“When you release expectations, you are free to enjoy things for what they are instead of what you think they should be.” ~Mandy Hale

For many years I spent my life swimming in a sea of disappointment.  

I devoted a great deal of my time and energy working hard to achieve what I thought would make me happy,  What I thought would make me ‘successful.’

But when we get honest with ourselves, life is full of surprises, twists and turns that are not always the kind that we wish for.  

A relationship expires.  A career that was sought after and crafted out with intention, suddenly becomes dull and full of doubt.  A pregnancy isn’t happening.  A business isn’t really taking off.  A diagnosis interrupts our life,  or a child just doesn’t live up to the potential that we know he/she has.

Or maybe even you’ve checked off many things from your big to do list and you STILL don’t feel happy or fulfilled.  

There is a gap that happens when our reality does not match the expectations that we attached to. Can you relate?

Oh I remember, desperately wanting to be a mom.  And then giving birth to a child who was so high strung, didn’t sleep, cried whenever he wasn’t with me, and couldn’t find a daycare provider to save my life (they all quit after about 2 times due to said crying).  

I remember thinking…How will I ever survive this?  This is miserable!!!

I love how Christine Hassler refers to this as an Expectation Hangover-its the suffering or disappointment we feel when life just doesn’t match up with what we had planned or hoped.  

Yes?  Are you still with me?

I notice this pattern in many if not all of my clients as well.  And when things don’t turn out as expected, I watch them begin to make it mean something about themselves and their value as well beginning to spiral downward into a hole of self-doubt.  

I love this definition that I found of an expectation-Your expectations are your strong hopes or beliefs that something will happen or that you will get something that you want.

So what happens when that strong belief or hope doesn’t pan out the way we think it ‘should.’  The way we wanted it to, the way we intended?  

Expectations can set us up for some pretty massive disappointment.  

Almost as if it’s a hangover.   

Let’s look at the definition of the word Hangover: A temporary, unpleasant physical condition.  A letdown, as after a period of excitement.

Starting to sound familiar?

I want to shed some light on an expectation hangover.  I want to share some truth so that you can really begin to leverage your disappointments (because we ALL have them), for your highest good.  

I want you to think about how your expectation hangover might just be the best thing that ever happened to you.  

Well, this sounds amazing Krista, but how?  I feel like I am suffering so much.  

Right, I know. AND…massive disappointments can be doorways to incredible opportunities to heal.  Heal from issues from our past, change how we are showing up in the present and create a future based on who we REALLY ARE and not who we are expected to be.  

When we are in the thick of an expectation hangover, we cannot see the beautiful transformation right there at our fingertips.  We become so blinded by what we think we want and paralyzed by the pain of not receiving it.  

Today i want to share with you 5 KEY lessons that disappointments or expectations hangovers can teach us if you are open and available to the growth.

1).  Disappointments illuminate that we all put a lot of expectation on ourselves.  Yes, expectations come from society, culture and outside, but the biggest pressure cooker is ourselves.  We are so hard on ourselves.  We push ourselves the most-often to the point of it crossing the line.  Disappointments can be a wake up call to realize how brutal you might on yourself.  

2).  Disappointments  teach us that we don’t have control.  As humans we love certainty.  We love control and being in the know.  Control however is an illusion and a master addiction.  We control NOTHING.  Other than how we show up for life and ourselves.  Just take a look at these words, unknown, uncertain, unfamiliar-what comes up for you as you read them?

3).  Disappointments push us out of our comfort zone.  There is no growth in our comfort zone.  The comfort zone is comfortable because it is familiar, not because it is for your highest good.  Life is all about showing you your blind spots.  When we sit in our comfort zone, we are not as apt to see those blind spots, therefore we have no growth in our life.  Expectation hangovers are a great way to pull us out of our comfort zone in an attempt to help us grow.

4).  Disappointments teach us to live inside out versus outside in.  We search outside to feel better on the inside, but it’s not out there.  We have to re-orient from an outside life to an inside life.   We have to stop searching for external solutions to internal problems.  Those are band-aids my friends.

5).  Disappointments move us out of a victim mentality.  So many of us live in a why is this happening to me energy and we disempower ourselves.  We become victims of life rather than co-creators of our reality.  Yes you are that powerful.  Yes you are co-creating your life with God, Universe, Spirit, Soul.  You are not a victim.  Not unless you choose it.

So some of the amazing things about expectation hangovers is that instead of putting pressure and expectation on yourself you learn self love.

Instead of gripping so hard at life you learn the beauty of surrender and to let go.

Instead of being comfy in your comfort zone you start to live outside of your comfort zone and push the boundaries of what’s comfortable.  

Instead of looking outside of yourself you start to go within for the answers.  You start to build a healthy relationship with yourself because you start to trust yourself.  

Instead of being a victim of your life you become a seeker.  You stop asking why is this happening to me and flip it to what am I learning. 

Adopt a growth mindset my friends.  Instead of asking “Why is this happening,” start asking “What am I learning about myself?”   “What am I learning about the world and life…”

This question catapults you out of victim mode and helps you to begin to leverage your disappointments to learn from and grow, rather than just wallow in your suffering and stuff it away.  

Get our of your own way by beginning to play with these questions? What am I learning about myself? What am I learning about the world and life?

I love hearing from you, so please don’t hesitate to comment below and let me know how this question transforms your expectations hangovers.

You Matter,