It has been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. So, to keep from going insane you have to either do something different or start expecting something different.
As much as we would like to believe that others are the cause of our frustration and disappointment, the truth is that its our expectations that cause the majority of our frustrations. If you are tired of feeling frustrated, here are a few principals that can help reduce your level of frustration and enable you regain a little more control over your life.
1. Anytime you are disappointed you had an expectation that went unmet. This may seem simplistic, but it’s an important fact to wrap our brains around. It is much easier to blame others than to take responsibility for something.
2. Whoever you give the credit for causing your frustration also gains power over you. When the cause of your frustration is someone or something else, you lose the ability to change it. Taking responsibility may not be the easy choice, but it is the fastest path to enjoying life more.
3. Refusing to adjust your expectation of someone else will only guarantee you will be frustrated more often. The odds are that most people are not going to change their behavior just to please you. Even if they try to, they probably won’t be able to do it for very long.
So, how do you adjust your expectations? I’m glad you asked. For an expectation to come to fruition it has to pass two tests: reasonable and realistic.
Reasonable: Ask yourself, “Would most people in my situation expect this?” Let’s be honest, most of us can convince ourselves that our expectation is reasonable. If you find you don’t pass this test, then you need to either drop or adjust your expectation so you can.
Realistic: Ask yourself, “Based on my past experience with this person, what is the likelihood of them consistently meeting this expectation?” If your past experience with this person doesn’t show a consistency with this expectation, the odds are your future won’t either. You need to either drop or adjust your expectation.
Stop giving other’s unnecessary control over your life. If you are willing to test and adjust your expectations, you can regain control over many of the disappointments you used to experience. You may even start enjoying those relationships you used to find so frustrating.
If you apply these principals to your life, I would love to hear about the results!