Are you good at managing expectations? This is something I’ve always struggled with and it applies to all aspects of my life.
As a wife, I sometimes expect my husband to act a certain way or do a certain thing that he doesn’t do. I think we all can be guilty of that… Expecting our spouse to read our minds and then feeling frustrated when they don’t.
As a mom, I often expect too much of my children, especially my oldest. She’ll be 6 in a few weeks and I tend to forget how young that is. She’s very independent and enjoys responsibilities, so I raise my expectations for what she can handle and how she should act. Then I find myself getting frustrated when she acts her age.
I can get caught up in certain expectations of my friends, expecting them to act the same way I would in any given situation. I almost always return text messages right away, so I get frustrated when hours or even days go by without an answer from them. I tend to feel anxiety if we don’t plan things in advance, but I have several friends who thrive on spontaneity, so I can struggle with expecting them to need a plan as much as I do.
As a business owner and content writer, I struggle with expectations of how my business will thrive or what my relationship with my clients will look like. I struggle with expectations of how many clients I can handle while still being a present mom and wife.
When I started my Virtual Assistant business just a few months ago, I set down some ground rules for myself concerning working hours. I give myself one hour to work before the kids wake up in the morning and two hours while they nap in the afternoon. No evenings and no weekends unless it’s a rare important project.
I assumed I could easily handle around 5 clients at once within those parameters. I also assumed I’d find those clients pretty quickly, considering how quickly I landed my first client.
But things didn’t work out that way and I found myself feeling stressed out and disappointed.
Just like when my husband, kids or friends don’t live up to my expectations.
Putting so much pressure on people or situations can be toxic. It sets you up for constant disappointment. It’s a lesson I’ve learned in my relationships and a lesson I’m learning in my business.
The answer? TRUST. Relax a bit and learn to go with the flow. Trust God’s plan for your life. Trust that He works all things for good. Trust that even tough or frustrating situations are part of His greater plan, and it’s a good plan.
When your husband doesn’t live up to your expectations, it might be a chance for you to practice giving him grace.
When your child doesn’t live up to your expectations, it might be a chance for you to demonstrate unconditional love and patience.
When your friend doesn’t feel the same desperate need for planning that you do, it might be a chance to practice a “go with the flow” attitude, which will ultimately lead to less anxiety.
When your business doesn’t grow at the rate you expected, it might be a chance to practice trusting God’s plan. He’s got your back. He’s leading you down the path you’re meant to go down. The timing might just be a little different than what you’d planned or hoped for.
When a client doesn’t communicate the way you’d prefer, that’s a great chance to practice your ability to adapt to different situations. I’ve had clients that plan everything out on an organized website, and I’ve had clients who communicate via text only and give me weeks of radio silence, leaving me wondering if I’m even still on their team.
But that’s ok! I actually made more money off the second client than the first. And I learned to be a lot more flexible and patient during that waiting period.
You should constantly be evolving in every role in your life, becoming more of the person God wants you to be. Learning to manage your expectations can help that happen.
Do you struggle with this? It always helps to know we’re not alone! Drop a comment below, (or comment on my Facebook or Instagram post) and let me know how you’ve learned to manage expectations in your life.