Q&A: How to Manage Expectations?

great-expectations4The topic of expectations and how they relate to deliberate creation came up a couple of times this last week in interesting ways.

First, a Money Mojo Magic participant shared an exciting development in her life that could lead to a huge influx of income. 
This master manifester wondered whether to not get too excited about it or whether to let loose with imagining just HOW wonderful it could be.
My suggestion was to let loose and have delicious fun while entertaining really BIG thoughts about it!  I told her doing so would open the door wide for Universe to have some fun with this amazing new opportunity for success.
The next day Good Vibe reader, Anne, sent a link to and inquiry about my thoughts on this Zen Habits blog post (thanks, Anne!) about a beautiful method to find peace of mind. 
Basically, the Zen Habits article suggests expecting the worst so that we can more easily accept it when things inevitably go wrong. 

expectations1I have to admit, “expecting things to go wrong” didn’t sit quite right with me, although I am all for peace of mind and accepting what is.

At the same time, I know I’ve been in situations before where it felt prudent to caution myself that yes, this possible thing that might happen is super cool, but it might not (happen), so don’t get too attached to it. 
(Like when Oprah called, and when Jack Canfield asked for permission to use three of my stories in his Mastering the Law of Attraction book, and when Kim Falconer suggested we might co-author together, and when my super hot new date asked me out again, etc. etc.)
We know attachment is a sure way to shoot ourselves in the LOA foot.  So that’s good to avoid.  But do we really have to achieve non-attachment by managing (i.e. reducing, limiting) our expectations?
Isn’t there a way to keep the energy clean and pure and positive without holding back what we’re willing to imagine possible?
It seems an important question to answer because what we imagine is what we create
Thus, being able (and willing) to imagine the BEST things seems like the wise and powerful way to use our deliberate creative power! 
And yet, sometimes that’s exactly what kicks our gremlins into action – with a chorus of “don’t get your hopes up, you know what happened last time!” and “if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.”
So I’m opening this up you wise ones.   I’d love to hear your take on how you “manage” your expectations … do you let ’em rip, or do you keep them in check?  Or does it depend?
What helps you stay in the most powerful place of manifesting when it comes to your expectations?

  • July 26, 2009
  • sue says:

    I see a whole lot of “easier said than done” statements which I totally understand. But just think of all that is just done for us in our lives today, that we never have anything to say about. They just be.
    Let’s just say that “things are done easier than we say”
    for a change. Obviously this has to do with the overwhelming truth of wellbeing that rules all. Imagine just getting into that mindset/vibration!
    Seeing that I’ve seen a whole lot mentioned about switching thoughts, I thought I’d try this one on for size!

  • Susie Beifuss says:

    Hi Jeannette!!!
    Your BLOG entry prompted me to share two things with YOU!!!
    #1….I got so much from your posting of Gay Hendricks’ perspective on (gremlins, etc)…of our feeling good hitting a ceiling….our feeling less than good being a signal that new good stuff wants in and wants us to open THAT door(without going back and finding tht and rereading, don’t remember the wording, so this is my memory’s best for now)…
    anyway, every “down” or “off” or “gremlin” or less than fantastic feeling, thought, action etc….became (for me, after reading your post of gay h’s words) just a signal to me: GOOD STUFF COMING UP !!!!!
    #2….On death and dying (not a f av subject, but..)
    long story short: had three kids on drugs when they were teens: with help of support group, i learned and imbeded in my heart and soul:
    i’m not in charge of who gets to live 7 days and who gets to live 70 days
    everything happens for a reason
    everything happens for the best (even tho….a lot of times my perspective of that happening….hurts me)
    everyone dies
    there is ABSOLUTELY NO PROOF that being “alive” is superior or better than being “dead”….none.
    whenever i hear of someone who died or is dying, i mentally say goodbye and ask (god, universe, anybody!!) to BLESS THEM and tell myself im letting them go with love…..
    i do this when i pass an animal on the road who is gone (gone on? gone back? gone from their “body”….ok, dead)
    I ABSOLUTELY REFUSE TO stay sad about the death of anyone or any animal…..I deserve to be happy and healthy!!
    you are my hero, jeannette (even though young enuf to be my daughter!!!)
    —– Original M

  • Susan says:

