In today’s episode we talk about expectations, and how they can lead to both disappointment and limitation. We explore why expectations exist, and how our awareness can allow us to embrace our reality and see the magic in the present moment..enjoy!
Natalie: Hi Ladies, how are you?
Candace: I’m doing good thank you!
Natalie: Good. So, welcome back. We are now….today. I’m going to tell you what we’re talking about until I’ve read the card. We have a card for today’s podcast which is “Souls Truth”. It says, my soul is moved by simple truth and authenticity. The path of the soul can be different from that of the rational mind and it can take longer to reveal itself. Today, I listen to my soul and I ask myself, what do I really want? What do I really need? Whether I’m at the beginning, middle, or end of a phase, I embrace this moment for the wisdom it brings. I allow change to occur naturally. I wait to see what unfolds, what shows up for me, and I give space to the unknown and to myself. Intentions and goals can sometimes be a list of “shoulds” and “must do’s”, but souls speak a different language. One that’s free of conventional agendas and ideas. Therefore, I’m willing to take time to simply reflect on, and appreciate where I am right now rather than feeling I need to push to create something new.
Natalie: Isn’t that a beautiful card?
Dani: It’s a really, really good one.
Natalie: Okay. And I love it even more because the topic for today is about expectation and I really feel that this completely ties into it from the place of listening really to what you really want to not being tied into other people’s expectations or even your own expectations about what things “should” look like. and just going with your truth is, which is what I really love. And allowing each moment, even if it isn’t what you expect to bring you the wisdom that you need to receive in that moment and allow change and all of those things. So like, everything in that card I was like, yeah, that totally feels true to expectation. So, one of the reasons I wanted to talk about expectation was a while ago I wrote a blog about expectation because it’s been one of the biggest things in my life that’s changed my perspective on almost everything. And I’ll give you a bit of backstory to give you the foundation of why I changed my opinion on expectations. Or why I began to see expectations as pretty much the root of all evil, (laughter).
So, not everyone will know this, but just over a year ago, my eldest daughter was diagnosed with some additional support needs and at the time, even though I really, really expected this diagnosis, or I knew that it was coming, when they said the words that, you know, this is what the situation was, it just completely broke me. And I was upset for a long time which confused me and I kind of like was annoyed with myself for being so hurt when for like a year I’d expected and knew that this thing was coming, I knew this was going to happen. But still when they said it, like I couldn’t accept it, you know, even though I’d had all of his time and I knew, I knew in my heart like I knew before anyone else said anything. So it broke me for a while and then I just kind of slowly began to kind of try and look at where like the hurt and pain and sadness was coming from. And I realized that actually I wasn’t sad about the situation, I wasn’t sad that my daughter had received this diagnosis. I wasn’t sad. I mean maybe a little bit, but I wasn’t like most of my disappointment stemmed from how I expected my life to look, what I expected my life to look like.
So I expected my daughter to have, do, be, you know, love certain things and you know, this was confirmation that it wasn’t necessarily going to look like I thought it was going to look like, and I wasn’t necessarily going to have the future and her childhood wasn’t going to look like my childhood. Because I think often when you have children you kind of just expect you think that they can enjoy the things that you enjoy doing because you remember like as a kid, oh this was fun, so we’ll do this with like my kid. But she doesn’t necessarily enjoy those things, or is not necessarily able to do those things. So anyway, basically it got to the point where I realized that it was like, what society has told me my life should look like and the fact that my life didn’t look like that. That’s why I was upset, not because of the situation, not because of her, not because of my actual reality. And I began to realize how stupid that was in the sense that I’m sat here heartbroken about something that was never mine, like something that I could have had out there that I just expected that it was like, there was no way it was going to look any different. Like that was just what my life was going to be like. Actually it never was. And when I looked and look now at the reality, I have like I can totally see the beauty in this and I would never have been aware of this potential or this path or this, you know, all of the things that I can appreciate now with what I have. It would never have been on my radar. So, I wrote a whole blog post about it and really, I found that it really like almost all disappointment comes from one form of expectation or another. So I don’t know if you guys want to, if anything comes to you right away, if you guys have anything to share initially an expectation before we dive any deeper.
Dani: Yes, yes please. Sorry, number one, would you give your blog where they can find it? So if anybody’s like, oh, that really sounds like something I need to read, then they can go look at it.
Natalie: You can yes, you can go to www.rainbowsandlighthouses.com/expectation I think is. But I’ll drop the link on our website on the blog post if you could go to our actual website followingsoulspiration.com as well if you want to click on that.
