Neon sign with the phrase "think about things with zero expectations" displayed, with the word "expectations" upside down.

The Empowering Habits Series: Zero Expectations

With expectations out of control, not having any can be quite liberating

By Laura Carson Miller

Let’s be real friends, here we sit in a society where expectations are at an all time high. You can order up so many things or services to be brought to or performed in your home in a flash. You can change your appearance if you choose to pretty darn quickly. And you can even use AI to create language or code in an instant with the click of your trusty keyboard keys. Yet I’m going to float the notion that there are times when zero expectations is the exactly right attitude. Not to mention the one that is going to give you a mental and psychological upper hand. Stay with me.

My Motivation

In my first Empowering Habits Series story, Setting Intention, I wrote about where focus goes energy flows and how taking the time to funnel all the thoughts in my mind into specific goals and intentions offers a sense of stability and empowerment. Good stuff!

What’s interesting is that in a completely different way, having zero expectations serves many of the same purposes as setting intention. It’a all about the situation when we are choosing which empowering habit to employ. As you work more intensely with these empowering habits you will automatically know which one to implement for each situation. Really? Yes. Really.

When to Choose Zero Expectations

We are often faced with situations where we are not necessarily in control of the beginning, middle and certainly not the outcome of scenarios. This can feel fine, or it can feel daunting or maddening depending on the set of circumstances or even the day or whether or not you are a control freak. Okay then.

This is where the ever popular phrase ‘pick your battles’ comes in as it relates to the zero expectations empowering habit. 

When you find yourself in a situation where you don’t know what to do, say you are doubtful or conflicted about something, choosing zero expectations is a wise and wonderful rabbit to pull out of your hat. You’re invited to interview for a job you think you might like but you’re not sure. You interview with zero expectations figuring the interview and making a connection will be good experience no matter the outcome. You think you want hi-rise living while your partner wants another single family home with stairs. You tour the house with zero expectations. By doing so with an open mind, this strengthens your relationship and you have zero attachment to any end result.

You can benefit from the conscious detachment of zero expectations. By knowingly rejecting the idea of any specific result or conclusion pertaining to anything you are unsure about you have more mental energy to funnel toward intentions you positively want to manifest. That is the key to knowing when to implement setting intentions versus zero expectations. Eureka.

Why Choosing Zero Expectation is Powerful

Expectation can be draining. This is true mentally, psychologically and even physically. We must put in perspective when and why it is logical and sane to even have expectations, period. Let that sink in for a moment.

With the understanding of when to use zero expectations you understand why you can better temper the highs and lows associated with everyday life. If things work out better, great, you can feel an expanded sense of elation without having to say a word to anyone. If they turn out worse, because you had zero expectations, you are much better able to quickly move on with life without fanfare. Ah, the magic of zero expectations!

Use this information in any way that resonates with you. As always it’s about how it can benefit your individual life. Sometimes letting go, including attaching zero expectations to any number of situations, is the most empowering choice we can make. Try it. Let me know how it works for you!

Next up in the Empowering Habits Series: The 5/5/5 Rule. This habit is such an easy one to implement and I promise it’s so very impactful from the first time you use it! Really! 

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