that first step forward.

Let go of expectation and fully accept that what will be will be.

There is a certain inner-peace that comes with letting go of expectation, and, from personal experience, an even greater reward.

We allow expectations to steal so much time, joy, and inner-peace from our lives.  We do.  Every damn one of us.  How tragic that is.

It’s difficult to acknowledge (and accept) our own responsibility in how we choose to respond or react when things just don’t go how, in our minds, how we tell ourselves they should go.

This all weaves in to the human connection.  How differently the world would be if we could each let go of expectations, not place our own expectations on others, and take responsibility for how we respond/react to any given situation that puts a kink in our day?

Look around to your inner circle, which really, is a sliver of an even bigger circle.  Just as a rock creates ripples in the water, so do each of us – both positive….and negative.


About Victoria

Hi there! I'm Victoria: wife & mother of three with one pooch living in rural ND. I am a professional photographer turned writer, published author, and side-hustle entrepreneur. I dream of vacationing in Fiji and seeing Matchbox Twenty live (among other things). I firmly believe everything is "figureoutable," and if it doesn't challenge you - it doesn't change you. I also looooooooove coffee. A lot. :D

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