We’ve all done it. We’ve all set expectations for something we wanted in our life and they haven’t worked out the way we envisioned. We’ve tried for something, put our hearts on the line, and it didn’t happen the way we wanted it to. We think we’ve failed.
We believe once we have or achieve the thing we are after that we will be better, happier, or more successful. We set expectations. If you expect something to happen, then you open yourself up to the possibility that it might not happen. You open yourself up to the possibility of failure.
So it seems that the way to avoid this is to stop expecting, therefore you never fail. If you keep expectations really low you will never go outside of your comfort zone. You will never try something new and you can’t fail if you do this. You also can’t succeed.
By definition failure just means “the omission of expected or required action.” Whatever was expected was not attained. That is all it means. Nothing more. We avoid failure because we want to avoid the feelings that come along with it. We want to avoid feeling sad or disappointed. We want to avoid the sinking feeling in our stomach or the heavy feeling in our chest that comes along when our expectations aren’t met.
The truth is, we can avoid those feelings even when things don’t work out the way we wanted them to. You have 100% complete control over how you feel in every moment because you have control over how you think.
The one sabotaging behavior that guarantees failure is thinking that you failed. When we think we’ve failed we evaluate the evidence and generating negative thoughts and feelings about the situation. We look for reasons to call it a failure and to feel negative emotion.
But here’s the truth. At any moment, you’re either winning or learning. That’s all that is happening in life. Failure is just an idea that we’ve introduced. It is just a thought.
So if you have expectations for your life that aren’t met, congrats. It means you are human. It means that you are trying. Desensitizing yourself to having expectations not only takes away the ability to feel things but it robs you of your innate human experience.
Want to change what failure means to you? I can help.