…and How it’s Different than Anticipation

I was so worked up, filled with angst and anger that I couldn’t sleep. It took about an hour to calm down, reframe my thinking, release emotions and get to the root of the inner turmoil.

Disappointment caused by expectations, do you know what I’m talking about?

In promoting my new book, I’ve been working to get book reviews. Like many authors, copies of book are given to either professional reviewers, or people who request to read in exchange for a review. I’d joined a professional women’s group, and offered it to a few clients who seemed eager. At least 40 copies went out.

A few people followed through and I was so grateful. Ironically, it was people whom I didn’t know that left reviews. I followed up with the others and no response. Or worse, “Yes, so sorry I’ll do it by the end of the week!” And then crickets. 

The feeling of disappointment and angst I felt was admittedly larger than the current situation called for. But this is how it feels when a current situation is triggering an older, unresolved situation.

I felt unappreciated, disrespected and lied to. I’d just worked for years to write a book in order to help people, then give my work for free and then people don’t follow through.

It’s my work, and reviews are critical, so I cared a great deal. I want nothing more than lots of people to benefit from the words on that page, and without reviews, it’s less likely to happen.

I was also sad. When people don’t do what they say they’ll do, especially when it comes to being helpful or agreeing to something, it makes me lose heart.

But what if I didn’t have the expectation that I had? What if some people didn’t have time, or didn’t like the book, or maybe they have a shame wound that has created inner turmoil including procrastination, or other personal afflictions? 

Expectation can make you miserable. Expectation is based in need, and often ego. We expect to be treated a certain way that will make us feel worthy, validated, seen or heard. We expect to be loved a certain way to fulfill our emotional needs that perhaps weren’t fulfilled as a child. We expect a certain income because that identifies our value. We expect lots of things in this society, and it’s creating a culture of unhappiness.

Anticipation, on the other hand, is a different energy than expectation. Anticipation is looking forward to something that is in motion, or that we have been part of creating, and is fueled with excitement or joy. It’s the humming in your spirit that things are aligning and a new adventure ensues.

What would it feel like to detach from expectation but step into anticipation? If you didn’t expect someone (or thing) to satisfy one of your needs, but you satisfied it yourself, maybe you wouldn’t feel let down, disappointed, or angry. 

What if I had gifted my books for the sole purpose of helping others and sharing my work rather than expecting something in return? Or I could pay reviewers to get the job done and assure its success. Then, I would have gotten the reviews I wanted, and whatever reviews I did get from people I gifted it to without expectation, I would have been even happier with the surprise and thoughtfulness sent my way.

What if, instead of expectation, we create the experiences we need to feel honored, loved, seen, heard and supported in our lives – and then lived with joyful anticipation of watching the universe respond to our high vibration thoughts and actions?

When we release expectation and create healthy boundaries and self-care steps to make sure our needs are met, we release the attachment to old pain. We can sleep better at night, honor our work, love ourselves and wake with the anticipation of knowing we are doing our best and will attract what is meant to be in our lives.

If you are one of the people who agreed to do a review, but didn’t, not to worry, I’ve released expectation and disappointment from the experience. 

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