The Killer E Word
By Daria Campbell
I am the type of person who loves to plan. My mother used to say a quote from a poem to me all the time, “The best laid plans of mice and men, often go astray.” She had witnessed one too many times my crushing defeats in the face of things that I had planned to just fall over, and this was her way of comforting me, and it always worked.
Why? Because plans do go off the rails no matter how hard you try. And with that in mind the thing that will trip you up every time is the killer E word. EXPECTATIONS! We all fall victim to this. Where we build up something or someone in our mind to behave or happen how we saw it in our minds.
Many times, if you find yourself really upset over something, if you stop and think about it you will realize there was an expectation there that wasn’t met to your satisfaction. You can even hear yourself say it to people when you tell your stories of woe. “I expected so much more from (fill in the blank).
Learning to recognize when you are upset because you have fell into the expectations trap is a skill that is worth learning. How many times have you been let down because you “expected” your partner to do something you had in your own mind but you didn’t communicate it to him/her and then get mad or upset when it didn’t happen? Or worse it happened but not the “way” you wanted it to. I am speaking from experience.
Expectations can add quiet and painful stress to your life that you really do not need. There is more than enough to worry about that with adding things you have fabricated in your own mind. I expected that my successful work year from 2021 as a Recruiter would just be as easy this year but guess what it has not been. There are many factors for this, many I have no control over and a few I do but am I going to let the fact that my expectations let me down stop me from trying to get better? All you can do is wake up every morning and say, “I don’t know what this day is going to hold for me, but I will do my best and be flexible with the rest.”
Am I saying do not plan and just let your life be run by whim? Heck no. I still love to plan everything. To do lists, daily, monthly, and yearly goals, all of that! I am always looking forward to something otherwise I am not sure how I would survive, but especially after Covid I have learned even more that plans go astray just like my mother said. So I try not to build expectations up in my mind I just do what I can and hope for the best.
Like that great prayer they say at the beginning of every AA Meeting:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference.
This is how you deal with the killer E word. Just take it one day at a time, plan what you can, and have faith. It works and you will be less stressed. Believe me.