A few years ago I met Kate Hammett Vaughan, a wonderful soloist who was nominated for a Juno Award. We arranged for me to travel to her home in Vancouver for some private voice lessons. During our first session, we didn't sing a note. We just sat and talked!
I had a little notebook and was diligently writing down everything she said. I will never forget one of the "lessons" that I learned that day. She said, "We are never disappointed unless we have expectations".
As a psychologist, I am often working with individuals who are disappointed in their careers, relationships or other matters. When we dig down to find the root cause, it is often the fact that they had expectations that were never met.
Some of the reasons that led to falling short is that they:
- Never communicated clearly and openly about what they wanted.
- Assumed that the other person or employer would automatically think like they do.
- Didn't put in effort to accomplish their dreams.
- Focused on people or jobs that weren't able or willing to strive for the same goals.
- The expectations were unreasonable.
- Thought everyone should do it for them.
- Allowed distractions to derail them and became disappointed in themselves.
- Weren't consistent in their efforts.
- Didn't research or seek advice from mentors would could help.
- Faced uncontrollable circumstances such as illness, weather disturbances or world issues.
Think about the things that have disappointed you over the years. Which of the above factors played a role in the outcome? Were there other things that prevented you from having your expectations met?
We definitely can't control everything that happens and frequently we don't have a choice in the events that occur. Many people do not handle change well. But being a passive observer will likely never take you to the place that you really want to be.
The good news is that the past is over, and you can begin on a new path today that will lead to a better future.
Make a list of the things that you want to accomplish and the steps you will take to reach a good outcome.