Dani: Okay, perfect. And also just while you were talking, I was reminded of when I had this lover, right, and things ended for one reason or another and I had that realization. Unfortunately I wasn’t in the point of my development where I could really say look at it in other examples of my life. This was years ago. This is probably about six years ago or so and I wasn’t at the point where I could really learn the lesson enough to really apply it to all the situations in my life, but at the time I remember the realization that part of it was I was just missing him and his physicalness and everything that was, we were living together and everything, that was there like every day, but the biggest part of it was that this future that I had envisioned with him was never going to happen and I do remember the distinction, but good for you for just really there’s one thing in acknowledging it and then there’s another in taking in that knowledge and kind of what you do with it and it all kind of depends on where you’re at and what you’re ready for.
Natalie: Yeah. And I think that in that situation, yes, I knew it took me time to then actually still accept it. You know, even though it was a, were like, this is what’s making me unhappy. You still have to be in a certain place to be able to do that. So you know, just because when you’re aware that it’s your expectations that are disappointing you or peeing you off. Like it doesn’t mean that you can just flip a switch and go, oh, okay. Then, well it’s fine because it’s just my expectation like you still, you know, you’re still allowed to be mad or upset or whatever it is about the situation. But it helps when you realize that. So when you start to look at like, what is it actually here that’s upsetting? Is it my reality, which sometimes can be upsetting as well as the expectation piece or is it actually something else?
Candace: I know for me, in mine, my biggest lesson in expectations is probably similar to yours, Dani, in that I’m recently separated and the biggest emotional piece, I mean we had come to a place in our marriage where the day to day wasn’t necessarily enjoyable. So it wasn’t the actual being together relationship part that I was mourning. I was mourning the expectation of what I thought it should have been. I was mourning the ideas that I had about what it should look like rather than what it actually was. Because what it actually was, didn’t feel good, but my ideas and my expectations of what it should be fabulous. And so, I mean, I don’t even know if I’m through mourning that yet. Even knowing that it was just expectations. It’s still a work in progress. I’m still working through that and letting go of that. And I’m also, you know, I’ve recently moved back to where all of my family is and after being away for 10 years, it’s taking some time to acclimate back into that dynamic. But I’m seeing it on a daily basis within myself. My expectations of my mother, my expectations of my sister and any frustration and disappointment is really coming from that place. It’s not that they’ve done something heinous that’s, you know, upsetting me or frustrating me in the moment. It’s that I expected them to do something different. So I’m in the throes of it right now. And having the awareness but still, in the moment, not being able to take a step back, take myself out of it and just allow things to be as they are. Those expectations, I think, are so hard to step back from because it is stepping back into the relationships and the roles that I had for my whole life. So, it’s almost like habit, I find it a little bit easier to manage expectation and have an awareness about it and then shift it when it’s not relationships that are so strong or deep. But those family relationships, it’s a learning process right now for sure.
Natalie: I think as well, like when you’re saying that, so when that’s happening, it’s hard to kinda like take a step back and look at the actual situation. But it reminds me about conversations around the present moment. So like the expectation when you’re in a situation and someone doesn’t behave as you expected or something doesn’t happen as you expected, it takes you right out of that present moment because then all you can focus on is what should be here rather than what is actually happening. So it’s like, it’s such a thing that doesn’t allow you to be present because you can’t that go and it’s the kind of thing that happens all the time, you know, with spouses and partners when they’re saying, you know, like when you just expect your, your husband or your partner to do a certain thing and they don’t do it. Like rather than be like, you know, sometimes you know, my husband might go and buy me flowers. I don’t complain about that. I’m just trying to give an example. Say he bought me some flowers and I wanted to tulips it and he brings me some flowers. I, if I’d asked him for, for them for example, then when he brought something back, you can be so stuck on the fact that you didn’t get chosen that you call it. I just see the beautiful sunflowers that have just arrived, like, do you know what I mean? It’s that kind of thing. So it just a completely removes you from the actual situation of forces you into this place where you just resent it. I think I read a thing that said something like expectations are just premeditated. What is it? Premeditated resentments. That’s it. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And it’s like that is so true. So that leads me to the next question, which is then why do you think we have expectations? Like where do they come from?
Dani: (Laughter) What a great question! I love it.
