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Breaking the Cycle: Overcoming Resentment through Mindful Expectations

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Ahhh, expectations. We all have them.

Think about some of yours. About the times you expect:

  • your husband to say how great your hair looks after you spend a day in the salon.

  • your boss to give you a big project because you’ve earned it.

  • your vacation plans to go off without a hitch.

  • your kids to do what you say.

Sometimes the expectations we hold for others are realistic, but sometimes they’re not…. Those are the times when our expectations can lead directly to resentment, disappointment, frustration, or even anger in our relationships. 😡

It’s not only our expectations that can cause issues – the expectations that other people have of us can also cause us difficulty.

Take society for example and all the expectations there are for us to live up to, especially as women. I think back to when I was raising my kids – I felt that I was expected to dedicate every ounce of myself to my family and that taking time for myself was ‘selfish.’ Depending on who I was talking to, I was also expected to either stay home with my kids or to get a job. I couldn’t really win! 🤯

Now that I’ve arrived at the midlife part of my journey, the expectations are just as plentiful. Don’t even get me started on the number of opinions there are on what midlife should look – and feel – like!

No matter who has them – myself or others – there is one thing I know for sure:

Unrealistic expectations set us up for failure. And disappointment. And resentment.

So what’s a girl to do? 🤷 Is it reasonable to not have any expectations at all?

Well, not exactly. But there are things you can do to detach from your expectations and from those that others place on you – ways that you can challenge unrealistic expectations and break free from the hold they place on you.

First, try not to get tied to any one particular result.

For example, if you’re looking for a promotion and you don’t get it, recognize that maybe it isn’t the right fit for you rather than going into a negative emotional spiral. Consider the fact that there may be something different – something better – waiting for you.

You can also detach from your expectations by not trying to control things that are outside of your control – like how other people will act. This is what sets mindful expectations apart from ordinary expectations.

I can’t control whether my husband will say the perfect thing, but I can control my response to what he says. I can ask my son to bring the trash can in from the curb, but I can’t control whether he remembers to do so. Rather than flying off the rails, I can control my response and ask him again, to bring in the can.

Finally, you can intentionally choose to let go of the expectations that others may have of you. When you feel yourself wondering what other people will think of a choice you’re making – pause, acknowledge what you’re thinking, pull up your big-girl pants, and remind yourself that you’re the only one in charge of you. I’m not saying you shouldn’t consider input from your trusted advisors – but be mindful of whose expectations you’re trying to live up to, and make sure it’s YOU who is in the driver’s seat.


Monday Mindshift

It’s the 1° shift that makes the biggest difference over time.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent the past 20+ years ‘shoulding’ all over yourself. Now that you’ve reached the midlife part of your journey, it’s time for you to stand up and step into your power. 🦸‍♀️

YOU are the only one responsible for defining what your life looks like for you. Resist the temptation to let others define who you are and what midlife means for you.

What does that look like? It requires you staying in the moment and challenging yourself when you feel yourself slipping into that old habit of either having unrealistic expectations or letting others have them of you.

Letting go of expectations is completely liberating. And the best part of that? It will leave you free to be completely present for whatever wonderful things eventually do show up for you. ♥



Living BRIGHTer is...

B - Be Brave

R - Cultivate Relationships

I - Live with Intention

G - Practice Gratitude

H - Prioritize Health

T - Live your Truth

What is Magenta?

The color magenta is one of universal harmony and emotional balance. It is spiritual yet practical, encouraging common sense and a balanced outlook on life. Magenta helps to create harmony and balance in every aspect of life; physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

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