Sunday, December 2, 2018

It's All About Expectatins

The reason we are angry or sad about something is not because something happened. It is about our expectation of what should happen. I believe it was Tony Robbins who said this but not 100% sure. But its such a good insight.

So let's say your coworker says something to offend you. You react by saying "how dare you say something like that to me". You can see that it is not the fact that she said what she said but rather that you didn't expect her to say it.

Or another example is if you are a manager and your team makes a mistake and the website goes down. You get angry at them because, not because of what they did, but because you expect this to not happen. You might say "I can't believe they didn't test properly" or "If they had followed my instructions this wouldn't have happened".


It turns out that your expectations and reality are not the same. You didn't expect that driver to swerve in front of you, but they did! You didn't expect your team to screw up causing your manager to yell at you, but it happened! You didn't expect your kid to misbehave, but she did! And so you get angry or mad or sad as a way to cope.

If you find yourself reacting negatively. You may need to adjust your expectations. It is YOU that is unreasonable, not reality. This thinking will actually empower you and lower your stress. If you change your expectations to people are human and make mistakes, then if your actions change. Instead when your team makes a mistake, you won't get angry or frustrated, instead you will think "what system can I put in place to make sure this doesn't happen again". If your kid misbehaves you might ask yourself why and provide more teaching, or encouragement.

Its not reality that's that problem. It is what it is. Instead ask yourself if your expectations match reality.