How to defuse yourself in the face of unmet expectations 

Unmet expectations? Learn how to stay calm in the face of adversity.

I’m in the process of having a new website built. I’m excited about this because it has been on the “need to do” list for a while. I’m looking forward to sharing it with you and the rest of the world soon!

In the process of this new build, I discovered that I could cancel one of my website hosting accounts and I was told by customer service I would get a refund. I tried to do this yesterday but was told by billing that they don’t issue refunds after 45 days, even when an account doesn’t expire until 2021 (or forever I’m guessing by the complicated discussion). So instead of getting a refund of $288 USD as I was expecting, I get nothing back.

This experience made me angry.

I was getting ready for work this morning and was running a bit late. But the kids were moving forward and it looked like we were going to get back on track with timing when suddenly my 11-year-old “fell” down the stairs and lay at the bottom yelling that assistance was required. Since I had observed the slow-motion fall down 5 stairs and knew that no injuries could have resulted, I ignored the calls for a while, until they became so frustrating I ended up at the bottom of the stairs, pulling up said child while hollering loudly.

This experience made me angry.

At work, I have 4 staff members who are without desks at the moment. Desks are in the works but there are issues and in the meantime 4 people are desk surfing. Most recently I was told that another department now has priority over my department on new desks and we will have to wait some more. In the course of a discussion with the building manager I found myself getting more and more frustrated because of what I perceived as the “unfairness” of the situation.

This experience made me angry.


Is it possible to choose your reaction to anger?

I’ve been contemplating anger lately because I want less anger and more joy in my life.

Someone recently shared that anger is the result of unmet expectations.And that I get to choose if I want to be angry or stay angry, and that if something is outside of my control, maybe letting go of anger might be in my best interest.

This information has been life changing for me!

I have a bit of a hot temper so I still have lots to learn about remaining calm in the face of adversity BUT what I’ve noticed is that while I’m in that early stage of anger, if I can name the expectation that is not being met for me, it is a lot easier to let go of the anger.

  • I expected to get a refund that I could put towards my website build.
  • I expected that my kids would continue to get ready for school without my direct assistance.
  • I expected that my team would have desks to work in.

Acknowledging that my expectations were not met didn’t change that they weren’t. But it allowed me to realize almost immediately that I could choose to stay angry or not. And each time I was able to let go.

Letting go is powerful because it allows the energy of holding on to be used more productively!

So, the next time you find your anger begin to rise, I encourage you to consider:

“What is the unmet expectation here?” and then “How can I change or let go of this expectation?”

And then notice what is possible with the openness that occurs in you; the opportunity that moves in when anger goes away.

To you, in letting go of unmet expectations…








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