It is often said that someone shouldn’t have any expectations. One of the reasons that is put forward is that, by having them, they are likely to end up being let down.

However, even if someone is able to arrive at a place where they no longer expect anything, it doesn’t mean that they won’t expect anything. This might sound like a contradiction but, what it comes down to is that they have both a conscious and an unconscious mind.

A Closer Look

Therefore, even if they no longer consciously expect anything, they can still expect a lot at an unconscious level. To take a step back, while it might sound like a good idea for them to not have any expectations, they are likely to find that arriving at this place is not easy.

Yet, even to arrive at a place where they have moments when they are free from any expectations will be an achievement. This can be seen as something that is far more realistic than completely letting go of them.

Two Levels

Now, when it comes to the expectations that they are not aware of, these will have an effect on how they experience life. But, as they are outside of their conscious awareness, they won’t be aware of this.

Thanks to the impact that these expectations have, they can conclude that they are unlucky and/or are being punished by someone or something ‘out there’. This can mean that one or a number of areas of their life are not going well.

The Reason

At this point, they might wonder how their expectations could have an impact on how they experience life. If they have heard that having expectations is a waste of time as it generally leads to disappointment, this is to be expected.

It will be as though what is taking place inside them has no impact on what takes place externally, with them being nothing more than an observer of reality. But, as they are not simply an observer of reality and this is an illusion that their disconnected mind creates, what is going on within them impacts their reality.

Going Deeper

The expectations that they have at this level will largely be the result of what took place during their formative years. And, if this was a stage of their life that was anything but nurturing, this is likely to mean that they will have a number of ‘negative’ expectations.

Many, many years will have passed and their conscious mind will have forgotten about most if not all of these expectations but they will have continued to shape their reality. What they expect to happen will relate to what did happen when they were a child.

Back In Time

Assuming that they had a childhood that was anything but nurturing, both their mother and their father might have been emotionally unavailable and out of reach. Along with this, their mother and/or father may have been verbally and physically abusive.

Not receiving the love that they needed would have wounded and deeply deprived them. The pain that they experienced and the needs that were not met would have ended up being repressed by their brain.

Another Part

Moreover, there will be the beliefs and expectations that they formed as a result of what took place. How they were treated was not a reflection of their worth or lovability, but, as they were egocentric and their brain was underdeveloped, what took place would have been personalised.

If this wasn’t the case, they wouldn’t have developed beliefs that relate to them not being enough, among other things. They would have also been able to see that there was no need for them to develop expectations based on how their mother and/or father treated them.

For Example

When it comes to the expectations that they formed, they may find that they have some, if not all of the following:

• That they expect to be rejected
• That they expect to be abandoned
• That they expect to be criticised
• That they expect to be harmed
• That they expect to be ignored
• That they expect to be humiliated

A Replay

Although these expectations will be a reflection of how it was for them as a child and not how it has to be for them as an adult, their unconscious mind won’t realise this. To this part of them, these expectations will continue to reflect reality.

This is because this part of them has no sense of time and is blind. They will then expect to have the same experiences and as this part of them is completely convinced that they will, they will continue to have the same experiences.

Drawing the Line

For them to no longer recreate their early experience, they will need to become aware of and question what they expect. The other part of this will be for them to face and work through the pain that they experienced and experience their unmet developmental needs.


If someone can relate to this and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or healer.

Author's Bio: 

Author, transformational writer, teacher and consultant, Oliver JR Cooper, hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation, including love, partnership, self-love, self-worth, enmeshment, inner child, true self and inner awareness. With over three thousand, two hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice.

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