When it comes to how one experiences life, expectations play an incredibly important role. Not only are they influencing how one perceives every part of life, they’re also affecting ones emotional and mental well being.
This means that what one attracts into their life and what one sees in others is largely being defined by their expectations. And on the other side of it all, when one has expectations that are not fulfilled it can lead to feelings of anger, frustration, and even depression.
Expectations can relate to what one believes will make them happy and also what one has come to expect from life. This means that expectations can be both empowering and disempowering.
And no matter what areas of life we look at here; expectations are always in place. This can be in: relationships, health, career, the world and what one believes they are capable of. Each of these areas is being influenced by what one has come to expect.
This can also result in these expectations being taken as the truth and not ever being questioned. And if one continues to experience the same situation over and over again this is not much of a surprise
After many years of having the same expectations and therefore experiences in reality; they are likely to be deeply ingrained into ones unconscious mind and out of one’s conscious awareness. Here, there influence can remain hidden and continue to create the same results.
The Ego Mind
What will keep these expectations in place is the ego mind. Once these expectations have become familiar to the ego mind, they will be associated as safe. And once this has occurred, the ego mind will filter ones reality based on these associations.
So then, if one is unaware of what their expectations are, they will be enslaved to their ego minds function of attracting what has become associated as safe.
Although one might be frustrated or angry with the consequences of their expectations, the ego mind is simply doing its job of ensuring ones survival. And as soon as a sense of familiarity has been formed around an expectation, it will be interpreted as safe.
That is the only thing that matters to the ego mind. It does not function on what will make one happy or content; it functions on what is familiar.
I knew This Would Happen
This also means that if one were to think about changing an expectation, this would have the potential to create fear. And even though this new expectation could lead to the fulfilment of a certain need, it is not familiar to the ego mind.
So if one is not aware of this, the ego mind will do all it can to create the same expectation occurring again. At a conscious level one can say to themselves or another - that they knew this would happen.
And at a deeper level this is simply the ego mind doing its job. When this is in conflict with what one wants at a conscious level, it will naturally create problems.
Do I Have A Choice?
Once can then feel that they are a slave to the consequences of their expectations and not realise that these expectations are largely coming true due to how their ego mind works.
It would not be accurate to say that one could have their true expectations come true all of the time and yet it would be just as inaccurate to say that one has no control over what expectations will come true.
Questioning Our Expectations
As expectations are part of life, it shows that it is important to questions them as they are always in action. So by questioning ones expectations, one can start to see if they are functional or dysfunctional or what one really wants and If they are actually possible to be fulfilled or not.
Where Do Our Expectations Come From?
This will depend on many factors, for example the society one grew up in, the people one associates with and if one is religious, will all have an effect on what we expect from ourselves and from the world.
What one values and what one doesn’t value will also have an influence here. And at the root of all of this will be ones childhood upbringing.
What ones caregivers expected from the world is likely to have influenced what ones has come to expect. The type of relationship ones caregivers had will naturally have a say in what one expects from their relationships. How capable one is and what one expects from oneself will be coloured by what ones caregivers expected from them.
There will also be what one didn’t receive from their caregivers and this will cause one to either not expect it from others consciously or to unconsciously crave it form others, but keep it hidden.
The Expectations Were Set
Each one of these expectations and many more will have become associated as safe to ones ego mind. And this is because they are ones first reference points. This meant that one would carry these expectations forward and project these expectations onto the world and other people.
Positive And Negative Expectations
This will mean that some of these expectations relate to ones early childhood years. So as a result of this, many of the positive expectations wont able to be fulfilled anymore and the negative expectations could be the result of early pain or trauma.
By positive expectations, I mean the expectations that one believes will lead to fulfilment and these could relate to inner child needs that need to be acknowledged, validated and healed.
And when I say negative expectations, I mean the expectations that cause one to always expect the worst from relationships; to not expect much from themselves or from life. This will also require healing work.
As we become aware of our expectations and where they come from, we can decide if we want to keep them or if we want to change them. To be aware of what they are means we have the chance to make the choices that honour who we are, as opposed to being a slave or a victim of our own conscious or unconscious expectations.
If you feel this has been of value, please leave a comment, like or get in touch. And feel free to share this article.
Oliver J R Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
To book your free 15-minute consultation, click here.
That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.