    First of all can I say a huge thankyou to everyone who contributes to these blogs (especially Jeanette) I have had so many ah-ha moments and so many laughs while reading them over the past few months which has really helped my manifesting skills.
    I’d just like to add my bit here. I have manifested some amazing and sometimes totally bizarre things since I became aware of LOA and I have found that the things that come easiest and fastest are the things I have a desire for and then forget about. These things come sometimes within hours! Of course there are what I consider to be ‘big’ things which I struggle with. However I truly believe that if I want it I can have it. Simple. After listening to Abraham a couple of nights ago on u-tube I’m trying to let go of any worry or fear that they aren’t here yet because Abraham said ‘when you let go of the struggle, source will take you straight there’.
    The way I’m doing this is appreciation for what I have now and having fun and laughing about everything I can. Although I’m not thinking about my desires all the time I still know that they are coming.
    I’m going on holiday this month and I’m soooooo looking forward to laughing my way through it and can you imagine what that’s going to do for my vibrations?
    So, Yes, I do believe you can have what you want, everytime and I never imagine the worst. Only the best for me!!!!! After all I’m worth it 🙂
    Again a huge thankyou and love to you all.

  • Emiko Jaffe says:

    Manish, I like “God’s delays are not God’s denials” and I totally agree that things can seem to get worse before they get better, it’s like being unable to receive the new and improved when your hands are filled with the old and not so useful. So you have to make room!
    I really like your explanation of expecting the best and how we’re expecting the worst if we’re worried.

  • Manish says:

    I think you should expect the best. If you’re worried about getting your hopes smashed, it’s an indication you’re expecting the worst, aka focused on lack.
    Sometimes people focus on things, myself included, things they REALLY want…and they get really involved and wrapped up in it. And it even seems like things are happening. And then everything comes to a screeching halt!
    Whatever it may be…money, friends, relationships, love, peace, happiness…God’s delays are not God’s denials…
    Sometimes things on the surface even have to get “worse” to make room for something better to come along. Maybe a good situation has to end to make room for a great one. Maybe you have to get fired to make room for a new business. Maybe you have to take some bad-tasting medicine to get well.
    Never back away from expecting the best though, because no matter what happens, if you hold to your pure, joyous intention, it’s all just part of the process.
    …that’s my $.02 anyways =)

  • Avi Marcus says:

    Hale Dwoskin (Sedona Method) says to hold yourself it “hootlessness” when you don’t care if it happens or not. In an audio on money-clearing, he said to think of the things you fear, and let them go – because (somehow!) if you are fearing them you really want them.
    Not sure about that, but when you go up (positive expectation) and down (negative expectation) and allow both instances, then you are truly detaching yourself and entering hootlessness.
    If you WANT it to turn out good, that means you are still attached to the outcome! It’s a bit scary, but truly it seems by giving up wanting it to be good, we allow the energy to flow. And it does flow to the good – because that is the NATURAL state of things!

  • Kim Falconer says:

    I love these posts! Thank you Everyone, and Jeannette–great topic for discussion.
    My first thought is Giselle!
    She ‘expected’ with so much certainty of the outcome that there was no need, no attachment and of course, no disappointment. (If you don’t think your life can be a Disney movie if you want it to, come visit mine!)
    Sonia summed it up “Wanting without needing is the key” and it CAN be easier DONE than said with the right model.
    For me, I use air as my template. I expect with absolute trust and alignment that there will be beautiful air for me to breath. I’m not attached or worried. I KNOW, like Giselle, with every fiber of my being and I DO get excited about taking a deep breath–very excited about sea air, or mountain air, or cinnamon scented air or air from a rose….
    I say, rip it up! Tear it up! Amp it up! Live it up!!! I expect as wildly and zany and extreme as I can imagine!
    Mostly, I expect, no matter what, to have the time of my life….and I do!
    x Kim
    (SCUBA divers and astronauts email me for an alternate to the ‘air’ metaphor!)

  • MissyB says:

    Thanks Jeannette – I liked your take and everyones input.
    I’m still pondering…….
    ponder, ponder !

  • sonia says:

    Girls, u’re so smart! Jenny and Tia summed it up really nicely. wanting without needing is the key, but easier said than done, right? I found this site and it created miracles for me:
    you just place your orders to the universe, a due date and you forget about it. You feel like you’ve done your part and the neediness goes way. I already had 2 deliveries that came even sooner than I expected and I know the others are coming to. This made it easier for me to let go of the attachement. I’ve done my part, now it’s the universe’s job and I know that what I’ve asked for will come in the most wonderful way.
    I asked for really precise things like the words I wanted to get in a mesage from a special someone and I had exactely what I asked for.
    It worked for me, I hope it will work for you.
    Expecting the worse is not such a good idea, I think, because u get what u expect!

