Our brain does not like uncertainty. We are programmed for survival but we cannot move on if what surrounds us is not clear. To reduce the uncomfortable feeling that a lack of certainty generates, we create expectations. However, relying on our expectations does not always help us feel better. Our expectations affect us more than we imagine. They affect our learning, our perception, and how we treat those around us.
Our expectations can become a source of frustration. For example, you definitely want to see a movie because you have heard great comments about it but after watching it you find out that you actually did not like it that much, so you feel disappointed. If you go to eat in a famous restaurant, then the food does not seem to you so well prepared, you are disappointed (and you may have spent a fortune).
Expectations are said to be anticipated resentments, because when reality does not match your expectations it causes you frustration.
In marketing, customer satisfaction is defined as the result of perception minus expectation. The higher the expectation, the higher you will have to set the bar of experiences or relationships in order to be satisfied. This is an unconscious mechanism, but there are ways to act on your way of thinking, so that it could play in your favour.
Let’s see how they can help you in the context of the current pandemic.
1. Trust that soon the pandemic will end, thanks to the progress of vaccination. Do not get obsessed by setting an end date though. Now in Europe they are talking about mid-July, but can how you be sure? Do not let your happiness depend on the end of Covid.
2. Replace expectations with gratitude. Be grateful that you did not get sick, that you have a house to live in, that someone loves you. Look at the little details of your daily life and you will surely find something to be grateful for.
Living without so many expectations is easier because you value what happens to you in that moment without being influenced by the idea you created before. This does not mean abandoning your dreams or desires. You must keep them as a beacon that guides you in the decisions about your future, but you shall not make your happiness depend on external factors that are beyond your control.