Welcome to The Big Idea of the Week!
Expectations are stories we tell ourselves about a situation. They are what we want or are attached to happening in life. They can be big or small, but what everyone knows, including you and me, even though we can forget sometimes, is that having a lot of expectations on any other person, situation, or even yourself, is a good way to end up unhappy.
What’s something in your life that’s weighing on you right now, maybe even something that you are disappointed, angry, or even sad about.
What sorts of expectations do you have about this area?
On today’s Broken Brain Podcast, I share my reflections on four powerful quotes I came across on the topic of expectations:
1) “One reason why so many high achievers are unhappy: their expectations rise faster than their accomplishments. Success is most satisfying when you have high aspirations but modest expectations. You can set ambitious goals without taking it for granted that you’ll attain them.” — Adam Grant, organizational psychologist and TED speaker
2) “Instead of creating expectations of what should or should not be happening, cooperate with the form that this moment takes. Bring a ‘yes’ to the isness, because it’s pointless to argue if it already is. A greater intelligence is available to you when you no longer reject, deny, or ‘don’t want’ what is.” — Eckhart Tolle
3) “Self-compassion involves being kind to ourselves when life goes awry or we notice something about ourselves we don’t like, rather than being cold or harshly self-critical. It recognizes that the human condition is imperfect, so that we feel connected to others when we fail or suffer rather than feeling separate or isolated. It also involves mindfulness—the recognition and non-judgmental acceptance of painful emotions as they arise in the present moment. Rather than suppressing our pain or else making it into an exaggerated personal soap opera, we see ourselves and our situation clearly.
Self-compassion doesn’t demand that we evaluate ourselves positively or that we see ourselves as better than others. Rather, the positive emotions of self-compassion kick in exactly when self-esteem falls down; when we don’t meet our expectations or fail in some way. This means that the sense of intrinsic self-worth inherent in self-compassion is highly stable. It is constantly available to provide us with care and support in times of need. My research and that of my colleagues has shown that self-compassion offers the same benefits as high self-esteem, such as less anxiety and depression and greater happiness. However, it is not associated with the downsides of self-esteem such as narcissism, social comparison or ego-defensiveness.” — Dr. Kristin Neff, Associate Professor Human Development and Culture, Educational Psychology Department, University of Texas at Austin.
4) “It’s your own expectations that hurt you. Not the world you live in. Whatever happens in the world is real. What you think should happen is unreal. So many people are hurt by their expectations. You know, you’re not disappointed by the world, you are disappointed by your own projections.” — Jacque Fresco, was an American futurist and self-described social engineer.
Also mentioned in this episode:
- Why We Should Stop Chasing Self-Esteem and Start Developing Self-Compassion https://self-compassion.org/why-we-should-stop-chasing-self-esteem-and-start-developing-self-compassion/
- Broken Brain Podcast Episode 123 – How to Release Self-Criticism and Find Fierce Self-Compassion with Dr. Kristin Neff – https://drhyman.com/blog/2020/06/11/bb-ep123/
For more on Dhru Purohit, be sure to follow him on Instagram @dhrupurohit, on Facebook @dhruxpurohit, on Twitter @dhrupurohit, and on YouTube @dhrupurohit. You can also text Dhru at (302) 200-5643. Here is the instagram post that inspired today’s episode: https://www.instagram.com/p/CFDwzSyl8HU/.
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