Discover Your Worth! Today, while I should have been working, I was cleaning off my DVR. And by that I mean watching TV! I spent hours catching up on the new reality show, Arranged, which focuses on arranged marriages in the United States. As I watched these couples navigate difficult terrain in their relationships, I couldn’t help but think…“ I would love to be their coach and help them improve their communication and self-awareness.”
I am particularly intrigued by a teenage gypsy couple from Queens, who aren’t adjusting well to married life. In every episode it seems, the young bride looks into the camera and sadly says, “I didn’t think it would be like this.”
All of us bring expectations into our relationships, both personally and professionally. Unfortunately, we often find our hearts broken and hopes dashed when they come crashing down against the hard rock of reality. I know from experience that there is nothing quite so bitter as the pain of burnt expectations.
Today, I am sharing four steps to help fail-proof our expectations:
1. Wake Up: Unconscious, unexamined expectations can ruin a relationship and create unnecessary tension. We’ve all experienced the disappointment of not getting what we wanted or expected. Many times, our expectations of others are created without their involvement or consent. We impose the burden of our personal cultures and standards on them without even realizing what we have done. Statements like, “He should” or “She should!” are big smoke signals that must be examined to determine the origin of our expectations.
2. Get Real: Expectations are unrealistic when they are not rooted or grounded in supportive evidence. The failure to accept and adjust to the reality of who people are and how life is can keep us stuck and victimized. The young wife in the reality TV series wants her husband to behave and treat her in ways that he hasn’t yet demonstrated the maturity to do.
3. Say It: Just because we know what we want or expect, we can’t assume that everyone else is aware of it as well. Mind-reading is not a skill and it’s unfair to hold others to words and wishes we haven’t had the courage or courtesy to express. We have to operate from the perspective that people only know what we tell them when it comes to creating connection and understanding.
4. Get An Amen: We also face frustration when we make the assumption that voicing our expectations is all it takes for someone to commit to what we want. Verbal consent and agreement from the other party is a requirement. Assumption is the lowest form of knowledge and—if we want our relationships to be their best—it just won’t suffice for creating healthy connection.
Do Your Work! Write about a recent experience when someone disappointed you due to expectations. First, clarify the expectation. Then process through the four steps above asking yourself: Was I aware of my expectation? Was it realistic? Did I express it? And finally, did the other person agree?
Define Your Wealth! “I maintain the health of my relationship with self and others by managing my expectations.”
Named eWomenNetwork’s first “North America’s Next Greatest Speaker” in 2012, Coach Felicia is a Certified Executive Coach who empowers her clients to “Turn their Worth into Wealth” as she partners with them to DISCOVER their WORTH, DO their WORK and DEFINE their WEALTH. Get more insight, download the FREE “8 Choices Winners Must Make” seminar MP3 at www.coachfelicia.com!
Copyright © 2015 by Felicia T. Scott. All rights reserved.