Natalie: Alright, so why do we have them? So is it from past experiences that make us assume certain things are going to go a certain way? Just the nature of us humans that we can, the need to have some form of control. So it’s trying to assert control of a situation by planning ahead and thinking this is what this situation is going to look like and compartmentalizing everything, you know, but then it’s like we, like Dani, I think it has the phrase that control is an illusion or she often says to me like, you’re giving up the illusion of control where I’m like, oh, giving up control. She’s like, it’s an illusion or you never really have control because do you. So yeah. I don’t know if you guys have any thoughts on why. Why do we do this to ourselves?
Dani: I think you really just said it, you really just hit on it. I think if you had to say it in one word, you would say fear. Fear because it takes a great deal of faith. I believed to be in the present moment and know that everything’s okay. We have, we have these expectations so that we project our past out into the future so that we have some sense of safety and I, I think at its core, that’s exactly what it is.
Candace: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I think that I have to agree, it’s not a question I’ve ever thought about before, so my brain’s kind of reeling a little bit, but I do think that you’re right, Dani, at the core it would be fear because when we try and assert our control over things, it’s to keep us safe and to avoid those potentially “dangerous” situations like, you know, your spouse not taking out the garbage. That could be disastrous.
Natalie: So yes. So the other thing that I, I think about expectations is… so it does two things. Either it disappoints you because you have this expectation that something’s going to look a certain way and when it doesn’t go that way then it’s annoying or upsetting or painful or whatever outcome it will be. But the other thing is, it is limiting. So the reason I also found this with my daughter is often, you know, sometimes I want to keep her away from certain things thinking oh that will be too triggering for her. She won’t be able to do that, because I expect it to be too much for her when actually in reality, you know, I’ve been proven completely wrong before. So I can be trying to keep her safe or I mean again comes from that fear based place. So it’s like the fear is both ways that we create a situation, but it’s like it either limits you or disappoints you, which just makes the whole thing fricking ridiculous because it’s all, we’re just doing it to ourselves.
Candace: It does. And then addition to that. So even if it’s not disappointing. So let’s say, you know, you’d come out the other side and you, I mean I’ll just go back to your spouse taking the garbage out, right? If that’s your expectation of them because that’s what your parents did it or that’s what society tells you they should do. Or you know, Hollywood says that this is how husbands and wives look… (laughter) I think Dani might spit out her water…. okay. So we have these ideas about what something should look like and have the expectation, and then when it actually happens, there’s no like, appreciation. There’s not, Oh wow, I’m so happy they did that for me. It’s just you expected it. And so I think then that creates a cycle of disappointment almost because even if they meet that expectation, then it’s does one to follow and eventually it’s going to fall short. And then there’s no buildup of good feelings and appreciation leading up to…
Natalie: Gratitude… exactly. It totally just inhibits you from seeing the beauty in exactly what is, whether you know, it was something that you, that you expected or unexpected or not like, you know, it just, it stops you from being able to really, really appreciate the tiny things because I mean, if you think about it day to day, you just expect that you’ll keep breathing, you just expect that you’ll have a roof over your head, you know, you expect all of these things, but then it stops you from really being present, having gratitude for every single thing that happens. Which again, it’s negative, isn’t it? You don’t have the, all the things that come from gratitude, all of that appreciation, all of that presence, all of that joy. Joy in the little moments you like robbing yourself of that.
Dani: Yes, it’s true. And when you were talking, Natalie, I just did anyone else I get it. Just got a flashback from childhood, you know, just feeling like I had chores every day that I was supposed to do. And just feeling like, like that one thing I didn’t do on the Chore List was the only thing that got noticed. Right? And just as a kid, that’s how it seemed. And that’s where you go into the expectation, Mom just had a certain expectation and that expectation wasn’t met while there were 99 little boxes while it was chores or like three little boxes that needed doing. But if I didn’t do the last part of that one, like emptying the trash and there was an upstairs bathroom that just didn’t get the little trash empty that day. Like that was the only thing. But I also think of, like in my parenting and in my relationships with people and and. Right. So how does that work? And what I’m seeing also is the beauty of when you don’t, you kind of expect it. But you also say thank you. You also acknowledge like, so that you can have that where we have an expectation in our house where you know, you help. If you don’t cook then you help clean up or whatever. But we still say thank you when we’re done cleaning up the dishes or whatever. So if my sister cooks and my son and I clean up, I still tell her thank you for cooking and him thanks for helping clean up. Right. So to even to at least incorporate that lesson in enough to know I know what it felt like to have this expected of me. And just to fall short a little bit. Well this is still expected. I have high expectations I guess, but it’s more of a cooperative effort. So after you kind of incorporated that and do it for a while, then it comes back around and there’s actually. It’s really beautiful when you cook a meal and your 15 year old son is like “oh thanks for cooking mom”. Just like, oh wow.
