Updated: Oct 3, 2019
Recently, a boy told me he that he doesn’t “believe” in expectations. I tilted my head slightly in confusion and asked him to elaborate. Surely, it’s one thing to not give into the power of a negative thought but to altogether “not believe” in something as abstract and deeply human as having expectations seemed counter intuitive.
He explained to me that expectations are standards we unfairly place onto other people/society. These expectations in the process shape our emotional response to an outcome. So when we expect something to happen, if the reality doesn’t align with our expected outcome, we become disappointed. This disappointment ultimately alters our perspective of that thing altogether.
I feel that. There are definitely unrealistic expectations that we are all guilty of holding onto. Like expecting someone to call you back or finding the perfect apartment. I can attest to being met with disappointment on both fronts, but I digress.
This boy’s shpiel about expectations wasn’t wrong, however it was missing a vital counter element: intentions.
Intentions are different from expectations in the way that they are set up for yourself, whereas expectations are set for others. Intentions serve the purpose of framing our thoughts in a way that empowers us in our decision-making processes. Expectations place the burden upon the actions of others.
For example: I intend to inspire someone with this blog post, but I don’t expect it to go viral. If I expected this blog post to go viral and only received 3 blog views, my confidence as a blogger would be shattered.
Because I can’t control the actions or thoughts of others—which is what expectations are built upon—we are set up for failure. The only true thing I can control is myself and all my encompassing thoughts, actions, and beliefs. Setting intentions can be liberating because it shifts the energy from the unpredictable chaos of others unto yourself.
It’s saying “I can’t make this person like me, but I can be my truest and greatest self to them anyway, because that is who I am.” This pivotal shift in energy takes the weight of the world off your shoulders, because it’s no longer on you how others will respond.
It’s not an easy feat, but once you shift your energy to setting positive intentions, not only will it expand your worldview, but it will also open your mind up to living in the present moment.
I'll keep it 100 and share a real world example. Say said dude doesn’t call me back for a third date even though I expected him to. Well that sucks. Sure my ego will be a little bruised, but not all was lost in those two dates. I enjoyed myself and learned that first date nerves actually won’t kill me contrary to my initial beliefs. It just be like that sometimes, and that's okay!
I could choose to be sad over a boy not texting me back or I can choose to be proud of putting myself out there with an open mind and open heart. Positive intentions and perspective are healing forces. Ultimately, opening yourself up to the experience and reframing your thoughts in a positive light will bring you greater peace of mind.
Intentions don't just apply to dating, they apply to anything you wish to manifest. Goals, dreams, self-care. Positive intentions are an act of self-love and when you frame your mindset you also reframe your life experience. By setting posi intentions and lowering expectations, you’re opening yourself up to an enlightening learning experience no matter the outcome. As long as you stay true to yourself and speak your choices with a positive tone, no one can drain you of your energy. Periodt.