3 Ways To Break Free From ‘Expectation Hangovers’

So let’s imagine it’s Monday morning…For a pleasant change you’ve awakened refreshed and ready to start your week after a great relaxing and rejuvenating weekend. It feels likes it’s going to be a great day – yet something also feels weirdly different. You look at your clock for the time, and realize your alarm never went off. CRAP! You should have been at work thirty minutes ago! With a day full of meetings and paperwork that now needs to be pushed back or rescheduled, your chest starts to constrict, your breath shortens and your outlook does a complete 360 as your mind races:

  • “I should have set multiple alarms!”
  • “My boss going to kill me when I show up this late!”
  • “How am I going reschedule all the meetings?”
  • “@#%#$%… My day is going to be completely ruined!”

Remember the angst and the frustration? Does even the thought of it happening make you apprehensive?

You have the beginnings of an “expectation hangover”* – which is actually just as painful if not more, than the real thing.

Reality can be tough when it smacks you in the face. It’s so hard for us to separate ourselves from our plans and expectations. Yet to live happy and fulfilling lives we MUST… or experience life living with a constant “expectation hangover”.

So let’s delve into a few ways you can detach from your expectations.

1. Release your ego-mind a little:

As a self-starter, your ego is probably a big part of what gets you up and going in the morning. It helps you make the tough decisions and pushes you where you want to be in your life. Yet when our egos fixate on a goal we quickly associate happiness and gratification from completing it. Under achieved goals put our ego-mind into tizzy and the trouble starts.

By releasing the part of us that feeds greedily on success to feel fulfillment, we’re able to see the brighter side of a situation and the anxiety of what is perceived as ‘failure’ won’t hit us as hard. This gives us the tenacity to get back up and keep going.

2. Don’t wrap your identity in your goals:

In order to have the spectacular life you want, you cannot engulf your identity in your goals. If you are like me and an ‘alpha’ personality you probably do this without question, especially in your job or work. As an example, if you’re the boss at work, you probably identify yourself as a boss both in and out of the office. The problem with that is you won’t always be “the boss” throughout your life.

A business, a career, a relationship, or any accomplishment should never define you. Jobs, relationships, and goals are variables in life and as such are always subject to change. When you attach your main identity to a transferable factor you’re setting yourself up for probable distress. Instead, place your identity on being your best self  – not what you do.

3. Look to stay positive no matter what:

You’ve heard of the Law of Attraction – of course. This is the universal ‘law’ that tells us: “If we clearly put out to the universe our wants and goals then the universe will work to deliver them to us”.  And it does – in theory. Yet what if you’re clinging on to these goals for dear life or don’t truly believe you’re deserving? The universe can’t tune into the conflicting signals of ‘vibrational energy’. It’s like wanting 99.9 FM on your radio and then setting the dial to 97.9 FM….static is all you will get.

It’s taken me decades to realize:

That the journey of joy is more important than the destination of the deed”.

By staying positive no matter what the outcome or result is, I am closer to achieving a more fulfilling life than not…. Something that I am very consciously focused on as I realize I may have another 50 years of life ahead of me.

From lots of experience, hangovers hurt too much – I want my dial set to 100JOY!

Want more Fiona? – Find more of her on LinkedIN and Twitter

*[Christine Hassler recently coined this phrase in her new book by the same name.]

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