by Bryan Golden
I probably won’t get that promotion.” “I don’t know if I’ll get a good grade on my next test.” “I just can’t lose weight.” “I’m always late for work.” “It’s hard for me to meet people.” “I don’t like my job but what else can I do?” “I seem to always have bad luck.” “People are always taking advantage of me.”
I’m sure you’ve heard all of the above. You may have even made these kind of statements yourself. The problem with these thoughts is that they put you into a mindset of low expectations. Before anything even happens, you start out anticipating the worst. When your prediction comes true, your belief in low expectations is reinforced.
Unfortunately, this pattern creates a vicious cycle of negative thoughts creating negative results. The person caught up in such a cycle is convinced their attitude results from their experiences, when in reality the reverse is true. What happens to you is effected by your expectations.
People with low expectations object vociferously to any suggestion that they play a role in the circumstances they find themselves in. A failure to recognize the cause and effect relationship between attitude and results relegates a person to an endless loop of frustration.
You will hear people with low expectations justify their position by claiming they are being realistic and don’t want to be disappointed. What they fail to realize is when you aim for the stars and fall short, you will hit the moon. But if you aim for the basement, you’ll never get off the ground.
Low expectations serve no purpose other than to limit the chance for success. No one who has ever accomplished anything significant has had low expectations. Goals will be reached only with high expectations.
People fear disappointment. There is also an aversion to failure. It’s a real blow to a person’s ego to admit having failed. Low expectations serve as a disclaimer. If something doesn’t work it’s no big deal. After all, there was never any predication of success. When one advertises a probability of poor results, in their mind there can be no failure.
In reality, these people have acknowledged they will fail before even starting. So when low expectations generate poor results, they have simply lived up to their expectations. They have convinced themselves that everything is ok because their expectations are constantly met.
These people limit their accomplishments by expecting so little of themselves. Rather than living without limits, they condition themselves to live with restrictions. These self-imposed limitations then start to feel so normal they don’t realize they exist.
The mind is programmed by low expectations to expect and be satisfied with mediocre or poor results. More importantly, the mind works to bring the low expectations to reality. Your mind does not discriminate, it will work equally diligently to accomplish high or low expectations.
People who are consistently successful make a habit of developing high expectations, regardless of the challenges at hand. They don’t get discouraged if results should fall short. They redouble their efforts and keep going.
Since you are capable of much more than you realize, why would you want to shortchange yourself by aiming low? Don’t be afraid of failure. Aim as high as you can. Expect great results. Before you get started, anticipate a positive outcome. Believe in your own potential.
People with high expectations will always outperform those with low expectations. Every winner expected to win at the outset. Frustrated people tend to lack a belief in their potential. You have complete control over your expectations. So next time you face a challenge, expect the best.
NOW AVAILABLE: “Dare to Live Without Limits,” the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at email@example.com or write him c/o this paper. 2006 Bryan Golden.