The Key To Bliss: Let Go Of Expectations and Avoid Suffering

The Key To Bliss Let Go Of Expectations & Avoid Suffering

Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed! We all have different expectations from life, from situations, from people, and even from ourselves. But time often proves that expectations lead to disappointments and heartache. 

Let go of expectations and you will not only avoid the pain but also empower and free yourself of your own limiting beliefs.

The Key To Bliss: Let Go Of Expectations and Avoid Suffering

We are somehow programmed to have expectations, perhaps from our parents, our social groups, media and some are simply self-created. Today, with endless opportunities to compare our lives with others and make it better than others, we unnecessarily create expectations that might not even align with our values. This has created an unnecessary burden of unrealistic expectations that will lead to nothing else other than suffering and disappointment.

A heart full of expectations lives only a heavy life.

The Key To Bliss: Let Go Of Expectations and Avoid Suffering

One of the cardinal requirements of life is the need to feel that we are safe, physically and emotionally. According to a 2016 study, safety needs are more important than physiological needs as it involves personal & financial security, health and overall well-being. {1} When that feeling of safety is challenged and we have to face life the way we did not expect, he feel heartbroken and disappointed.

It often starts really small that we even fail to notice it until it shoves us into a dark scary place where we feel suffocated and desperately look for a guiding light. We start wondering ‘what if’ we did this or did that, things would have turned out just the way we wanted. Our mental health gets affected and our quality of life spirals out of our control.

The thing is, regardless of how hard you try to write the story of your life, life itself will have a plot twist that will put you in the corner of that dark place.

Let there be light.

When you start observing life for what it truly is, you will see the light inside your mind’s eye. Life is not a linear path like we expect. Instead, life is a series of unexpected cycles that start and end when we least expect it. No matter how hard you try to hold on to a particular life cycle, it will end when it has to, and a new life cycle will begin. This is how it is. These are the moments where the biggest changes happen in our lives and we are often forced to change tracks so that we can be exactly where life needs us to be. We will feel heartbroken, disappointed, frustrated, angry, ashamed, and a bunch of other mixed emotions.

Why did it happen to me? I worked so hard for it. I did everything I needed to. Things were going so great. Is this what life has in store for me?

Life is unfair. You can’t do anything about it. You will feel vulnerable, demotivated, and afraid. It will hit your confidence level hard. But you will rebound and fight back eventually. That is the very nature of the human spirit. We all have the strength to reclaim life despite how much chaotic it may be right now. Granted, life will not be what it was before. But when you let go of expectations, you will open yourself up for a new cycle full of endless possibilities.

Let go and accept change.

The Key To Bliss: Let Go Of Expectations and Avoid Suffering

Life is full of challenges. You know that already. You also know that we often resist facing challenges and try to hold on to the past desperately hoping that things will remain the same. But despite how much we resist change, life will compel us to mature and grow. When you face a significant life crisis like the loss of a loved one, heartbreak, divorce, unemployment, or a health crisis, it shatters our expectations from life. The life you have imagined so passionately will never happen no matter how hard you try.

This can shake up our beliefs and change us as a person. But you will get your emotional strength back and move forward when you least expect it. And that is the secret to happiness, having no expectations. Expecting an outcome from an event or expecting a person to behave in a certain way, only ties us to an imaginary world that we create inside our heads. Expectations can make us so far removed from reality that we can often refuse to see the truth until it hits us in the face.

We get so focused on the final outcome that we fail to experience the true essence of life as we desperately wait for the expected outcome to be realized. And when our expectations are not met, we regret investing so much time, effort, and emotions into our expectations. We curse our luck and believe life is unfair. The future we envisaged has now been shattered. Our mind loses its peace and happiness gets replaced by disappointment.

Experience the true essence of life.

When you let go of expectations, open your mind and accept change, you will start observing and experiencing life for what it truly is and prepare yourself for future challenges. The very nature of life is chaos. Expecting that you will easily avoid or overcome the ups and downs of life and have a smooth ride all the way will only set you up for failure. The greatest experiences in life come from events we least expect, earning your college degree, getting a new job, getting married or meeting someone new. To experience these events fully, we need to accept change and open our minds to new opportunities. By closing an old chapter of your life, you will be able to start writing a new one. It might not be easy, but it will be worth it.

Expectations often hold us back and we fail to accept the gifts life brings us.

But you can expect!

