How I’m Learning To Let Go Of Expectations This Summer

How I'm Learning To Let Go Of Expectations This Summer

By Jillian Leslie

Along with the poolside days, scorching sunshine, and carefree lifestyle that summertime brings, so too come expectations. Whether they revolve around an upcoming vacation or a significant other, expectations can really bog us down.

How many times have you been frustrated by something lately because it didn’t meet what you’d envisioned in your mind? Recently, I’ve been feeling this a lot and I’ve come to the realization that these situations stem from having a tightly clenched fist. Not the type you get when climbing rope or pulling up weeds in your garden; but, the metaphorical clenched fist you experience when you’re holding out for a specific outcome. Naturally, we want what we want out of life, but this habit often creates an inability to see clearly, and to enjoy life for what it truly is.

In hopes of living a happier, less constrained life, I made a good old-fashioned list of scenarios where I often find myself clinging onto ideals and expectations too strongly, and what I’m doing to loosen my grip.

Don’t dwell on expectations from others. This is a tricky one. As humans, we walk a very thin line between wanting societal acceptance and pursuing our hearts with reckless abandon. However, holding too tightly to gaining the affection of others and fulfilling their set expectations for us can take joy out of our lives. Inevitably, the ones we love will have feedback and opinions about the things we do. But, living to fulfill their every expectation is a sure-fire way to deplete our own happiness bank.

Rid expectations of ideal relationships. If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent a good majority of your life creating “the one” in your head. Ultimately, everyone who stepped up to bat in your game of love swung and missed big time. Could this mean they weren’t right for you? Sure. But just as likely, you were too bound by your ideal version of a significant other that you missed the benefits this person could bring to your life. As my mother always says, “you will kiss many frogs before meeting your prince,” but be sure you’re not turning a potential prince into a frog by limiting yourself to your perceived outcome of the “ideal” relationship.

Let up on expectations of your ideal body image. I know, it’s the season of bikinis and unforgiving shorty shorts, but with that said, it’s more important now than ever to accept who we are. Sure, having a healthy mental image of ourselves can sometimes seem unattainable when you’re in the dressing room trying on a black bandeau dress after downing a cheeseburger and fries. But when you reach a point where you truly feel good about yourself, you feel good in any size.

Ditch your expectations for the future and live today. Don’t get me wrong, I am by no means telling you to quit your day job right now and go streaking through the city on your way home (unless that’s what you’re into, in which case I fully support you.) But, what I am saying is don’t let next week’s meeting with your boss worry you today. Be present! Enjoy the space you are in right here, right now. It is one thing to mentally prepare for what’s to come, but don’t waste time worrying about the aspects of tomorrow that you can’t control.

Jillian is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty on Tap. To apply to become a Contributing Writer, please click HERE.

{featured image via pexels}

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