  • Erik says:

    Hi there,
    and thanks for the inspiration! I second TIA’s take on the choice between ‘preference’ and ‘need’. Only today I realized, that some of my wishes and needs constantly defy manifesting. I tried to find out why. Final conclusion: ‘need’ includes the image of ‘not having and being sad about it’. No take just the last quoted sentence and try to manifest – lol, not so good.
    I am trying, not without some pain, to let go of what I am trying to manifest and let the universe figure out how and when. I use to forget to feel good about what I want to manifest. This is where Jeannette really kicks you in your loa-behind 😉 (thanks for that) and reminds you to be happy.
    Expecting the worst is in part manifesting the worst. If the ‘worst’ wants to come and the universe thinks it fits for you, bring it on – but in my opinion, don’t waste your time thinking about worst cases when you can spend so much of this time feeling good and happy (which makes manifesting the good outcomes so much more likely).
    My 2 cents 😉

  • Yay for preference vs. need, Tia!! Thanks for putting it in really easy to distinguish terms.

  • From my “Expectations – Mother of All Muck-ups or Vital Ingredient of Life?” post in June, this is what I do:
    Make it a preference instead of a need.
    Preference = unattached to outcome.
    Need = attached to outcome.
    When there is a preference you would like something to be a certain way but regardless, your happiness doesn’t depend on it. When you *need* something, you’re creating and focusing on the lack around you and letting it control your happy button.
    Not the easiest thing to do as I find out every now and then (eg, in the dating world!). Practice makes easier though.

  • Hmm – interesting perspective I hadn’t considered, Ms Nikki – “no expectations.”
    Hmm. Well, you’ve got me thinking, although I have to admit I’m not ready to give up my positive expectations just yet.
    PS – how fabulous was it to hear you on the phone the other day?! WOO HOO!!!

  • MSNikki says:

    I ain’t havin’ it! The “expecting the worse so I won’t be disappointed” does not benefit anyone! For example, my AC went out early this spring. This is the equivalent of experiencing Gitmo-like conditions for those of us who live in Phoenix. I was terrified at the cost of a whole new system as I didn’t have the money to pay for it. I literally stressed myself sick with worry while researching companies. I expected to pay a lot. A generation’s worth of blood and plasma donations to be exact. Fortunately, I attracted the last honest contractor in Maricopa County who stated that I only needed to replace a couple of parts for $465. Was I relieved? Yes….with a side of the flu.
    I cosign with Iyabo. I already mentally spent my 2008 tax refund before it arrived. Once it was deposited, I felt that the amount wasn’t enough because I needed more of it!
    I went with some gals to go paint the pottery pieces that we made a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t have any expectations about how the pieces should look. As a result, I got really creative and painted beautiful designs! Meaning? I was at my most flexible and creative best without my mental constraints. I don’t know if this applies to money but I wanted to add this “Kung Fu grasshopper” moment to the discussion.

  • Mm, I remember that from Koelle’s workshop, Jenny. (She’s fabulous!)
    And for me, there’s a difference between accepting (what does or doesn’t happen) versus EXPECTING. I can expect the best and still be fine with whatever unfolds.
    At least, that’s my aspiration. 🙂
    Thanks for contributing to the conversation on this topic, Jenny! Much appreciated!

  • Jenny says:

    One thing I learned last weekend from Koelle Simpson was that the key to everything (sounds like a big statement, but I think *everything* is really what she meant) is to be okay if you get what you want and be okay if you don’t get what you want.
    In Koelle’s workshop at the Coaches Convention, a participant asked how to hold her energy positively so that the dog (the sweet labrador retriever that was in the room with us) would come over to her. Koelle said to be in that peaceful place and be happy now. Then be happy and enjoy him if he comes over, and be happy if he doesn’t come over. We can’t make him come over, but we can set ourselves up to the best possible outcome by feeling good now.
    I would say that this may be a form of expecting the worst, but at the same time, Koelle was asking us to acknowledge that we can be happy with or without that thing we want–and that’s our choice. Now she was just talking about being happy, not the Law of Attraction, though I get the sense that if we start wanting something and become graspy it could actually repel what we want. Dwelling upon the worst outcome might send it away as well. Being happy now and open to the possibilites that may or may not come will help us also be happy later, no matter what manifests. (all easier said than done, for me, anyway 🙂 )

  • Oooh, nicely done, Berta!: “Maybe the universe has a better solution for me to have what I want.”
    Way to step into “allowing” energy!!
    You make a great point about how important it is to keep “need” out of it. Thanks for your post, Berta!

