If you follow me socially, you know that I experienced a devastating loss last week – my third pregnancy ended in miscarriage, just shy of me being 11 weeks pregnant. One of my friends described the loss as “the deafening sound of the unknown little voice that you were so eager to hear.”
Talk about an unmet expectation.
And as I’ve sat with my own thoughts, and have read through the prayers and well wishes of those that have reached out to console me and my grieving family, I began to think about strategies to deal with unmet expectations. I mean we all experience this type of let down in one form or another in life and in business.
So I thought I’d put some structure behind my own thoughts, and share a few tips that you might find helpful as you are navigating through your own unmet expectations.
Learn What You Can
You may be looking at unmet expectations through the lens of failure – well then, fail forward! Learn what you can from the experience - about your strengths, about your endurance and get real about your opportunities and pivot or adjust as needed.
There is a lesson in everything. Seek it out and glean all that you can from it and use it to create an even stronger foundation for you to build and propel your vision.
Extend Grace to Yourself
As a recovering perfectionist, I struggle with extending grace to myself – which includes being gentle with myself and giving myself the time I need to work through the emotional wreckage and mindset setbacks that often come with working through the disappointment of unmet expectations.
As a coach, I strongly believe that doing the heart work to get on the other side of disappointment is a critical time to focus on and prioritize your own self-care.
However, for the sake of transparency, I do not always listen to my own advice. Instead, I often turn towards work as a way of keeping my life in ‘balance’ when I’m dealing with disappointment. Even in preparing to go through one of the hardest and most painful physical experiences I’ve ever had to endure in my life, my intentions and my energy were focused on work, instead of my own care and rest.
Ironically, or probably more like divinely, the day after the miscarriage, the following post popped up on my timeline from two years ago - “Balance is not simply a matter of keeping all the balls in the air; it is taking time and having the discipline to set down some of the balls and not keep picking up additional things to do.” – Christopher McCluskey
I got the message. And I hope you do to.
Carve out and prioritize the time you need, to best take care of yourself. Don’t linger on the disappointment itself, instead focus on your wholeness so you can get back to pushing forward in life like the badass that you are.
When you have your mind, energy and passion targeted on things turning out a certain way, and then suddenly they don’t – to put it simply, it sucks. In the moment, you might find yourself confused, a bit weary from the journey and you may even feel indifferent about the entire situation – which is totally normal when you are disappointed.
You might even feel that throwing in the towel, and giving up on having any type of expectations at all is the safest route to protect yourself from feeling future disappointment. But living without expectations, isn’t really living.
Setting expectations pushes you do to the work required to achieve the desired outcome. Will your efforts always land you exactly where you want to be? Nope. That’s life - and in life, things aren't often perfect. But as I’ve said before, imperfect progress, is still progress. Keep expecting. Keep pushing. Never stop going after what you want.
Let the refining and improving of your own life, through dealing with unmet expectations head on, fully reveal the badass you’ve always been.
We all deal with the disappointment of unmet expectations – remember that. So don’t allow an unmet expectation to separate you from the vision you have for your life or business. Use the tips above to create the space you need to get on the other side of disappointment when it shows up.
Does the disappointment of unmet expectations cause you overwhelm? Once disappointment sets in, do you feel stuck in a chaotic mess and unsure of the next steps you should take? I want to gift you a listening ear over a coffee date, and together we’ll discuss how to bring order to the overwhelm and chaos you are experiencing. Click HERE to schedule our date today.