Articles/Trauma Bytes/Expectations

Tuesday, 21 Novermber 2023

Linda-maree Conyard

Expectations, the silent architects of our disappointments, often wield immense power over our lives. This week's Trauma Bytes delves into the hidden chambers of expectations, unveiling the challenges that arise when we tether our happiness to predetermined outcomes. Drawing from the wisdom of awareness and mindfulness practices, we explore how letting go of expectations can pave the way for profound contentment and inner peace.

Expectations, when unmet, can breed disappointment and distress.

  • ​The Illusion of Expectations;
  • The Disappointment Cycle; and
  • Mindfulness Practices.

Expectations often set the stage for disappointment, as they fixate on specific outcomes that may not align with reality.

1. The Illusion of Expectations

Expectations are crafted illusions of anticipated outcomes that set the stage for disappointment. They often masquerade as goals or plans for the future, promising a predetermined path to contentment.

Yet, paradoxically, the more tightly we cling to these expectations, the more susceptible we become to disappointment. They create a narrow vision of how things should unfold, leading to disillusionment when reality slaps us in the face.

Often, what we miss while we are clinging to our expectations is the potential for what is unknown. What is out of our awareness, the potential or idea that is yet to be formed. The fork in the road that we are yet to come upon. The trick is to be able to have plans or goals and hold them lightly in your field, while you stay fully aware of what is happening in the present moment.

2. The Disappointment Cycle

The perpetual cycle of disappointment accompanying unmet expectations directly impacts your inner peace and happiness.

We can create a hamster wheel we can't dismount when we continue with expectation after expectation. Ask yourself, when was the last time an expectation positively affected you? Write them all down.

Now ask yourself, when was the last time an expectation negatively impacted you? Write these all down. What did you find? Are you aware that you have expectations?

Mindfulness practices offer an alternative through self-inquiry, supporting us to release the grip of expectations and practising to be in the present moment without attaching fixed outcomes; we open ourselves to the power of uncertainty and not knowing. This mindset shift can create fear in some, especially if controlling situations in your life is part of your survival mechanism.

Using what I am sharing with you here in the face of unforeseen circumstances will liberate you from the shackles of disappointment that expectations often bring.

3. Mindfulness Practice

I'm sure you have been disappointed before. Have you simply tolerated this experience or were you able to learn from it by reflecting on the cause of the disappointment?

Try this Transformative Alchemy Expectation Detox Practice I have created for you to use whenever you experience disappointment so you can release the grip of expectations. It's an opportunity to cultivate inner peace by relinquishing the hold of anticipated outcomes and fostering contentment in the here and now.​

  • Ground yourself - take some time to sit quietly and notice your breathing. Don't change anything, simply notice. Feel your feet on the floor, totally taking your attention to where your feet meet the ground. Stay there for a few minutes, allowing your attention to be with your feet meeting the ground.
  • Now take your attention to your sitting bones on the seat and notice the weight of your body on the chair.....fully feeling your body weight in the chair. Notice the back of the chair and feel the support that gives your spine. Take three deep breaths and feel where the air comes and goes.
  • Take your attention to a disappointment you have experienced. Feel what that is like in your body. What sensations does it bring in your body? Are you aware of any expectations you had prior to feeling disappointed? Stay present with your body as you are asking this question.
  • When you have any insights, write them down, then take a moment to let go of the disappointment while realising that your own expectations created this experience. Write down the expectation you created. Remember, this is an opportunity to understand yourself more; it is not for you to judge yourself. Feel deep compassion for yourself because this was out of your awareness. Feel gratitude that you now see, and you can gift yourself this awareness any time you want.
  • Come back and focus on your breathing, allowing it to be exactly as it is. Start to move your feet and hands. Stretch your body if you feel to. Take a moment to note down anything else you wish to.

Practical mindfulness techniques, support you to release expectations. These practices facilitate a shift in focus from future expectations to present experiences, allowing you to savour the richness of each moment without preconceived notions. They encourage a mindset of acceptance, where inner peace arises from letting go of the need for specific outcomes.

May this week's Trauma Bytes be your guide on the transformative path towards releasing expectations and finding solace in the present moment.

I love hearing from you and receiving your updates, so please keep them coming.

May you be well, may you be happy, and may you have inner peace.

Linda ♡

If you try out any offered practices, I’d love to hear how you found them and what you now understand that you didn’t before. I love, love, love hearing from you guys.

If you are ready to make lasting changes to your life and would like some support, then come and join our Transformative Alchemy Membership, where we delve deeper into topics like those I write about in Trauma Bytes and provide you with the tools and community support needed to maintain positive transformations in your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. It's an opportunity to create sustainable, thriving, and holistic well-being that stands the test of time. More information is below.

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