7 Ways to Cope with Failed Expectations

Have you tried setting expectations yet dismally failed?

Recently, I drew my own timeline to see what have I done in my life so far: After college graduation and passing the boards, I worked for a few years, got married, and had children. A big chunk was also devoted to doing volunteer church work. Family was always on top of my list so I chose a part time career in sales which gave me freedom – more time for family and things I loved to do while I earned my keep. I realized though that some years in the timeline were spent in oblivion.

Despite my parents’ financial inadequacy, I earned a bachelor’s degree in a paramedical course from a working scholarship which I thought was going to be my passport to success. Unfortunately, relatives were reluctant in helping me pursue my great American Dream. Just when I almost did it by myself, an illness also blew my chances away. Through the years, I found myself asking countless why’s and what if’s. When you surmise that you could have done more for your family but your reality says otherwise, the frustration just continues to well up from the inside. Adding to this is when you attend reunions among former classmates, friends, or relatives with conversations that go like, “Hey, what career are you into now?” or “How come you haven’t worked or traveled abroad?” or “What car are you driving?” or “We wanna see what your house looks like!” Questions such as these start unlocking the door and those unmet expectations come flooding back to your memory once more.

Life has a unique way of unraveling blessings in disguise

Being a wife and mother is a great privilege and a career like no other. My workplace is not overseas but closest to family where I get to spend a lot of time with them. With or without a car, we get to walk with each other in different seasons of our lives whether these are milestones, sicknesses or perfect health, trials or triumphs, even sadness or joys. A house is no different from any other structure unless those who live in it can feel the warmth and comfort of a home. Furthermore, the Bible says that unless the Lord builds that house, its builders will just labor in vain.

If you can no longer change your past, you can still do something about your future

Instead of fretting, I have decided to move past the why’s & what if’s, learn the lessons, and pull myself together. If you feel the same way, let me share with you my 7 Ways to Cope with Failed Expectations:

  1. Spend some time in retrospect. Do you know what you really want? Are you willing to work on it?
  2. Do not blame others (or God) because you are responsible for your own decisions, actions, and the consequences.
  3. Learn from your past, do something about your present, be hopeful for your future.
  4. Count your blessings. Gratefulness keeps the heart happy.
  5. Bless someone in need. It makes the soul healthy.
  6. Reinvent yourself. It is never too late to learn something new.
  7. Trust that God only wants what’s best for you. You may make your own plans but it is He who decides where you will go.

When you release expectations, you are free to enjoy things for what they are instead of what you think they should be. (Mandy Hale)

Written by: Lourdes Lim

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