Expectations | Learning How To Let Them Go

Most of our disappointments and frustrations are caused by our expectations of how we think the outcomes of our experiences are supposed to be. Wouldn't you agree? Just take a second to think about it....

Paying for services whether it is the hair salon, gas station, car wash, restaurants etc. When you go to get a service done, you expect the service to be as advertised. Once they show you something different, your mood shifts and you make a point to let them know. You ask to speak with the manager, complain to the person serving you or write a review online explaining your experience and even still you're still frustrated for the next 20 minutes. In the past, if my server got my order wrong, I would give attitude when trying to resolve the problem and today I couldn't even tell you why that was my first reaction. I've gotten a lot better with this because I realized it takes too much energy for me to do all of that. People that have known me for a long time are always in awe when I don't react in that manner. I've learned how to let it go, it's probably not that serious anyway.

When we lend people money, we expect them to pay us back when they say they are going to pay us back. Why? Because of the relationship that we may have with the person, right? I know for myself, I trust that they would value the relationship the same as I do in the sense that they would uphold a certain level of integrity and not do anything to tarnish it. However, that is not always the case. Growing up, my father always said "Don't ever lend out money expecting it back" and it wasn't until I got older that I actually understood what he was saying. Not everyone who borrow money pay it back so if you're lending out money that you need for something else or are banking on getting it back, you shouldn't lend it out because you do not know when or if you'll get it back. If you get it back, that is a bonus. However, if you do not get it back, you are now in an uncompromising space where you end up acting out of anger towards that person whether it is questioning them about the money or just going idle on them, both changing the dynamic of the relationship.


Think to when you were younger and you asked your parents for things that you wanted and they said no how angry you were. It is because you were not expecting them to say no. Since it is Christmas time, I'll share a story with you from when I was in 10th grade. As I got older, the gifts that I wanted for Christmas were more expensive so the total number of gifts were smaller year over year. Around that time, North Face coats were a thing and I wanted one soooo bad. Keep in mind that coat alone was $350. In addition to that I wanted clothes, 2 pairs of Timberland boots and a ton of other things. Leading up to Christmas, I've asked my mom if she bought the things off my list and she kept saying "yup...yup" all along but in a playful way. So I was thinking that my parents bought me everything that I wanted. On Christmas day, I woke up excited, went down stairs to find just the North Face coat with matching hat and gloves from my list. I did get other things like pajamas, intimates, stocking stuffers etc. but not any other items off of my list. I was FURIOUS. I was so mad at my mom because she got my hopes up only to disappoint me. I expected to have everything that I asked for but only got 1 of maybe 6 things that I asked for. Now, as a family we talk and laugh about it. Although it was a disappointing time for me, it taught me about expectations and how to not put too much emotion into it. Ever since then, I never get excited about telling my family about what I want as a present. My response is always "I don't know" because I don't expect anyone to buy me anything that I want. If I want it bad enough, I'll get it myself.


Expectations are hard to let go but you have to learn how to. Knowing that the majority of our disappointments derive from them should be enough for you to want to rid them from your life. When you think about the expectations that we have for certain things, you will realize that it is disadvantageous. It's just not worth the energy shift in my opinion. It takes time but over the years, I've learned how to let them go and am still learning how. Are you willing to try to let go of your expectations? You'll soon realize you're better off without them.

"Peace begins when expectations ends." - Sri Chinmoy