The Quicksand of Expectations

Expectations, by their nature, focus on the future – they are what you anticipate will happen. They can, however, negatively impact your experience of the present moment. Expectations are not real and should not be treated as if they are. They are a part of your humanness and do not need to be eliminated; just understood. If you are not aware of the power of your expectations to influence the present moment, they can become a quicksand for you. How? The quicksand shows up when you confuse your expectations with the reality of a situation. All of a sudden, a situation does not meet your expectations and you see failure, instead of say, a need for a course-correction.

You hear a lot about managing expectations. The context for this usually is that you not expect too much. But, truly managing your expectations involves keeping them in their proper place. You can let your team know you have expectations of how they will perform and produce. You can measure against your expectations. The important factor is to know that your expectations are often subjective and are not true predictors of an outcome.

Good managing involves realism and acting effectively in the present moment. As your expectations are met or not met, manage to the present moment. To stay out of the quicksand, keep your expectations in their rightful place.