Posted by on Jan 3, 2016 in Communication, Conflict Theory, Expectations | Comments Off on Expectations

The Power of Reasonable Life Choices

New Year summons us to let go of the past year and look with optimism to beginning a new one. It is estimated that 45% of the population make resolutions for the coming year. The underlying message of a resolution is an expectation. “I will lose ten pounds because I expect of myself that I am able to do so.” In reality, seventy-three percent of those who make resolutions quit before realizing their goal. This is when the hammer of expectations slams down on us. We cannot even live up to our own expectations! In other words, we have failed – again.

Whenever we have an expectation – of a situation, of others, or of ourselves – we are setting ourselves up for anger, disappointment, and loss of trust. Why? An expectation has a specific result. Unless that result is realized, even by a hair of a margin, there is no win. In short, there is no glory in losing five pounds if we are unsuccessful in our expectation of losing ten pounds.

What about others? The rule in conflict is that we have no power – NO power – in controlling anything or anyone but ourselves. That is the reality. Some of us live stressful lives thinking that somehow we can change the attitude, behavior, or the beliefs of another person. We can change our own, but if there is change for another person, the other person is the only person who can do it.

For next year, we cannot expect our children to be smarter, our friends to be dependable, our husband or wife to quit drinking, our employer to be kinder, or our city to be safer. We can, though, be wiser and know that we can make reasonable choices about my life. And the power of that is amazing.