How Your High Expectations Are Keeping You From Being Happy

Expectations, sometimes they can be debilitating and sometimes they can be motivating.

Which is it for you?

When expectations motivate you and you accomplish things, it makes you feel good. But they can also demotivate you.

When you set your expectations too high you may not feel you can live up to them. And that can make you feel bad.

Some people say they would be happier and therefore get more done if they didn’t have such high expectations. While others say they’re happier when they get more things done and so they are motivated by high expectations.

Have you ever asked yourself whether you would be better off with or without them?

What If You Lowered Your Expectations?

It seems that people who expect less tend to be happier, can that be true?

Let’s do one of those study groups to find out. We can look at a group of people you know or observe daily and put them into two groups.

  1. The first group will be comprised of people who are always striving to do more and do it better.
  2. The second group will be comprised of people who just do what they do. They don’t try to do any more today than they did yesterday. And they don’t try to do anything better than the last time.

Once we have our two groups of people with different expectations, all you have to do is observe them.

Upon watching these two groups throughout the day you should see tell-tale signs showing these obvious differences:

  • One difference you will most likely see in the group who expect less is they may not accomplish as much.
  • The second difference you will see is their emotional state will stay more even with less chance of disappointment and unhappiness.

High Expectations = More Stress?

So, if expecting less leads to being less emotionally stressed, does that mean having high expectations lead you to be more emotionally stressed, and therefore being more unhappy?

Perhaps. Because if you’re always striving to do more and do it better the odds are against you from the start.

Think about it in the form of a percentage. Let’s say you start with an even chance of achieving your outcomes for the day. An even chance would be a 50/50 chance, either you will or you won’t.

Now mix in the fact that you will come into contact with people who do not have your same high expectations. That means your daily working group will be made up of those people who don’t expect to achieve anything.

Immediately your chance of successfully achieving your outcomes for the day fall from an even 50/50 percent chance to 40/60 or 30/70  or worse, in favor of not achieving!

Can you see how your success percentage will now be determined by how many of the low expectations people you encounter?

And from experience you know they are out there.

Hence the high frustration and stress level for you and your group who expect more.

Factor In Low Expectations For Happiness

Now, although this idea won’t overcome the devastating effect of the low expectation people, it may help you decrease your frustration and stress level.

Before starting your day factor in a percentage of problems automatically and realize your chance of success will be limited by the number of low or no expectations people you must deal with.

And in case you didn’t notice, this will be your way of lowering your expectations without joining the opposition and giving up entirely. So you will still be able to aim for and achieve some success while lowering your stress level at the same time.

You’ve got to admit that the thought of having low expectations sounds like an easier route to being happy, but my theory to factor in low expectations would be the better healthier way for you to live.

Because you’ll be less stressed keeping your high expectations!


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Bob Clarke

Hi I’m Bob Clarke, writer of most of these blog posts. I’m also the Co-Creator, with my wife Ronda, of the Most Comprehensive NLP Training and Coaching Program Online. Our purpose is to bring NLP to you, saving you time, travel and money.