So you’re practicing mindfulness… that’s great! It will make you a better parent, spouse, worker, and person in general, right? Self-judgment can be the hardest thing to overcome when working toward living a mindful life.
We often have many expectations when we begin our mindfulness journey, but it is important to let the expectations go. Letting go is one of the goals of mindfulness, as well as making time to just be, and reflecting without judgment.
One way to control the expectations in your life is to make a list of them. Try and make a list of 100 expectations that you have. You may be balking, thinking that you don’t have 100 expectations, but we bet that you do! Sit down and think about it a bit. These expectations will make your journey into mindfulness doomed for failure. It can be a challenge to let go of your expectations, but once you do you will experience a sense of freedom.
Nothing in life is certain and when we attempt to control outcomes we are only met with uncertainty which can increase anxiety and unhappiness. Often our expectations in life are completely false. We feel that once we achieve something new we will finally experience happiness or peace, but in reality nothing could be farther from the truth. Having expectations can lead us to cling to a belief that is untrue, and it can be difficult to let go of these expectations.
Now, letting go of expectations does not mean that you should let go of hope. There is a difference between having hope and having expectations. When we hope or wish for something our desires are flexible. Expectations, on the other hand, are rigid and inflexible. Having hopes, wishes and desires about outcomes in our lives are perfectly acceptable.
Mindfulness will not change your life so that all your problems disappear and you become a better person, instead mindfulness is all about living in the moment and being able to flow with life. This flow allows us to be flexible and live life with hope. Mindfulness helps us to move forward in life without judgment.As soon as we try to use mindfulness solve a particular problem, we’ve already moved away from the present moment and are then focusing on future results. Instead of trying to achieve a set of outcomes through mindfulness, mindfulness training helps us understand and better our lives in each particular moment.