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What You Expect Is What You Get

by Dieter Pauwels November 26, 2008

Your expectations define your reality. What you expect is what you get.  It’s simple, yet powerful and profound all at the same time.  The question is, "Do you expect the best possible outcome for yourself and others?" If you do expect that good things will happen, they usually do.  Not all of the time, but in general, when you expect to succeed, you will.  When you expect to win you're more likely to do so.  When you expect to live a happy and satisfying life, it happens. Conversely, when you expect to fail, be miserable, confused, conflicted or stressed …. you are. 

It’s not fate or karma at work here.  It is the basic fact that your attitude, your mental disposition, and general outlook attract similar behaviors and reactions in those around you.  Positive people are surrounded by positive influences. They have a support system of positive people who rally behind them when things don’t go as planned. Negative people only receive more negativity and doubt when they are faced with adversity or challenge. 

The expectations that you present to the world about yourself, and the people around you, will usually manifest. Just the way our expectations of others influence how we deal with them, they also influence how other people respond to us.

If you’ve ever worked with a person who is primarily negative you will know what I’m talking about.  A negative workplace is the least productive, least satisfying, and least motivating environment to be in.  Negativity is like a black hole that even the brightest light can’t escape from.  Once you get caught up in negativity, it is almost impossible to break free.  To avoid this trap you can work on developing positive expectations about yourself and others.

This does not mean you can choose any expectation and expect it to come true. Aside from having a positive and expecting attitude, your expectations must meet two other criteria before they can help you become the person you want to be.  They must be realistic and true to your self.

Unrealistic expectations are just as damaging as negative ones.  When you never achieve success you begin to doubt yourself.  All your positive energy is swiftly transformed to negativity.  This brings you right back to where you don’t want to be.

If your expectations are not true to the person you are or to person you want to become, you won’t commit to making them a reality.  All too often people try to live up to the expectations of others, such as a parent, a manager, a significant other, a teacher or another authority figure. Make sure your expectations are congruent with who you really are. That is the only way you will realize long term success, and the only way your expectations will continue to remain positive.

"High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation."
(Charles F. Kettering)

  • Commit yourself to setting positive and realistic expectations about all the things you truly want and deserve. Write an affirmation statement that asserts your expectation of a positive outcome.
  • Make sure your affirmations are aligned with the beliefs you hold about yourself and others.
  • Take the necessary action steps to make your self-affirmations a reality.
  • Develop confidence and take responsibility for your own life.
  • Remind yourself constantly that you get what you expect.
  • Create a powerful visual message or anchor that you can refer to when you feel negativity creep in. 
  • Work everyday at bringing to you the resources you need to make your expectations a reality.

You will find both power and happiness when you begin to set your own standards and expectations based on what is true for you. You are what you believe, and you become what you expect.  Expect the best, and only the best, from life, from others, and from yourself!

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