This is the basis for what is called ‘the expectation theory’, which states that we all hold a number of expectations about ourselves and how things should turn out. This leads to a great deal of anxiety and worry about our lives, which leads to us behaving badly, losing control, or just feeling as though nothing is going to work out the way we expect it to.
The behavior that results from these negative emotions is manifested through our physical reactions and in many cases can cause physical and mental damage. It is this that is the foundation of the ‘theory’ that we are holding ourselves back from achieving our goals. The theory also suggests that we all have the ability to change how we react in various situations and this may also have the potential to make a huge difference to the success of a person.
A common example of this theory in action is the way that we react to a situation where we are facing difficulties and there is fear involved. If we are experiencing this sort of fear, and we expect that the situation is going to be worse than what it actually turns out to be, we can feel anxious and afraid and may even become physically ill and start acting out our negative emotions.
The concept of anxiety is that it causes a release of adrenaline into the body and it is said to work like a ‘fight or flight’ response. When we are under extreme amounts of stress, the brain triggers these responses and the body prepare itself for action, either by increasing the heart rate, breathing harder, or by preparing muscles for quick, effective action. We are then faced with a number of decisions to make about what action to take and this is often a scary experience for most people, but one that could lead to great success if it were not for our negative expectations about how that decision is going to go.
This is a vicious circle of expectation and anxiety, which is very easy to fall into, especially when there are people close to us who hold the same negative expectation of what will happen, leading us to do the exact opposite of what is expected. And, as we continue to react to the situation in a manner that is based on our expectations, the more negative expectations that we hold about the situation, the more anxiety that we experience, and the worse our fears become.
This is where the theory of expectation can come in handy, and it provides a great source of inspiration for helping us to stop our fears. We can then look at this from another angle, and realize that the only way to avoid the negative outcome of such a situation is to make sure that we keep our expectations realistic, even if that means that we have to accept some disappointment along the way.
In order to change the way that we are acting in our own lives, it is essential that we keep an open mind and try to view our expectations from another angle. As well as looking at our own behaviors and reactions to a situation, we also have to look at what other people think of those behaviors and reactions and how their negative expectations influence their own behaviors.