How to Have Zero Expectations (Without Ditching Your Dreams!)

Young african woman stuck in a carton

Today was an unusual Christmas. With my Dad no longer (physically) with us, and my little Brother’s family missing from the mix, our usual rituals, antics and energy were dialed way, way WAY down.

As my Mom, my older Brother, and myself loafed leisurely around the house, I realized how far I’ve come with how I view the world — as this kind of change might have ruffled my feathers many years earlier . . .

Did you know that expectations are the cause of almost all holiday sorrow and sadness?

This time of year often triggers the blues – when people long for times, and people, who are all long-passed . . .

But the holidays aren’t the only time smart women create pain (on purpose) by having expectations that bite them in the buns.

Expectations can creep into your business, your love-life, health, relationships – and everything in between!

And for the most part, they’re not doing you a darn lick o’ good.

Thing is: people get scared to ditch those darn expectations because they believe they are the very fuel that ignites their dreams.

They believe that if they stopped expecting life to be different — then they would just lounge around, munch on bon-bons, and zone out to Jerry Springer reruns until they shriveled up.

But the exact OPPOSITE is true.

And until you learn how to ditch your expectations, life may feel like one loooooong, lousy, oh-so-bumpy ride . . .

But first: What do I mean by “expectations”, anyway?

Expectations are when you have a preconceived notion of how things should unfold, or an attachment (big or small) to any particular outcome.

Every single human on the planet has been trained from birth to believe that attempting to control life is the way to be safe; be successful; be happy.

But it is a hopeless, futile way to live – simply because it’s impossible to pull off.

Just when you think you’ve got one aspect of life wrestled to the ground, another annoying thing (or person) springs up in it’s place . . . creating a never-ending cycle of stress.


The way you’ve been taught to deal with life is the very thing CAUSING your woes!!!!! (NOT your actual “problems” themselves.)

What no one told you is: Once you accept “What Is”, and roll with what reality dishes out (without fighting, changing or resisting it)–– your energy and optimism are freed up to create, ponder, dream and design new outcomes. New pathways. New inventions. Bold solutions.

You are freed up to let Source energy flow THROUGH you. And that is the most unstoppable energy around!

So what’s your expectation-torture of choice?…

Do you expect…

  • your body to act or look a particular way?
  • your partner to respond in a certain manner?
  • people to do what you want, when you want it?
  • your life to look all nice n’ sweaky-clean?
  • your home to be a pristine, perfect palace?
  • your colleagues to respond fairly?
  • your children to hold specific values?
  • people to not lie, cheat, steal or behave badly?
  • projects to work out within your specific time-frame?

What’s your favorite expectation-flavor?

List 5 things you expect by filling in these blanks with the first thought that comes to mind (don’t sensor):

  1. I expect my lover to ___________________________________________ .
  2. I expect my government to ______________________________________ .
  3. I expect my children to _________________________________________ .
  4. I expect my money to __________________________________________ .
  5. I expect my body to ____________________________________________ .

Or heck, let’s look at the holiday-hoo-hah too…

  • During the holidays, I expect myself to _______________________________.

Getting clear and honest about the expectations we have is the first step to healing this age-old habit.

But HOW do you change all these if you’ve been having expectations like this your whole life?

Let’s walk through 5 quick steps to help you begin to nix your expectation-woes:


As they say: the proof is in the pudding!

So the first step is to question the results you’re getting when you try to dictate life’s outcomes…

Is it easy? Pleasant? Fun? Or Satisfying?

Is it sustainable — leading to lasting fulfillment?

Or is it hard, stressful, and exhausting?

Once you start to open your eyes to the REAL results of your efforts, your mind will likely lay off the ol’ expectations… for good!


Instead of automatically assuming that life is out to be a royal pain in your butt —consider that life is ALWAYS on your side. (Even if that’s a tough pill to swallow.)

I’ve personally come to see that:

  • Life is always kind.
  • Life gives you exactly what your Soul needs most.
  • There is always a silver lining to every situation.
  • Your outer world is the greatest indicator of your inner energy.

