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mw editorial

skills for managing expectations

June 28, 2020

Have you found yourself in a situation where no matter how hard you try, you still feel like you failed?  Have you expected something from someone else to be magnificent but it falls short? We can set ourselves up for disappointment over and over again if we do not learn to manage our expectations. Setting realistic and calculated goals can transform how you perceive your achievements and improve your relationships too. 

Skills for managing expectations.

Communication is a vital step in managing expectations. A clear and concise dialogue that is communicated before, during, and after an event or deadline will ensure that everyone is on the same page. Nobody can read what’s on your mind, so let them know your intentions and goals instead of making assumptions.  Explain your vision, what you want, or want to know and be clear about your intentions. Adaptation, forgiveness, and compromise are also important skills for managing expectations. Life is unpredictable, and we cannot live in a bubble; we have to learn to adapt to uncertainties and forgive mistakes. Like a pop-up rain shower on your day, you cannot predict everything. Adaptation and compromise are key to managing expectations.

How do you know if your expectations are realistic?

Everyone is allowed standards. Communicating these standards are important in relationships and achievements, but when compromise is necessary it is important to prioritize. Expectations are unrealistic when there is no wiggle room for the unknown; when there is no room for compromise and when all standards are given the same weight. Expectations also become unrealistic when they are compared to the imaginary ideals of the media. Imaginary because it is produced in a world without the need for adaptation. The variables that make you have to be flexible, communicate, and compromise have been removed. If you expect your relationships to be like fairy tales, then you are ignoring the real-world complexity that exists and you are not managing your expectations.

Why do we hold on to unrealistic expectations?

Our goals, our standards, our moral code are all uniquely ours. They set the course for our futures; they create our reality, so it is hard to let go of our ideals. We use unrealistic expectations as a negative motivating force, to push us to be the best. Our unrealistic expectations protect us from becoming complacent or static. We also expect others to live up to our standards, our goals, and ideals because they are ours; they make sense, why wouldn’t they? When we are unwilling to adapt, prioritize, or compromise with our expectations of others, we are closing ourselves off and continuing the cycle of disappointment.

Managing expectations is vital to accomplishing goals and improving your relationships. Communication, adaptation, and compromise are important skills to keep our expectations healthy and realistic. Set small realistic goals and break the wheel of disappointment for good!


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