Managing Your Expectations

Managing Your Expectations

expectations“Expectation is the root of all heartache.” ― William Shakespeare

Imagine you’re lying on a beautiful, white sand beach. The sun is sparkling off the clear water. The sand is warm and soft beneath you and the air smells like tropical flowers. There is a staff at your disposal to bring you anything you want to eat or drink. There’s even a masseuse standing byto further ease your tension.

Sounds pretty nice, right? But what if you had been promised that your favorite celebrity crush was supposed to be there with you and he/she is nowhere to be seen?

Suddenly this tropical island paradise isn’t as lovely as you wanted it to be. It isn’t living up to your expectations, so instead of enjoying the scenery, you’re anxious, irritated, impatient and disappointed. Where is Beyonce/Leonardo? Why aren’t they here yet?

Having expectations for the way something should happen removes you from the current moment. Rather than accepting what is actually happening around you and either enjoying it or taking steps to change it, you spend your precious time and energy fighting reality. Thinking, “this wasn’t supposed to happen, it wasn’t supposed to be like this. This wasn’t how I wanted it.”

Removing expectations from your life doesn’t have to mean that you are willing to settle for less than you want and deserve, it just means that you are able to make a decision about each situation from a place of clarity, seeing it the way it actually is, rather than through the veil of your expectations. Sometimes reality can even exceed your imagination, if you can allow yourself to see it.

Would you like some help managing your expectations? Call (212) 335-0511 or email


About the Author:

Paula Lamanna, LMSW
Paula Lamanna, LMSW is a Licensed Social Worker who works with adults and teenagers who are struggling with anxiety and depression. She utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness to assist adults and teenagers to confront and challenge self-destructive thoughts and behavioral patterns. Paula also specializes in helping teenagers, single adoptive parents, and couples manage the psychological issues surrounding adoption, such as preparation to adopt, psychoeducation, handling behavioral issues, understanding the effects of past experiences on adopted children, and family integration.