For most of my life, I bought into the sickeningly popular belief that, when I wanted something and thought I might actually get it, I should “be smart and not get my hopes up,” lest I be disappointed if it didn’t come to pass.
I thought that’s how the world worked. I thought that the “right” thing to do was to expect nothing, so I could be pleasantly surprised if good things happened. There was even a plaque up in the hall of the house I grew up in that said, “Blessed are those who expect nothing, for they shall not be disappointed.”
As I grew up and began questioning everything, I realized that there were at least two ways to interpret that quote. One – if I expect nothing and get something, then YAY! for happy surprises. And two – if I expect nothing, I will not be disappointed because I will,
indeed, get nothing.
Years of living and learning and lots of therapy later, it finally dawned on me that both interpretations were complete shit, and did not lend themselves to the happy life that we all deserve.
Perspective is Power.
This is one of the few beliefs that I hold dear. Most of my beliefs are just ideas.
Here’s the thing about expectations. If I expect a negative outcome, I’m going to spend my wait time feeling upset, stressed out, and disappointed, no matter what actually happens in the end. On the other hand, if I expect a positive outcome, I might still be
disappointed in the end, but at least I had some time where I was happy and hopeful.
Living in a state of happiness and hopefulness opens doors. It allows things to be brought to light that might have remained hidden in the shadows of negativity. It opens us up to creativity and to finding ways to make things happen.
Expecting the worst, or nothing – which might be the worst – shuts us down. It bathes our lives in a darkness that finds more darkness and casts shadows on great things that might have been.
So go ahead, get your hopes up.