If you must expect, then expect that life will change and evolve with time.  Although significant life experiences and changes greatly affect our subjective well-being, we will overcome it. {2} No matter what you are going through now, it will not be permanent. Great things will happen, new opportunities will arise and you will experience some beautiful and terrible moments in the course of your life. As long as you know that you have the strength inside you to stand back up, everything will be just fine. This is not the first time you have faced a challenge and survived it. Is it?

The Key To Bliss: Let Go Of Expectations and Avoid Suffering

Nothing remains the same in life. You will meet people, get close with them, share exciting moments and someday you will stop seeing them. You will be in certain events, discover new things, and one day those situations will cease to exist. This is how life works. And it’s not as bad as you may think right now.

How to let go of expectations

Letting go of expectations is not easy. You need to develop mental strength, rewire your thought patterns, and get better control on your emotional responses.

Here are certain traits that you need to develop that will help you gain the necessary mental strength and start letting your expectations go.

#1 Be open minded

Open yourself to new and unexpected possibilities that may occur in life. Understand that you cannot truly control anything except yourself. So instead of being focused on a certain outcome that may or may not happen in the future, focus on the process. When you become more invested in the process, life will take you to a great new destination, even if it is not the one you wanted. As a result, you will significantly minimize any feelings of sorrow and disappointment.

#2 Be resilient

Resilience is the ability to adapt successfully in the face of stress and adversity,” explains a 2013 study. {3} Only by becoming mentally strong and resilient you can become unshakable in life irrespective of what life throws at you. Being resilient will help you break free of any expectation. Once you gain the mental strength to face any challenge, you will become more accepting towards multiple outcomes instead of tying yourself to a particular one inside your mind.

#3 Be realistic

Observe the real situation more closely without getting emotionally involved in it. Once your thoughts are based on the present reality, you will be better prepared for even the most unexpected future. Information is power. The more realistic you are, the more you will know and the smarter decisions you will take in life.

#4 Nurture your self-esteem

Self-esteem is perhaps the most crucial element is developing a stronger, more resilient mind. It is a varied and complex mental state that consists of “the mental building blocks called self-meaning, self-identity, self-image, and self-concepts,” according to research. {4} Have faith in yourself, believe that you can overcome whatever you are facing, and practice self-love. This is the secret to being a stronger version of yourself.

#5 Practice gratitude

Start focusing on the positive side of life instead of getting sucked into the darkness of expectations. In your current situation, try to find five things that are positive and make you feel good. By forcing your mind to focus on the brighter side of life, your mentality will shift to a more abundance mindset. You will look at the better side of any situation and avoid feelings of disappointment.

The Key To Bliss: Let Go Of Expectations and Avoid Suffering

#6 Practice acceptance

You cannot control every single aspect of your life, let alone control other people or situations. When you accept what life has to offer, you will feel more empowered and free yourself to experience life. Fighting the reality of your life will only make you more exhausted and drained as whatever has to happen will eventually happen.

#7 Don’t take life so seriously

Shit happens in life and sometimes you can’t really do much about it. Try to be a bit playful in life and not take everything so seriously. A little bit of smile and excitement can often work wonders.

#8 Practice mindfulness

Overthinking about a particular outcome that may or may not happen in an uncertain future can lead to a lot of stress, depression, frustration, and anxiety. Practice mindfulness as it will help you be in the present moment and experience life as it unfolds. One study explains that awareness and nonjudgmental acceptance of the present moment are the primary elements of mindfulness. These are considered “potentially effective antidotes” against stress, worry, anxiety, fear, overthinking, rumination and anger. {5}

Letting go of your past and expectations of your future will enable you to experience your present moment the way it is.

No expectations. No disappointments.

Be courageous and light the darkness.

Whether you choose to shiver in the darkness of expectations or light your heart and experience life to its fullest will depend on how well you transition from one cycle of life to another. The only way to heal fear is by moving ahead and living life one day at a time. This makes the process a lot easier.

Choose to be in a more positive mindset as it will help you to leave the imaginary world inside your mind behind, and live in the present moment. You are a survivor. You can do this. Again.

You may also like:

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5050353/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18951593/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3573269/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2594522/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3679190/
The Key To Bliss Let Go Of Expectations & Avoid Suffering pin
The Key To Bliss Let Go Of Expectations pin
nv-author-image

Theo Harrison

Hey there! I am just someone trying to find my way through life. I am a reader, writer, traveler, fighter, philosopher, artist and all around nice guy. I am outdoor person but heavily into technology, science, psychology, spiritualism, Buddhism, martial arts and horror films. I believe in positive action more than positive thinking.View Author posts