Natalie: Winning at Parenting!
Dani: Well also part of it though is that I don’t, I’m not one of those people who cooks every single night. Like sometimes he’ll be on his own or he will make eggs or he’ll make himself a sandwich or whatever. And he can appreciate it when there is a meal. Because there isn’t every night and it isn’t so expected for him. He doesn’t take it for granted.
Natalie: Yeah. Yeah. I guess. So we talked a bit about expectations from others, you know, and relationships with others. But one of the other huge impacts it has, it’s like your expectations of yourself. So obviously in that situation where I’m talking about, you know, the diagnosis and everything and that I expected that I would handle it. Like I really punished myself for not doing it and that led to like this awful spiral. And so, you know, I just expected that I’d be strong enough just to do it and that I’d just be able to push those feelings away. It’s funny actually because we were, we’re talking in the last episode about feelings and my daughter is really tuned in and she tends to watch these films and every time she does it has a message for me. So she like obsessively watches a film and then like it mirrors something that’s going on in my life and then as soon as it’s over, she goes to new film. So it’s so funny because after last week, her latest film that she’s obsessed with is Inside Out. Have you seen it? And it’s all about the feelings and it is so freaking magical. So it’s all about like the sadness and they keep sadness. Sadness isn’t allowed to get involved. Fear, anger, despair and joy. They’re the only things allowed and you know, this girl is struggling because they don’t allow sadness in. And then when they bring sadness in, it allows her to get by! And so it was just, it was just so funny that this is the thing she’s obsessed with, but you know, it’s one of those things about you just expect strength.
You just expect yourself to do certain things and then as a result feel guilty rather than again, looking at everything you’ve achieved. And it’s one thing, the idea, for example, again talking about someone else, but it’s something that you could do for yourself in terms of monitoring your progress is so often we compare ourselves to everyone else and what they’re doing and what they’re achieving and want our situation to look a certain way. Or expect it to look a certain way, but so does my daughter have progression, doesn’t necessarily look the same as everyone else. So for awhile, again, I found that hard and would look at other people and be like, well we don’t have that but we don’t have that. So what I started to do instead was keep a diary of all the things that she achieved. So instead of looking at what everyone else was achieving and how far, you know, our journey was from theirs, I looked at the progress that we’ve made from A to B so that I could really appreciate those little things. So it’s like one of those things I think you could totally incorporate for yourself. You know, when you have these expectations of you feel that you should be up there with that person because they’ve been on a similar journey or whatever. Then actually look at what you’ve achieved, look at where you’ve come from and why you’ve got to and expectations again, stop you from that because you’re too busy looking elsewhere, too busy looking at the future or too busy looking at this should have happened by this stage and you’re so onto that, but you can’t even move forward from it. So you guys have anything.
Candace: I just love that. I think that I’m going to take some time and write out or journal out where I’ve actually come in the last year or two because it is. I mean, it’s so easy to focus on, but I should be here, but I should be doing that. I should have this together already. I was putting that course together. I don’t have that ready yet. Oh look. So and so just released that course. So I think that I’m actually going to do that over the weekend and really take a look at everything that I have accomplished because I am certainly guilty of that all the time, having really high expectations of myself and then falling short and then beating myself up and then feeling like I’m at like the bottom of the barrel, you know, taking myself up again and setting those expectations too high so that I fall short again.
Dani: And I think again to kind of bring a little bit of the parenting angle, it’s like the harder you are on yourself and not meeting your own expectations, then then the harder you’ll probably be on your kids. I mean it’s so worthwhile. I’m so glad you brought up. Just being easy with ourselves and honoring kind of where we are. And another thing you guys know when I get triggered, usually these guys are the ones who know it and so I’ll get triggered by like the life coach on the beach was, is one of my triggers, right? Like these life coaches who are on a beach somewhere and they’re doing a live stream or whatever. And, you know, talking about how you fill up to six figures, you know, in two minutes. And it is a huge trigger for me and part of it is like that expectation that as soon as my son graduates from high school, like I want to be the life coach on the beach, like part of that, right? I’m not going to be doing some cheesy live stream but I’ll be doing my own kind of wonderful live stream. But not a cheesy, but you know, I’m joking, I’m exaggerating here just a little bit, but it’s, but it’s true. And before, you know, why are these so annoying, you know, and she went back to the podcast that we had on triggers. Triggers are such beautiful things if you there, there’s such a tool for growth because life has a way of bringing up exactly what you need at exactly the right moment. And so noticing that trigger and not getting too far along with it before you’re like, okay, this is really like silly. Like here’s a beautiful woman who’s successful on the beach. What I need to do is honor that and know that that is possible and send her love and first I have to send myself love for like that wounding or that whatever it is and it is, it’s the comparison and it’s the expectation that it should be going more like that than this.
