Have you ever noticed that you get what you expect out of life? That what you think is going to happen does? We all live with an unconscious expectation of ourselves and our own lives, and this expectation not only determines what we have in our lives, but it also represents what we're willing to settle for. It’s a very powerful emotion and one that few people ever learn to harness to improve their situation. That’s a shame, because whatever you expect with certainty is what you will get in your life.
Ralph Charell said, "Nobody succeeds beyond his or her wildest expectations unless he or she begins with some wild expectations." So what are your expectations for your life? Are you excited about your future or do you face it with apprehension, fear, or even dread? These thoughts can be about the far away future or what you expect for your day.
For many people, the future holds too many uncertainties, and the fear of what might happen tends to overshadow the ray of light that represents the life they ultimately desire. One of the hardest things to do in life is to lift yourself out of your current circumstances and step up to the level of life you desire, especially if you have ancestors that have lived in poverty or had a different life than what you want. It’s scary to want more and not to achieve your goals.
I've been thinking about expectations because in the news I've been seeing a lot of people's emotions being tossed around by the current economy. It’s mostly out of our control, and these outside circumstances impact the decisions they make and maybe even alter what they will accept in their lives.
It reminds me of the stock market crash of 1929 (though I wasn’t even alive then). After the era of optimism and affluence of the 1920’s, the stock market crashed and fear impacted what happened next. So many people were fearful they’d lose everything that they took their money out of the banks until the banks had to close due to a lack of cash. Some people think that if most people would've held on tight to where they were, the Great Depression would have been much shorter.
Of course, I'm simplifying. Still, all of those fearful people got exactly what they expected to happen: an economic depression. While many people suffered greatly during that time, including my own ancestors, others did very well. It’s likely because they didn't get caught up in the doubt, fear, and worry, and they kept their expectations high.
When outside circumstances seem unfavorable, should you keep your great expectations or lower the bar? I say, and many others do as well, that you should keep your high expectations. If you get what you expect, then keep expecting the best!
Expectation is the emotional state where an idea becomes so real that you feel it, even though you can't hold it yet. It’s like an invisible magnet that will attract the things you want into your life, because you believe it so deeply that your mind empowers you to think and do the things required to bring it to you.
Think about how we say a pregnant woman is expecting. She knows beyond a shadow of a doubt exactly what’s going to happen. While some details of the pregnancy and birth are still unclear, she is certain that she will soon give birth to a baby. Both physically and emotionally, she can feel the result because she’s expecting it. What you expect for your life is exactly the same.
When you start to expect the things you desire, your whole mindset shifts from the uncertainty of hopes and wishes to the absolute certainty of what you will achieve, get, or experience. The images you entertain in your mind, the things you say, and how you act reflect only the result that you’re committed to, much like a mother preparing for her baby’s arrival.
One of the most powerful ways to cultivate expectation is to develop a very clear vision of your life for your life. This is why I lead the Design Your Decade workshops every year, and why I encourage participants to come back every year. Most people never make the time to really define what they want from their lives, which makes it almost impossible to live an Extraordinary Life.
Even those that do define what they want still will leave things to chance. It’s the “hope and pray” strategy, usually influenced by beliefs that they can’t have it or deserve it. They just hope something will happen along their life path to fulfill their desires, which is a very passive way to live.
A lot of this is cultural conditioning. If you grew up in a home where your parents worked tirelessly to just make ends meet, or were often told “don’t get your hopes up”, or saw your family work endlessly but never have any fun or spend their money, it’s going to affect your approach to life in some way. If you want to lift your quality of life to a higher level than it is now, you have to break away from the masses that settle for an ordinary life; a life where they’re not really happy, but they’re not unhappy enough to do anything about it.
If you want to lift your life up, you need to start by raising your expectations. Raise your expectations of who you are as a person and what you believe you deserve. When you lift your expectations to that higher level you raise your own standards, and that's the first step in improving your life.
Higher expectations give you the mindset you need to make your Extraordinary Life happen. It's a mindset of absolute certainty that can be consciously cultivated. To turn your hopes into expectations, you must eliminate the negative outcome in your mind, thus taking away doubt and fear. Instead of seeing the options of success or failure, you only see success. There is no “hope”, because you know you will get what you want.
Right now, you earn what you expect to earn. The amount of free time you have is what you expect to have as free time. The relationships you have are what you expect them to be. What if you started expecting more?
You have to stop settling for less than you can be or have, because a lifetime of settling for less creates an expectation that you deserve less. It becomes a standard that you're willing to settle for. During a group session, my coach Nafissa Shireen had us examine every area of our life to find out where we were settling. That old toothbrush, raggedy underwear, or stretched out pajamas have tiny little impacts on what you’re expecting.
I encourage you to think of yourself as the pregnant mom who expects, not hopes, only the best. And with her imagination, she's able to live the result in magnificent detail until she has the experience of physically holding her baby. It's why when I taught childbirth classes, I suggested that the moms-to-be not allow people to share their negative birth experiences. Simply say, “No thank you.” Things won’t always turn out how you expect them to, but no use worrying about it until you're there. You have to nurture and care for your desires, and only by becoming unreasonable in your expectations can you really turn your deepest desires into reality.
Expectations are dreams that are built on solid rock. They're unshakeable, unlike hopes and wishes that wash away with the first storm that comes along. You don't need special skills or knowledge to raise your expectations. You simply need to decide that from this point forward, you won't ever again settle for anything less than you can possibly be, or anything less than you can possibly have.
You are in control of what you focus on, and can direct your mind to what you want, not to what you don't want. But only if you choose to; otherwise, you'll revert back and go with the flow of whatever comes along. By consciously and consistently nurturing your desires and emotions, you can live your life by your own standards and create the expectations of a life of abundance and fulfillment, whatever that is for you.
If you want help creating an unshakeable and confident expectation for your life, please join one of my Design Your Decade Workshops. Or better still, reserve your spot in my Group Coaching Program which starts in January. You’ll find a whole community of inspiring women also working towards their desires. If you join The Extraordinary Life Tribe now, you’ll receive $500 off and free registration for one of the upcoming Design Your Decade workshops (plus a few other early bird bonuses).
Join my mailing list to receive the latest news and updates and get my new Good Morning, Good Night Ritual Guide.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.
What if you approached self care as a gift, because you know you deserve the very best?
Sign-Up Below to Receive the You, 2.0 Guide and receive my weekly news and updates.