Make Room For The Stuttering

Expectations

Posted on: January 14, 2010

Life is full of expectations. We expect something from everyone, from every situation we enter into, and we often have very high expectations of ourselves. 

At Christmas time, children expect that Santa will know where they live to leave the coveted toys they had wanted under the tree. As they eagerly unwrap the present, their anticipation is palpable. You can see their excitement as they impatiently tear open the package and dive in. The belief in Santa Claus remains affirmed for at least one more year. But if the package holds something not anticipated, the expectant glow can quickly turn to disappointment.

Yes, expectations can lead to disappointment. And disappointment does not feel good. In fact, it hurts. Hard to swallow. We have all been disappointed. Some examples in my life: being passed over for a job that I felt I should have had; not being with the one person who I truly loved; my parents weren’t like “The Brady Bunch” parents – they let me down a lot.

I have also been disappointed time and again with my speech. I expect to be able to maintain my managed fluency and it sometimes doesn’t happen. Then I feel let down. I let myself down, I couldn’t keep up. I feel disappointed when I get puzzled looks or nervous laughter from listeners, and then I feel I let them down, by not being honest. By trying to pull off something.

That’s the thing with expectations. We need expectations to have something to look forward to, to be excited about, to have hope. But inevitably, something doesn’t work out and we feel disappointment.

I have been in a mind-set lately that I should not try so hard to over-analyze things and raise my expectations too high, to ward off that disappointment and hurt. I tend to over-anaylyze, so letting that go a bit is a good thing. I would rather just go with how something feels and see how it may unfold and just try to be. 

But I shouldn’t try to lower my expectations, just to avoid hurt, right?  Because then I miss out on that giddy, exciting feeling of anticipation. Like with exploring a new relationship – why shouldn’t I think, “hmmmm, maybe this is the one?” Because maybe it is.

If we automatically think that our expectations will lead to hurt and disappointment, then they will, right? Like the self-fulfilling prophesy.

I should expect that I will be ok with my stuttered speech every day. I should expect to find happiness if I allow myself to feel and be. I should expect that good things can and will happen for good people. I should expect that life will have its ups and downs, and that I will survive the bumps in the road. That I can bounce back and won’t fall apart. Having expectations means taking a certain amount of risk!

How have you handled disappointments in your life? What helps you through it?

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2 Responses to "Expectations"

you remind me alot of myself. I have a tendency to be hard on myself. At some point I had to stop beating myself up for my stuttering. It wasn’t my fault and I had to turn it into something positive. Somewhere along the way, I found peace, acceptance and improved fluency.
The interesting part is that you have done so much for the stuttering community. You have inspired me and so many others. Your blog is fabulous and you contribute so much. Give yourself a break and be proud of yourself. Pat yourself on the back. So many people follow you. I do and respect you.
How do I handle life’s disappointments? It is not easy at times, let’s face it. I try and list the positives. Sometimes it works and others not. sorry for the lecture, but I think you are a much needed asset to the stuttering world. We are lucky to have you. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done and keep blogging.

What keeps me submitting my writing after a million rejections? Sheer pigheadedness.

I try to keep the disappointment in perspective: usually it’s not a comment on my writing but on the marketability and so on. But it’s still disappointing, and what keeps me going is that I know I should. So I do it.

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