Candace: I love that.
Natalie: I think it’s really important there to just use her relating to the beach as like evidence and inspiration rather than a like comparison or barometer. You know? It’s more like she’s my evidence. It’s possible. Okay. So the last thing I wanted to talk about with expectation was to do with expectation and manifestation. Because if we have, if we’re saying if we set a thing that we want to manifest something and we then have to truly believe it, I feel like if you have that then technically you need to expect it to happen or do you. What is that? How, how does that work? So, so the way that I kind of perceive it is like, is it okay to have the expectation that it’ll go that way as long as you are unattached to it going that way so that you can allow in anything, any other potential, other, any other way that it looks so rather than being attached with look, looking a certain way you can do that. But yeah, I just wanted to know like what comes up when I say that because I started to try and think about it and then my brain was like stutter and then shut down because it kind of hurt my head.
Dani: Yeah. I love that. And I love how you got there naturally because when you said that the topic was going to be expectation and you were talking very early about expectation being the root of all evil. I, my head went to the manifestation. So I think for a lot of people they’ll get there. And I’m so glad you brought this up and I agree that the difference is detachment, and I think the difference if you look at it kind of at a deep level is, is your level of consciousness around it. So we talk about expectations as being just what we expect. It’s like ingrained. It’s kind of our automatic way of being without thinking about it. I have this expectation that nobody’s going to cut me off when I drive and they’re not going to drive too slow. They’re going to drive close to the speed limit. Like I have this expectation that we can all kind of move in traffic and then what happens is a lane closes and instead of people zippering in and being nice or whatever, it starts to back up and then my expectation isn’t met. But, so I love that. So in manifestation, I think that the difference is consciousness. So you, when you’re manifesting your conscious of this is what I’m, this is what I expect to happen because I realized that I’m supported by the universe or I’ll say like this or something better. Um, but it, it’s with a consciousness that allows some detachment. When you don’t have any detachment in the first situation. If you’re just going along, it’s kind of at a little subconscious level. Like I just expect this to go the way I think it is. And then when it doesn’t, I get angry. When you’re in manifestation, I think you have to think about manifestation anyway. Like okay, I’m doing this and here I go and I’m, I’m really am expecting it and I believe it and then I’m going to let go. It, it’s just a consciousness like you realize that in your mind it’s awareness, so you’re either aware of it or you’re not aware of it. So if you’re not aware of it, it’s running you. And if you are aware of it, it can be like a super power. I think… Does that make sense.
Candace: For me, manifestation feels more daydreamy whereas expectation to me feels like control. Yeah. So, I mean the awareness and the consciousness about it. Absolutely. But I don’t know, like for me personally, when I think of manifestation, I don’t use the word expect. I don’t expect something to happen, I put it out into the universe and say this is what I desire, this is what I want, this is what I’d like to have, but I don’t necessarily… and believe that it’s possible, but I don’t necessarily expect it and I don’t know if that’s because I manifest incorrectly, but I, for me, I don’t, I just, it’s about possibility rather than expectation.
Natalie: Yeah, I think that’s right. So I see that. So like it’s, it’s belief rather than expectation. So when you set the intention, you can believe that will be the case, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept it. The belief just means you’re open to it.
Natalie: Anything else that you guys would like to add?
Dani: I don’t think so. This was beautiful. I think this will speak to a lot of people. I know it did to me.
Candace: Yeah, me too. And is serving as a very good reminder to be present in the moment and let go.
Natalie: This is our theme, right? Being present, being in the present moment and be in the present moment. It’s like you haven’t gotten it yet. We are still not doing it, but yet every week will tell you. Well, thank you so much, ladies. If you want to go for more episodes, you can check us out at followingsoulspiration.com. Please share and like it if you’ve enjoyed today’s episode and we’ll see you next time.
Dani: Yeah, and subscribe. Bye Girls.