Life isn't about avoiding storms, but about learning to dance in the rain.
Most of my life's storms result from those everyday events that pop up like little twirling tornados and send me into a tailspin. More and more I'm realizing they usually come from a predictable and avoidable source: my unmet expectations.
Whether at home or at work, my expectations impact how I act in any given situation.
How often I get annoyed because someone doesn't deliver the behavior I expect! My co-worker doesn't give me a message in a timely manner. My client doesn't show up for his appointment or call to cancel. My husband doesn't take out the overflowing trash before he leaves for work. My kids don't clean up their mess after fixing a snack. No matter who I'm talking about, if my expectations for behavior aren't met, I get cranky.
Here's the rub, I don't really have a right to get bent out of shape because no one is duty-bound to meet my expectations. My expectations are a reflection of my priorities. Not everyone's priorities are the same as mine. Different priorities result in different expectations and different behaviors. I can't take it personally; others just see the situation differently.
So, what happens when I adjust my expectations? I've found if I can go into a situation without expecting specific behaviors from others, I'm not going to be disappointed. When I am prepared for others to act according to their own priorities, I'm able to respond rather than react.
Today, instead of an attitude adjustment, try an expectation adjustment.
Can you remember a time when your expectations caused conflict? Do you have ideas for changing your expectations? Share with us!