Expectation Vs. Acceptance

What is Expectation?

The dictionary defines expectation as “a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future; A belief that someone will or should achieve something.”

For me expectation goes hand-in-hand with manipulation and the forcing of my will. Often times it also leads to disappointment. When things go as I expect, great! If they don’t, however, I need to shift into acceptance.

Expectations can sometimes be selfish motives. Sometimes they are just dreams that have been warped into a false sense of reality. When expectations aren’t met disappointment, fear, and anger soon follow…

There’s a saying, “Expect the unexpected”. In my case it’s been for important for me to learn to “Accept the unexpected”. It can be hard when things don’t go as expected. I’ve learned that nothing in life is guaranteed until it’s in the past.

I try to play out alternate scenarios in my head in case things do go awry. That way I’m not as disappointed or angry when they do. When the unexpected happens I quickly look at what I’m grateful for in life. This helps keep me from going down the rabbit hole of worry and despair. If it’s something I can’t do anything about, I have no choice but to accept it, or adapt, because for me, it’s the better alternative. The way I see it is I have three choices: Accept it, adapt to it, or waste my time fighting it to no avail.

What is Acceptance?

The dictionary defines acceptance as “the willingness to tolerate an unpleasant or difficult situation.”

This is a different definition than the one I originally subscribed to, which is, “Agreement with or belief in an idea, opinion, or explanation.”

I always thought I had to agree with something in order to accept it. Turns out this is not the case. When I think about accepting things by order of this new definition, I find unpleasant and difficult situations to be more bearable. It’s all about perspective.

An attitude of acceptance benefits me by helping keep my mindset in the positive. This has a direct effect on my serenity. It helps keep feelings of disappointment at bay. Knowing that things will work out, and keeping an open mind for when they don’t go as planned helps keep me from entering that awful downward spiral of worry, remorse, regret, and anger.

By keeping my mindset in the positive I’m better able to see different viewpoints and perspectives, and I’m able to see when expectations aren’t met there can be alternatives just as viable if I open my mind. Again, it’s all about perspective.

For me, acceptance goes with positivity, and it helps keep me active and engaged in life at a level that makes arduous times more tolerable. It takes away the fear component and allows me to view things more objectively.

The Difference

In my life, the difference between expectation and acceptance is the difference between anger and happiness. Angst and peace. Self-will and open-mindedness. Idealism and reality.

Do I want to be right? Or do I want to be happy?

I’ve had to learn to accept and adapt to the world as it really is because in reality, things seldom turn out as expected. Sometimes they turn out better, sometimes worse. My happiness, I’ve discovered, comes from the journey, not the destination. The learning and growing involved with the journey come from action, not from paralyzation from fear of the unexpected.

I’ve had to go through a lot of pain and soul searching to realize that acceptance is much better suited for my inner peace and overall happiness than relying on expectations to come true.

 

~Thanks for reading
LC

 

 

**Go back to #4 and #6 after Acceptance

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