Navigating Unmet Expectations

I’ve been there… When you’ve got an idea of how something will go, perhaps even someone led you to believe it would go a certain way, but the reality of your experience falls short of what you expected.

Perhaps you received an email from a colleague who told you she would get something done, but you can see the situation now requires you to be more involved when you didn’t think you would need to be.

Perhaps you signed up for a new project (even a new job) that excited you, and the reality of it is nothing like others’ told you it would be.

Perhaps you came to an agreement with someone only to have them renege.

When the reality of your experience is vastly different than what you expected, it’s normal to feel disappointed. It’s also prime time to be reactionary. Your reactionary stance tends to be an inner narrative you learned early on in life.

You blame yourself: “How could I have been so stupid?” “I should have known better.” Berating yourself limits your ability to create, play, and enjoy the adventure of life and increases the likelihood of feeling depressed or using unhealthy measures to escape reality.

You blame others: “Somebody always needs something.” “Why can’t they just do their job/get their act together?” Berating others, even in your own mind, creates a frustrated energy between you and the other that limits their potential and the potential for the dynamic you have with them to change.

You blame life: “It’s always something.” “I swear I am cursed!” “Nothing goes my way.”
Berating life for not meeting your needs takes away your opportunity to grow from setbacks and increases the likelihood of the same lessons being given to you over and over again.

These internal narratives are like an adult version of a temper tantrum. They may offer a bit of release from our frustration or disappointment. Still, these storylines won’t support us to grow, nor do we feel better relying on them.

Instead of falling back on disempowered reactions, we can consciously decide how we want to conduct ourselves despite our expectations not being met.

Here are some questions that may support you:

1) What can I learn/ what’s the gift? Can I find gratitude for what this circumstance is teaching/showing me?

2) Who do I want to be, given the circumstances I am in? How can I internally motivate myself to continue to believe in my vision?

3) What’s my next step toward building my desired outcome? How can I recognize this experience as a building block to what you want to create?

If you still fall back into reactionary patterns or storylines, be compassionate with yourself. There is a deeper root to your emotional trigger that wants to be understood. The good news is that this is your path to more profound growth that’s meant to free you.

If you would like support with releasing emotional triggers, deepening self-awareness, as well as feeling internally calm and centered despite external circumstances, the IIEE will be releasing updated training later this summer. You can sign-up to be on our waitlist here:

By being willing to grow when circumstances disappoints or frustrates you, that’s how you develop the tools to create a life that ultimately surpasses your expectations.