We all experience disappointment. Things don’t always go our way and we feel a sense of loss. We expect certain things and when they don’t happen the way we would want, we are disappointed. This happens in every area of life. This happens in relationships and in the workplace. The difference between our expected outcome and reality is our level of disappointment. So, what do we do? Do we just expect so little that we will never feel that loss? Do we simply do our best and hope for the best?
Coach Bill Belichick preaches “managing expectations.” But what does this mean? I think it means having a positive, yet realistic, view of the future. It means looking at possibilities with a positive attitude. It is about expecting the best in oneself and others. When we expect the best, we often influence others to be their best. This is called self-fulfilling prophecy. Studies have shown that when people believe others to be competent, positive results occur simply because of that confidence. When one expects more, one gets more.
Does this mean walking through life with rose-colored glasses in some sort of Pollyanna existence? It certainly does not. One must be realistic. In the NFL, managing expectations means having a good head on your shoulders and a can-do attitude. It means seeing the cup as half full. Teams succeed when they are full of positive thinkers. Attitude is everything in the League and in life.
Yet, sometimes we need to change our expectations to meet a new reality. This is managing expectations. Take control of your expectations. View problems as opportunities and believe the best in yourself and others. Don’t let others’ expectations of you define you. Once they define you, they will judge you by their definition. Manage yourself!