Recently, I have been feeling disappointment, both in affairs of the heart and professionally. Which made me contemplate - are my expectations too high?
I reflected upon a break-up I went through a few years ago. My ex-partner is a good man, someone who I loved and respected. But, the relationship wasn’t amazing for either of us. It was convenient, it was steady, but it didn’t make my heart leap.
I knew something was wrong, and contemplated the rest of my life - and my heart did leap. I had made some scary decisions - choosing to dedicate my life to my passions – dancing and empowering women and girls. And that had (and has) proven to be AMAZING, (and hard, and scary and difficult,) but…utterly, utterly amazing.
During that break up I sat down with myself. And I decided to always choose amazing. I committed to having an amazing life.
And part of that is also committing to being ok with hurt. To being ok with disappointment. But , to me, seeking amazing is worth those feelings. As an artist, I also feel that having and feeling every emotion propels me to be a better creator, a better dancer and a more empathetic human.
I also believe that this commitment to both has made me a successful entrepreneur. I am able to see where there is power in both choosing excellence and being vulnerable. Both of these things make me a better business owner and employer.
However, I don’t think that means that I should expect the world of everyone and every experience. I do think there is harm in setting my standards too high, putting myself in a state of constant disappointment. In fact, I think it is ok to expect disappointment, sadness and grief and to expect to see and feel the humanity in others and myself. So essentially, I am choosing to also not harm myself, which contributes to my life being amazing.
So I am going to change my language. I am going to replace expectation with choice. Rather than putting a wish in to the universe, I am instead going to choose how I will live my life and how I will allow others to be in my life.
This came up recently when a few weeks ago a man I was seeing told me that he had elected to lower his expectations while dating. To not expect too much and, therefore, not be let down too much. Consequently, if you expect less, you are unhappy less. While I understood the logic, and the safety in this, my heart sank. The idea of lowering what I expect of someone I was trusting my heart with made me feel sad.
This prompted me to sit down with a piece of paper and wrote at the top… “I expect…”
And I left it there, for a week.
Today, I sat down and I finished the sentence. I crossed out expect.
I choose amazing.
I choose to feel.
I choose imperfection.
And that feels…AMAZING.