This is the secret to your happiness

Great expectations are letting you down. At least that what Emotional Intelligence 2.0 author Dr Travis Bradberry would have you believe.

Bradberry says it’s our expectations more than anything else that shape our experience of the world and if we don’t believe in ourselves then it is highly likely we will not succeed.

It appears Bradberry has some back-up in his theory. A thesis published by the Louisiana State University highlights that if you believe in your skills, experience and overall ability you will use more of your brain to solve a problem as opposed to someone who doesn’t back themselves.

While the study focussed on the role self-efficacy, motivation and outcome expectations had in a student-education setting, it can be applied more broadly. An example of this is among patients who experience negative syndromes when they expect them, but those patients who expect a positive outcome often show signs of improvement.

Yoga instructor and modern-day voyager Amanda Christian is a strong believer in letting go of your expectations to expose you to more exploration and trust.

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“When expectation rules our lives, we set ourselves up for disappointment,” Christian says.

After graduating from university with an engineering degree, Christian says she felt weighed down by the expectations placed upon her (most of which were self-imposed). But she never really believed engineering was ‘her thing’ and she was unhappy. She says only when she relieved herself of those expectations and opened herself up to more desirable possibilities did she find her happiness.

If you are feeling sorry for yourself, are waiting for an opportunity to just fall into your lap, think that everyone has to like or agree with you, think you can change someone else to suit you, or feel like you are going to fail, stop. These things could potentially be making your life unnecessarily difficult.

Instead consider Christian’s path to life: “Approach life from a place of exploration.This opens you up to experiencing things that are beyond your wildest dreams. It’s okay to have goals, but make sure to leave room for something even greater to come along.”

She wants you to let go of the external things you think will make you happy, “like a thinner body because it will make you feel happy and loved or a relationship because you will no longer feel lonely” and look within yourself for the answers to your happiness.

Relax and let go of the misguided expectations stopping you from being the best person you can be.

Have you been held back because of faulty expectations? How have you moved beyond this and towards happiness?