If someone had asked me this question two decades ago, my answer would most certainly have been half empty. I was negative and saw the worst in everything. I had little expectation of myself and others. I ran with the idea that if one does not expect much, one can rarely be disappointed. I was almost fearful of being openly excited just in case my plans did not come to pass. I was of the opinion that others would laugh at my expense and I could not bear the disappointment.
Plans will work and plans will fail but expecting the worst helps no-one. We have nothing to lose by being hopeful and much to lose by having low expectations. The well known saying ‘you get what you expect’ rings true to me. It is almost impossible for you to receive more than you expect. Whilst lowering our standards may bring an element of comfort to our lives, it is unhealthy and self destructive. It is damaging choosing not to go for what you really want. We must be honest with ourselves about what we want. We must not feel embarrassed or ashamed if we do not yet have those things.
Our overall outlook on life affects our relationships, mental health and the way in which we deal with disappointment and challenges. I admit that I struggled greatly with handling disappointments and have come a long way through using various strategies that were appropriate for me. As individuals we are wired so differently and it is important we identify the areas in which we struggle, in order to deal with it. It is likely to be a long, painful process but far better to address these issues than to bury your head in the sand.
With the greatest intentions in the world, I accept people will disappoint as will I. This does not mean we should go searching for disappointment in the hope to becoming well acquainted with ‘it’.
Do you look for the best in people and situations or do you expect the worst?
How has this impacted on your life?