Release Yourself from Expectations

The way we perceive the world is, in part, based upon our expectations. As we get older, we gain life experience and tend to expect certain behaviors, good or bad, from society.

I’ve learned through jobs, friendships, and intimate relationships that I cannot go into them bracing for impact or filled with excitement. I have to go in with zero expectations.

As I was researching essential oils and mental clarity, I discovered the term “shoshin.”

There is a concept in Zen Buddhism known as shoshin, which means “beginner’s mind.” Shoshin refers to the idea of letting go of your preconceptions and having an attitude of openness when studying a subject. When you are a true beginner, your mind is empty and open.

This is possibly one of the most important concepts to live by!

I constantly tell myself to go into every setting with an empty cup. If I go into a situation with a full cup, I won’t be present. I would have already walked in with a preconceived idea of what’s going to happen, how I’m going to react, and how things will end. My expectations would mentally prepare me to get rejected, not be heard, and to not get excited. Yes, this can be viewed as self-sabotage, but when you have these experiences multiple times, you brace for impact. There have been times when I’ve built positive expectations and thought of all of the wonderful possibilities only to have it get shot down because I was anticipating a better outcome.

With shoshin, you live your life with an openness which causes less anxiety. Whether you’re going on a date, you want a particular job, or something else you have a yen for, toss it into the universe and go with the flow. Conceive positive thoughts, but don’t fill your mind with the good or bad that may or may not happen. If it’s meant for you and you put the work in, it will come.

Keep your mind open, expect nothing, look for the good in each situation, but most importantly, keep your life moving.

The Difficulty, Yet Necessity, of Positive Thinking

Why is it so difficult to think positive yet extremely easy to be negative? Is it because we live in a negative world? One that constantly tells us we’re not good enough regardless of how hard we try. A society that constantly compares us to the next person and is quick to point out our flaws. What about our own internal struggles? We put ourselves down on a regular basis regardless of if the people who love us say the opposite.

I’ve noticed, in this supercharged political time, something as basic as a video of a cat playing with a ball of yarn can turn political in the comments. How can something so innocent and non-threatening make people think about politics? It’s as if some people look for the negative in everything or receive pleasure in triggering others to join their negative space.

How about we try to be more positive?

Take some time out of your day and think about the positive things in your life. If you have a hard time, start with the basics.

  1. You woke up.
  2. You have clean running water to wash your body and brush your teeth with.
  3. When you look in the mirror, compliment yourself as if you’re Johnny Bravo.

If you need some more ways to start thinking positive, here are 11 Ways to Boost Positive Thinking.

Let’s start the new week on a positive note!