So see if you can look at the life around you, and begin exploring the possibilities hidden within your current “problems”. What realizations, insights, new perspectives, or outright gifts are waiting just beneath the surface?


If you get torked-off whenever circumstances don’t pan out as you’d expect, then you’re letting life’s details dictate your happiness.

If you’re happy only when life lines certain things up “just so”, then you’ve got things back-assward. Bigtime.

Whether it’s your finances, your relationships, your kids, or your health — using any external subject as the object of your joy is seriously tough stuff.

You’ll end up spending your life running ragged — attempting to control external details to make you feel hunky-dory inside.

The WAY easier route is just to get happy within. First.

If you prioritize feeling great – no matter what the details may be – then you’ll remain giddy (when life gets gunky). And you’ll be 10,000x more likely to attract wonderful things magically into your lap, too.



We’re all trained to focus on our problems in order to shoo them out the door. We often think if we can push against them enough, then they’ll finally budge.

But that’s a big ol’ load of bologna.

The more you try to change a problem, you make it bigger.

Whatever you resist, persists.

So next, take a challenging moment and flip it on its head to ease up some of that resistance and tension…

For example:

— If you expect yourself to do 15 tasks today, but you barely touched 3 — try focusing on what you DID accomplish.

— If you expect someone to behave calmy, but they get loud and angry instead — try finding the BENEFITS of their boisterous behavior.

— If you expect your body to be pain-free, but it most definitely isn’t — see if you can stay focused on how you DESIRE to feel one day, and take small actions from a place of positivity.

I know this exercise can be tough…

We’re all so used to looking at only 1 (negative) side of the coin, that it may take some practice to start flipping tough situations around to their perks.

You may struggle at first, but with practice you may just find that fixating on life’s Pluses becomes utterly second-nature.


You may find yourself taking actions from expectations too, like:

  • Expecting yourself to buy gifts on holidays
  • Expecting yourself to cook dinner every night
  • Expecting yourself to spend time with certain people

Women are especially taught to put others first. Many are taught that to be a “good little girl” you should make others happy. And therefore YOU’LL be happy, too.

But it doesn’t work that way.

And one of the best ways to squash a woman’s brilliance is to give away her power by getting her to worry about what other people think.

But here’s the truth: what other’s think of you is NONE of your business.

— When someone things you’re wonderful… it’s not personal.

— When someone thinks you’re a weirdo… it’s not personal.

People are just walking human projectors, splaying their beliefs, views and concepts onto and over EVERYTHING in their path.

But it seems that women take the cake when it comes to this kind of worry.

  • You may have cultural expectations — like how to behave as a woman.
  • You may have domestic expectations — like doing certain household chores.
  • You may have personal expectations — like perfectionist tendencies around your work.

Whatever your unique flavor: if you take a cold, hard look you may discover that you’re sometimes operating more from guilt, worry or fear of disappointment, than your own inner genuine truth.

So join me as we commit to stop feeling responsible for other people’s happiness, comfort, or joy. (That’s their job, not yours.)

No, that doesn’t mean to become a callous, selfish butt-wad. Far, far from it.

But it does mean to stop trying to fill your self-worth from what other people think. And just learn to adore yourself. Just as you are. No. Matter. What.

When your inner-bucket is finally filled up to the tippy-tippy-top, you’ll no longer need to win people’s approval, make others happy, or do things out of guilt.

And you can just BE happy, instead.

So join me in the crusade to end expectations!

Isn’t it about time you and I had some new rules to play by? Rules that left you in a happy-go-lucky, fulfilled state o’ mind?

It’s time to stop limiting your future by projecting your past into tomorrow’s reality – and instead, learn to take things as they come.

If you learn to accept “what is” you will NOT become a doormat.

You will finally learn to love and accept yourself unconditionally.

And that love will ripple out to every person you meet. For the rest of your life.

If you accept reality, you will be left with the intuition and energy to lovingly, compassionately change the world –– all with your own beautiful bare hands.

It’s the only way to peace.

And that peace begins within YOU.

Until next time – be Unstoppable!

© Copyright 2014 Stephanie McWilliams LLC 

This entry was posted in Inspired Action, Manifesting, Unstoppable Mindset. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.

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