a term defined as “believing that something is going to happen or believing that something should be a certain way,” or in other words, high hopes that the outcome of a certain situation will be what we want it to be.
I want to be real for a minute. In the past, I personally have really struggled with allowing myself to be in certain situations that put too much pressure on myself while having the expectation to do the right thing. If you still don’t quite follow here is an example: I have struggled with depression and very bad anxiety in my past. Now not that it was the main reason, but there were certain people and things I participated in that triggered it. My expectation was that I could be around that type of atmosphere and those people, but not end up feeling depressed and lost. That was not a very realistic expectation for me personally.
Now what determines a “realistic expectation”? It all depends on how much you personally struggle with whatever temptation you are dealing with. Everyone has different triggers. So say if hanging out with a certain girl makes you feel very insecure and upset to the point you start feeling like doing things you know aren’t good, are you going to stick around? I hope not! You can’t keep lying to yourself believing this friendship doesn’t affect you in a negative way. Or, if you like a manipulating guy who only likes you back if you want to do sexual stuff, you may want to reconsider how serious you want that relationship to be and don’t allow yourself the pressure of being put in situations time and time again where your expectations can’t be met. Stop lying to yourself it will get better on its own.
It is a very tough process of giving up things we never thought we would have to, but it is an important first step of healing and meeting our expectations (which I hope are high!). One of my struggles has been picking up on other people’s pain and having an unrealistic expectation that I can “fix” them because I know they are hurting themselves with their destructive behavior. But I have realized that I can’t control them and in the process of trying to help them, I have gotten hurt because I wasn’t aware I was giving them the power to negatively affect my own choices. Only they have the power to change, I can’t do it for them. This situation has gotten me in trouble multiple times, because instead of me influencing them, they influenced me and it put me in some tough decision-making positions. I believed things that were not true and it cost me. I’ve learned how to set up and keep boundaries to make sure I meet my own expectations of keeping out negative influences and that has meant cutting off people months ago that I know were not helping me meet my personal expectations.
Although some may call me selfish, I’ve decided my spiritual, physical and emotional health has to be my first priority. Think of it like this, how will we be able to save a drowning person if we can’t swim? It is not only hurting the other person, but you are going down with them. I hope that as I grow I can also help others who are settling for lies and not meeting their expectations. I’m in a much better place lately including having done all the things I suggested like cutting off toxic people and things that I know will trip me up. I’m not going to lie, I’ve made mistakes in my past and I’m still dealing with regret, loss and pain but I have faith in God that’s going to get better.
It can be very hard to walk away from negative situations that have felt comfortable for so long, but if you want to match your reality with your expectations you have to do hard things. I’ve learned it’s definitely worth it.