Managing Expectations
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We often set ourselves up for disappointment because we aren't clear on our expectations of others, or even ourselves. In this episode we’re talking about managing expectations to create a more productive and lower-stress life.  Managing expectations is important for increased productivity and reduced stress In any area of life--work, relationships, etc.--the disparity between expectations and reality can lead to disappointment, frustration, anxiety, and discouragement. Managing expectations—both your own and those of others—is crucial for maintaining healthy relationships and personal well-being. Let's talk about some practical ways to manage expectations effectively. What are expectations? “Our beliefs or assumptions about the future.” [How to manage the expectations vs reality trap in 6 steps]   One article notes the difference between “agreed-upon criteria for behavior or performance” and expectations, which she says are not agreed upon between people, but simply “beliefs that a certain outcome or event will happen . . . purely conjecture about what the future might hold, based upon strongly held assumptions.”  Expectations matter because they “can influence our perception of events, people, and even ourselves. These beliefs shape our perspective, guiding our actions and reactions. From personal relationships to career aspirations, expectations play a pivotal role in how we navigate our daily lives.” [How to manage the expectations vs reality trap in 6 steps]  Expectations are formed based on past experiences, social influences, internal (often unspoken and maybe even subconscious) desires, and information and knowledge we obtain from various sources.  When reality doesn’t measure up to expectation, the gap can (and usually does) lead to disappointment, frustration, and discouragement, both internally and in professional and personal relationships. In the early years of our marriage, a lot of disappointment and conflict arose from expectations we had of each other and the relationship--often expectations that weren’t communicated or even consciously recognized. Life became so much better when we were able to think through, then talk through, those expectations, figure out which ones were realistic and which weren’t, and reach agreement about how things would work between us.   One psychologist says “we want to have realistic expectations, because accurate expectations are useful for making good choices.”  What does it mean to manage expectations?  One dictionary I looked at said it means to “seek to prevent disappointment by establishing in advance what can realistically be achieved or delivered by a project, undertaking, course of action, etc.”  An article posted on the National Institutes of Health National Library of Medicine says “Managing expectations means communicating so that all involved have a clear understanding of what to expect--and when to expect it. It also requires keeping communications open.”  So the question, then, is how we can manage expectations in such a way as to make sure ours (and those of others) are accurate and can form the basis of good decisions and a happy and productive life....
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