Expectations and Accountability

Everyone has expectations. Expectations of their partners, children, managers, employees. Heck we even have expectations of the animals around us and even nature. We expect all of them to be “good”, whatever that looks like to us. And when it’s not, we call it “unexpected” and generally deem it “bad”.

Now there are things that are unexpected that we deem as “good”, but I have found that most folks don’t like the unexpected. They want life to be an uneventful ride. But I can tell you, that is never the case. Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, once said “Change is the only constant in life.” Which means, the unexpected will happen.

We also tend to set a bar (usually very high) as to what we think we can achieve in a day, week, month, or year without really looking at what it takes to get there. Then, when we don’t achieve it, we badmouth ourselves. Call ourselves lazy, no good, not worth it, stupid, etc.

We can also set the bar too low and pretend we’re getting lots of things done, but never move very far. “See? I did all this stuff! I’m SO BUSY! I can’t possibly take on another thing!” Reality is somewhere in between.

“My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.”

~ Oprah Winfrey

Managing Expectations

Managing our expectations is a skill. It requires looking at and accepting the truth of things as they are, not as we want them to be. It requires allowing people and things to be just what they are. Allowing

  • the weather to be sunny, rainy, stormy, or still,
  • your children to be the age they are, and act accordingly,
  • people to be who they are, right where they are,

and adjusting your thoughts and actions to what’s happening. This may be adjusting proximity or perspective… or something in between.

We get in trouble when we “should” on people because we’re placing our expectations on them and creating expectations of ourselves.

When you’re able to look at things just as they are, you begin to be able to adjust your expectations to something feasible and acceptable and you can then manage those expectations with those around you.


It also gives the opportunity to be positively accountable with yourself and those around you. Webster defines accountability as “the obligation or willingness to accept responsibility for one’s actions.” If you know what’s possible and what you’re capable of, then you will become accountable for those things.

A lot of people today are getting together and forming groups in order to hold themselves accountable for what it is they say they want to accomplish. This has a two-fold benefit. 1)They begin to see the reality of their dreams and goals and 2) can break it down into manageable action steps. The group can chime in to say “you’re taking on too much at this time” or “you seem to have more to offer, what’s stopping you?”

Having a supportive group that encourages you to go for and achieve your dream or goal is a must have for anyone who is reaching out beyond their “box”. It’s a place where you can stretch and dream, be vulnerable, make mistakes without judgment, and get the encouragement to stand up, dust off, and get back at it.

Who is a part of your “group”? Are they truly supportive of your dream? Do they have the capability to support you on your journey?

These are all great questions to ask of your group or as you search for a group to hold your dream precious. If you have a group, lean into them. If you don’t, create one for yourself or join one. Either way, make way for your dreams to come true!

If you need a group, feel free to check out The Dream Life Adventure on Facebook.

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