  • Berta Bauer, Lighthouse Coaching and Retreats says:

    Janette, thank you for this timely blog; and thank you, Iyabo, for your explanation of the expectation vibe.
    I have been working so hard to manifest a buyer for our rental house that I have created a need around it and have “shut off everything else in my creative mind,” as Iyabo said. A couple of nights ago I watched a YouTube video titled “68 seconds,” where Abraham explains how to meditate, visualize and feel the vibration (pure thoughts) of what you want and how it works much greater than any physical work you can do.
    But, if you spend 68 seconds thinking/feeling what you NEED to happen in order to get what you really want, then you are splitting your vibe; and thus creating a conflicting vibe.
    In my case, I spent 68 seconds needing the rental house to sell in order to get what I really want and that is to own the house I live in and be financially free. My new vibe is to feel what it is like to own our house free and clear, maintain just one residence, landscape our yard, buy a hot tub, financially able to travel and a whole list of other things I want to have or feel. The rental house may or may not sell. Maybe the universe has a better solution for me to have what I want. By giving pure thoughts to owning our house and all that it means, it will be so fun to see how the universe will manifest my desires from my new expectation vibe.

  • I like that, Emiko – letting ‘er rip, going wild and dissolving any party pooper thoughts.
    “This or something better” is a great technique I often forget to employ – thanks for the reminder!

  • Emiko Jaffe says:

    Oooh great question! I (intend to!) follow the suggestions of non-resistance, non-judgement and non-attachment when I focus on manifestesting something. When I’m magnetizing what I truly want, I let it rip and go wild with what I’m asking for–no limits (if I’m feeling stuck or iffy, I go into thought dissolving work mode). When I’ve asked for what I want I like to add “Thanks, this or something better!” which I learned from Miss Susan Hyatt (and I think she heard it from Martha Beck).
    I like the point Iyabo makes, too, about non-attachment and realizing that any monetary amount we ask for pales in comparison to the power inherent in our ability to create and generate positive feeling states.
    Totally looking forward to hearing more thoughts on this . . .

  • Thanks for chiming in this conversation, Beth!
    I’m wondering, do you think we’re missing out on any opportunities by keeping some expectations in check? If we get what we expect, is there any reason not to go all out gangbusters with them?

  • Iyabo Asani, The Inner Genius Coach says:

    Jeanette, this is a good one.
    A couple of years ago, I got paid the highest amount I have ever been paid. A huge check. And when I got it, I had been expecting it for so long that by the time it showed up, it had already been spent 20 times over.
    Recently, I got a payment out of the clear blue sky that was sizable but no where near as large as that check I got once upon a time but this time, I was so much more elated and overjoyed about it.
    Sometimes when we are expecting something like money, we actually get into worry and start spending it and we tie up a lot of potential outcomes into it. That is not expectation. Yet we all do it. We are expecting out of our need and not our sheer wants.
    When expectation serves you is when you think totally out of the box. Let me give a complete example.
    Since we are in the Money Mojo Magic class, let us use money again, say one is expecting to create 500 new dollars this week and the purpose of the expectation is to pay the rent due the first of the month. Then you start thinking about it and you feel good about it and then you end up shutting off everything else in your creative mind except this 500 new dollars. That is all you can think about. Then it becomes, “I sure hope it comes because I really need it.”
    Can you see how the expectation vibe has shifted? The end of this type of vibe is when the $500 shows up. The actual vibe of expectation goes waaay beyond the showing up of the $500.
    So think of it this way, you want $500 to pay the rent, right? You want to deliberately craft your expectation around how well taken care of you are and how your rent shows up every time on time and how wonderful it feels to know that your attraction magnet is super duper strong and clean and how much fun you are having and how you love the home you live in and how with that kind of vibe, $500 is chump change.
    That is how you activate the expectation vibe. Afterall, the Universe is friendly and you are the most amazing and valuable thing in the Universe.

  • Beth Banning says:

    Great post! I think it’s better to keep your expectations in check in which you can do some sort of check and balance. It helps you gain better perspective and lets you avoid seeing things with a tunnel vision. By creating a perfect balance between positive and negative expectations, you’d find it easier to deal with success and failures.

  • Nice shift with expectation, Iyabo! Thanks for your example of it!

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