Living With No Expectations

Living With No ExpectationsDr. Barbara Seifert, CPC

Imagine a life where all your dreams come true; a life that is filled with happiness, love for what you do and who you are, and enriched relationships. Sounds illusive doesn’t it? What if I told you that this is not only doable but easier than it sounds? And what if you knew that millions of people are actually living this way – would that entice you to read further and learn how to have this kind of life?

If by this point a thought crossed your mind for what you were hoping to find, then you have actually uncovered the key: having no expectations. Think about it: you set a goal for yourself, maybe you list the various steps you think will take you there, and then you dive in fully expecting that those steps are going to make that goal a reality. But what if those steps don’t work and you lose your motivation along the way; what if there is another person or situation that blocks the path; or, what if you reach the goal but find it wasn’t what you thought it would be? That is what having expectations will do – keep you stuck at some level.

In order to better understand, let’s define exactly what an expectation is: “the belief that something will happen or is likely to happen; a feeling or belief about how good something will be” (Merriam-Webster). ‘A belief that is centered on the future, which may or may not be realistic; a less than advantageous result gives rise to the emotion of disappointment” ( As you can see, anytime you say you want something, be that from others or yourself, you are attaching an outcome already to it which comes in the form of ‘want’ or ‘hope’ in the thoughts and words you say. And when that want or hope doesn’t happen disappointment, hurt and even anger result; dependent on the value of the situation or the relationship these emotions can be magnified tenfold.

So, how does one go about living with no expectation?

I can tell you from personal experience that it is not so easy but, as I’m finding, with consistent positive thought and words of affirmation, it gets easier; thoughts become less critical and perspectives become more open in the positive. I feel more open to others and am less harsh on myself. As a side benefit, I am finding my creativity and intuition broadening and I am happier.

These steps will work for you, as well, if you commit to them and then let go:

  • Begin to recognize when you feel critical or judgmental as situations arise; when you first notice, STOP and reflect on what is leading you to feel disappointment
  • Write down any thoughts, feelings, or attachments to that situation as these will bring them to the conscious thought, which is when you can address them
  • Say some words of affirmation or mantra; I use the simple phrase “No Expectations” which acts as a release; keep repeating this so it gets into the deeper part of the brain.
  • Hold on to the good feelings that arise; I find that when I focus on them I wind up smiling and want to keep on. It’s that memory of the feeling that I come back to again and again and the one I want to have all the time.

People I have met who live this way seem to live easier – they’re happier and have more success. It attracts to them because they are open to receiving it. I encourage you to join this movement of living with no expectations.

“I always feel happy. You know why? Because I don’t expect anything from anyone. Expectations always hurt. Life is short … So love your life … Be happy … And keep smiling … That’s life … Feel it, Live it, Love it and Enjoy it!” (William Shakespeare)

Dr. Barbara Seifert, CPC is the President of Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting in Orlando, Florida. She helps individuals to take charge of their careers, find the work they love and enhance their professional development to reach their peak performance. She works with small business owners & solopreneurs who want to achieve measurable and life-long improvements in their performance so they can make more money, have greater satisfaction and achieve personal and professional success. She also coaches in organizations to enhance employee engagement and for leadership development. Dr. Seifert is an adjunct professor, a certified professional coach, a certified Neuro-Linguistic Programming practitioner and a Certified Law of Attraction coach. She is a coauthor of the book, Contagious Optimism and a Premier Career and Business Coach for the Association of Talent Development. You can learn more by visiting and Your Career Success Blog at, which was named one of the Top 100 Life Coaching Blogs to Follow in 2013.

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