"Almost everyone who is unhappy is unhappy for the same reason..." reports Travis Bradberry in his blog Emotional Intelligence 2.0. Do you know what that reason is? It's unrealistic expectations.
It's pretty simple really. When our expectations match our experience, we feel happy. When our expectations DO NOT match our experience we feel disappointed, frustrated, angry, cheated, unhappy...the list could go on.
Expectations of what our life should look like, what our birthing experience will be like, what our parenting experience will feel like all start at the top. Society tells us what to look for. You know exactly what I'm talking about. The social media effect. What you THINK other people's lives look like...then you expect yours to look the same. 99.9% of the time you are going to be sorely disappointed.
Add to that the results of the Rosenthal-Jacobson study that realized the effect of how others treat you and you might feel completely hopeless. After all, if everyone expects you to be a failure, you might as well be. If everyone expects you to be a control freak, why not?
Here's the secret...create realistic expectations for yourself, your kids, your family, your friends, your coworkers, your spouse, your life. I'm not saying to "lower your expectations" so you don't get disappointed, I am saying really take a moment and create REALISTIC expectations.
You can do this with a little formula I created called the "S.P.A. Treatment". Get specific, be proactive and hold yourself accountable. If you follow these three little steps, your life will change for the better. Why? Because your experience will start to match your expectations!
Ok, great. That's all well and good, but what about when we're already in the midst of the sh@&-storm that comes with unrealistic expectations? I got you Mama! I created a formula for that too.
I call it my T.I.P. for handling the emotions of unmet expectations. First, take a breath. Second, inquire about the situation or get more information. And last, gain some perspective.
What unmet expectations have sent you into a tizzy recently? Share in the comments below. Then use the SPA treatment to flip it around for next time!
Want to dive in deeper, get support and accountability and connect with your tribe? Check out the AHMC.
Lynn Turcotte-Schuh is a Mama, Parenting Coach and Founder of the At-Home Mamas Club. She believes that parenting is not a technique or a strategy but a relationship that needs to be built, nurtured and prioritized. With over 10 years of experience as a Marine Mammal trainer, Lynn uses her expertise to help Mamas forge strong and positive relationships through moments of connection.