Expectations

Expectations
It’s life, and things don’t always go our way. Or how we planned. Or expected. And definitely not when there’s a global pandemic. Definitely not then.
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The thing is, I’m basically anti-expectations in the best of times, because expectations are pretty universally a setup for disappointment. What I think is important is to let go of your attachment to how you expected things to turn out. Instead, take your fear by the hand, show up, do your part (even afraid), and see what results. When we are able to be less attached to outcomes, magic — beautiful and surprising magic — can happen.
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This is something I coach on all the time — how to be adaptable, how to be open to and evolve with possibilities, how to trust yourself and to take chances on yourself. (Full disclosure: fear can show up in many different forms, including trying to control how things go, and I too learn this lesson about attachment and expectations again and again.) Of course I believe in having goals, making plans and going for them, but I also cheer for checking in along the way. Doing so allows us to remain nimble and evolve as we move forward.
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To check in, ask yourself things like:
  • Does my goal or dream still feel important?
  • How have I evolved and changed since I started?
  • What needs tweaking as a result?
We can get so head-down when we’re attacking our goals that we can forget to revisit the plan! You know, to make sure it’s still a good one? Tunnel vision can be a helpful focusing and productivity tool, but it can also keep us mired in expectations. Which, remember, is a setup for disappointment. So, it’s important to make sure that the tunnel we’re in, the path we’re on, continues to feel right and make sense. Tip alert: Scheduling reminders for ourselves to check in and make adjustments — big and tiny — as we go is key.
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The very same principles and tools absolutely apply right now. Had you mapped out a vision for where you were going when the wave of coronavirus began? Did you have big plans, dreams, and goals? Talk about things not turning out as expected, COVID19 is basically the biggest reminder to check in ever! I’m not being flip or blasé. This is a big derailment, I know, but all does not have to be lost. Given that circumstances have clearly changed, that you may no longer be able to go after your goals in they way that you planned, check in!
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Ask yourself:  
  • How might my goal or dream adapt to our changing world?
  • How have I changed, and what impact does that have on what feels important?
  • What adjustments can I make in my plans, goals, or vision as a result?
When the worst thing in the world happens, using our tools of assessment to discern what’s the next best move can be so empowering. A pandemic happens and it rightly triggers our belief or expectations that a massive overhaul of our goals and plans is what’s needed. But take heart, sometimes all we need is a slight realignment.
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