- You expect people to be worse than they are. It’s so common to believe that humanity is doomed and you’re going to get screwed over at every turn. You hold onto secrets and money with a tight fist, worrying that nobody will be honest. Then you drop your phone at a parade in New Orleans and a stranger picks it up and does her best to locate you. She reports that it’s a little trashed but she will be happy to mail it to you. You think, yeah right, I’ll never see my phone again. Surprise! Your phone comes in a package a few days later (and yes, it’s a little trashed, she wasn’t kidding), but your faith in humanity is restored and realize not all people are quite so bad.
- You don’t believe you can succeed in your goals so you don’t bother trying. How many times have you wished you would have tried harder on your graduate school application? Maybe you should not have procrastinated and waited till the night before to finalize the PowerPoint presentation for your big pitch tomorrow? Your mind probably says you’re not going to get it, so why bother trying? Wrong. Set yourself up for success! Your friends all believe in you and people genuinely want you to do well and be happy! Take some of their energy and apply it to your views of yourself! You can achieve more with a smudge of extra effort and some positive vibes.
- You expect the worst and hope for the best. How about expecting the best, or at least something better? Try setting yourself up for satisfaction in the first place. I can’t wait until you realize you do deserve good things in your life.
- With low expectations, you won’t get (as) hurt. Not really. Now you’re just trying to mitigate pain. If you’re trying to prevent pain or suffering, don’t have relationships. I really want you to get close with your partner and friends. People with whom you feel close make life much happier! I’d venture a guess that most of your relationships are not ending with pain and suffering. In fact, I imagine most of your relationships are long-term and your friends and family care about you immensely. If something painful happens, regardless of your expectations, it will hurt. So, you might as well see the cup half full and notice the blessings in your life rather than the decay.
- Bad things always happen to you anyway. When you’re feeling down, it only feels like everything is crappy. But really, if you take the long view, you’ll see that this is temporary and probably not a realistic reflection of your whole life.
Remember: You have a choice. You can look at your life situations with an attitude of growth or a fixed, negative attitude. When you choose the former, you’ll likely be calling in greatness into your life. When you look at things with negativity, your low expectations might set the bar below your standards.
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