What Do You Expect? How Your Expectations Shape Your Reality

Apr 21, 2024

"What do you expect?" It's a question often asked rhetorically, tinged with sarcasm, implying that complaining is futile. But today, I pose it literally—what do you expect? And how might that expectation affect your experience?

You may have heard the sayings "thoughts become things" or "you create your own reality." While these concepts may seem abstract, recent experiences have shown me their practical application and transformative power.

Consider a client of mine who grappled with stress and frustration on the road due to other drivers' behaviors. He found himself seething with indignation when others didn't adhere to traffic rules or act considerately.

He felt righteous and sometimes even compelled to “teach” the other driver a lesson. We’re not talking about physical confrontations, but it wasn’t uncommon for him to assertively lay on the horn or “dig his heals in” when it came to things like right-of-way.

He recognized that even though he was justified, he was the one paying the biggest price due to the stress it caused him. He also knew it was likely spilling over to other interactions, and he especially didn’t want to negatively influence his young sons, who are often in the car with him.

Through Mental Fitness Training, he identified this pattern as a key area for improvement. He started simple daily practices to shift his mindset and found that, in 2-3 weeks’ time, he experienced fewer upsets on the road. But it wasn't until he delved into visualization techniques that he had a breakthrough.

He realized that his expectations were feeding into his experiences. Subconsciously, he anticipated incidents on the road that would trigger his anger, almost seeking validation for his frustrations. But by consciously changing his expectations and visualizing a calm, pleasant drive, he transformed his experience.

The results were tangible. When we spoke, he had gone two days without a single incident, a significant achievement for him. He felt empowered, knowing that he could choose how to react in these situations, even when drivers were imperfect or inconsiderate, which he had no control over. Moreover, he recognized the broader implications of this practice—how it could shape his life and work in meaningful ways.

So, I ask you again—what do you expect? How are your expectations influencing your experiences? Which inner saboteurs are riding shotgun with you on your drive through life?

And now, the crucial question—what do you really want and are you willing to change your expectations to make it happen?

Curious about how Mental Fitness Training can help you? Let's explore together!