The power of expectation
Posted on 26th January 2018 at 13:32
Very often we get bogged down in the negative stuff
This is the next blog in my series where I read from my beautiful book “Get Happy” and talk to you in a bit more detail about that message.
This entry 128 from my book. Are you sitting comfortably?
“Hello there. How are you?
I am thinking about weather forecasts this morning.
The band I sing with has an open-air gig soon on a bandstand in a local park. If it’s a sunny day, we will obviously have quite a good turnout. If it’s cloudy or rainy then we’ll probably have trouble getting the band to turn up, let alone anyone else.
So I have checked the weather forecast, and to be honest, it’s not looking great.
The thing is, if I tell everyone that the weather looks like it’s going to be rubbish, then people won’t turn up. We all tend to believe what the weather forecast tells us and make our plans accordingly. The forecast is planting an expectation in our minds.
Now, actually, anything could happen between now and the gig. It could all change quite easily, and we all know that quite often the weather forecast is wrong. But that expectation has still been planted.
So I’m not telling anyone what the forecast says. In fact, I’m going to plant the opposite expectation and see what happens.
Have a go at applying this thought today. Is there something that you have a negative expectation about? Is there something that you know won’t go your way? Flip your mind over to the opposite expectation and see what happens. Enjoy.”
I wrote that about two and a half years ago and I can remember distinctly, writing that because the week before the gig it was absolutely tipping it down with rain.
I can remember thinking, “Oh no! If it rains on Saturday, nobody is going to come and watch the band.” There is going to be the band – there’s 20 of us in the band – and three people watching us. We like playing and singing anyway, so it’s not the end of the world, but we’d rather have a nice-sized audience watching us.
So I started telling people that it was going to be sunny on Saturday, that the forecast I had seen said it was going to improve as the week went on and that it was going to be sunny on Saturday. I started telling people that. I started telling people it so much that I convinced myself it was true. I convinced myself it was real, that I really had seen the forecast that said it was going to be sunny on Saturday.
And guess what? It was sunny on Saturday! Spooky! I can remember it because I remember being utterly freaked out about the fact that I had single-handedly changed the weather forecast!
Now, whether you believe that last bit or not, what I had done was change my expectation about the day. I changed other people’s expectations about the day, and the weather forecast, because how often are the weather forecasts wrong? Nearly all the blinking time!
It wasn’t the most gloriously beautiful summer’s day ever, but it didn’t rain and it was quite sunny and I probably had about 15 friends just of mine at that gig. We had an audience of probably about 50 or 60 people at that gig. Now some of them will have just turned up on the day but it was a good half an hour away from where I live so the people that I knew who came had planned to be there. They had planned to be there because I told them it was going to be a nice day. Brilliant!
What are you negatively expecting?
Do you spend your time expecting the negative?
If I had spent my time expecting that that day was going to be rainy, would I have been looking forward to the gig? No.
Would I have wanted to go to the gig? No.
Would anyone I know have wanted to come to the gig to see me? No. Would I have given good vibes out about that gig? No.
It would have been a completely different gig because my expectation of it was completely different. Because I put the positive spin on it, admittedly my total motivation was in getting other people to come along, I was just bothered about getting an audience there, I wasn’t actually thinking about making myself look forward to the gig. But it did make me look forward to the gig and I did enjoy it and I did want to go to the gig and I convinced other people to come to the gig because my expectation of it then was positive. Their expectation of it then was positive.
Whether I actually affected the weather or not, I will leave up to you. Personally, I like to think that I did. The fact remains that switching my expectation from negative to positive changed the way I was looking at it and changed the way I felt about it and changed the way other people were looking at it and how other people felt about it.
Very often we get bogged down in the negative stuff. I was talking to a client about this, this morning. We absolutely from the word go, from the minute we’re little teeny tiny kids, we are conditioned – and that’s exactly what we are - we are conditioned to not blow our own trumpets. To not see the good stuff. To not be too full of ourselves. To not acknowledge what’s brilliant and fantastic about ourselves. And what that does is, it sets us up for things like negative expectations.
If we are not encouraged and nurtured to find the good stuff in ourselves and in the world, why on earth would our expectations about anything be positive? Why would we have positive expectations?
Think about it. This afternoon I am going to a meeting. I am going from my office to a meeting, which could potentially be very lovely for my business. Hurrah. I could go into that meeting with the expectation that I am not going to get the work and it’s not going to be a very good meeting and it’s not going to go my way, and actually why would they want to talk to me, and why would they listen to anything I have got to say and why would they care?
If I go in with that kind of attitude, do I want to go? No. Do I feel good about going? No. Am I going to give a good impression? No. Am I going to be confident and strong and straightforward and upfront about what I do? No. I am going to be shy and fiddly and twiddly and not say boo to a goose and I am not going to impress them at all.
Now, I could go into that meeting with a certainty that I know what I am talking about, with a certainty that what I’m going to say is going to impress them, with a certainty that the information I am going to give them is very likely to get me the work, and I already know it’s quite likely to get me the work.
If I go in with that expectation and that certainty, do I want to go? Yes. Am I excited about going? Can’t wait. Do I want to meet the people? Yes. Am I ready to impress them? Absolutely. Am I expecting to impress them? Totally. Will I get the work? Yes, I will.
It’s a completely different vibe.
Our expectations are immense and it all starts – and the more I do the work I am doing, the more I am convinced everything in life starts with this – it all starts with learning how to appreciate ourselves, with acknowledging how awesome and amazing and intelligent and clever and brilliant and wonderful and fantastic and unique we are.
Acknowledging that allows us to nurture that self-love. Nurturing that self-love helps us to grow in confidence and belief. Growing in confidence and belief allows us to have those positive expectations instead of the negative expectations.
So do that today. Whatever you are doing today, check with yourself what your expectations are of that thing. If they are negative, flip them round to the positive version. Even if to start with, you don’t actually believe it.
Your whole attitude to whatever it is will change. Your attitude to it will change and if your attitude to it changes and your vibes about it change, it can’t result in the negative version of what you were expecting. It can’t do that.
Flip it into the positive and keep telling yourself the positive expectation. Why shouldn’t you? Why shouldn’t it go your way? Why shouldn’t you be successful? Why shouldn’t you have everything you want? Why shouldn’t the sun shine instead of the rain?
Why shouldn’t you? Go for it.
If you would like to find out more about my Happiness Club and how it can help you please click here: www.aboutthehappinessclub.com
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