Okay, here I am on my journey, doing my thing and expecting other people to be doing their thing as I see it. Wait-a-minute… As I see it?
That’s the thing. You can’t interpret someone else’s doingness from your perspective. Truly not possible. You have no idea what’s going on in someone else’s life, just like no one has any idea about what’s going on inside your life inside your head, or have a clue of what it takes for you to accomplish any of the things that are noticeable by others.
For me, it’s all about my unrealistic expectations, the impossible standard to which I hold myself accountable, which I am seriously reviewing at present. Because I hold myself to such (ridiculously) high standards, my expectation of others is to perform likewise without any consideration for what may be happening in anyone’s life or circumstance. This attitude permeates both my personal and professional life, as I maintain unreasonable expectations for those within my inner circle as well as clients and employees.
In the real world, when you have such a degree of expectation of any specific result, you are setting the stage for catastrophe, because rarely does anything happen or come into being, without some degree of chaos. This is a fact of life. Yes, things still happen, ideas materialize and projects come to fruition, but rarely without a hitch or challenge along the way.
When you have a specific expectation based on specific criteria and the verbal (or contractual) agreements of someone else you are setting the stage for failure. Even though everything might go according to plan, in many cases it will not. Now, you can militantly demand your expectation to be manifested – or else. You can unfriend, disenfranchise, excommunicate, or fire anyone who doesn’t comply one hundred percent, but you run the risk of being considered a narcissist with psychopathic tendencies.
It’s a much more palatable process to embrace the idea of “intentional allowance.” That is to say, instead of having a specific detailed black and white expectation, think of reframing your expectation and transforming your expectation into an intention.
Instead of saying, “Okay, the four or you are selected for this project. I expect a delineated solution to the problem proposed presented in the conference room at 2:00 p.m.” period, offer up an intentional allowance alternative, such as, “I’d like you four to (it’s my intention that the four of you) examine this specific problem, and present me with your ideas for solution at 2:00 tomorrow in the conference room.” In the first scenario, you expect the outcome and if your expectations are not met, you can simply fire the participants (or any other unreasonable punishment for noncompliance). In the second scenario, you have stated your intention to arrive at solution and allowed them to do the best they can with what they have, and the result is what it is.
I totally get the ROI (return on investment) idea of running a militaristic operation being more cost effective when results are measured on simply results based on expenditure of time and/or financial outlay. On the other hand if you embrace the idea of intentional allowance, you allow someone to comfortably shine and express their ideas, options and input utilizing their unique inner strengths and abilities by offering them a safe space to exercise and deliver their creative best, in contrast to barking a do-this-or-else command (with its associated unrealistic expectation). Plus, when you’re empowering people to shine, the results can far exceed your expectations. It may take more time/investment but the return can be far greater if you intentionally allow things to come to life.
Don’t Take It Personally
I know, if someone doesn’t keep their word, you react as if they just poured battery acid all over your new car’s paint job, smashed out all the windows in your house and boiled your daughter’s bunny, “Aargh!” And all this angst over something that just simply is.
If someone does not do what they said they will do (in the manner you expected) it’s not the end of the world. Your stuff is about you, and someone else’s stuff is about them. Honor both sides of the human experience, as if we’re all doing the best we can with what we have, because we are.
Even though you are the most important person in the world (and indeed, you are, from your perspective) you must understand that to everyone else likewise, they are the most important person in the world (from their perspective). You can either demand they respect you more than they do themselves (sacrificing all) and beat them into submission or give them the opportunity to find the best results using all their resources in the way that works best for them.
All you really have to do is to relax your expectation by applying intentional allowance and turning your expected outcome into an intention and allow the people, situations, circumstances and challenges to emerge, unfold and naturally come to fruition in as peaceful atmosphere as possible.
So, it takes a bit of effort to try to teach the old-dog part of you a new trick. The effort of altering your ideas and concepts regarding your expectations and the need to penalize any misstep (applicable not only to others, but including yourself) and intentionally allowing a general result can take some practice and time.
Stop Self Deprecating
No more beating yourself up for holding yourself to our own unrealistic expectations. Allow for your own growth in the most natural way by letting yourself expand exponentially with better results.
I’m not saying to throw it all into the wind, rather turn your goals into intentions also. Stop self deprecating (or beating yourself up) for failure. Instead, review the data and look for a better way, readjust, re-position if necessary, and keep on keeping on.
Just like anything else, think about creating your new intentional allowance as an intention. Don’t expect you to adopt this new reframe instantly without faltering. Generally intend to “get there” by practicing over time and allow yourself to do the best you can with what you have.