Great Expectations

by Deborah A. Bailey

"Uncertainty and expectation are the joys of life. Security is an insipid thing, and the overtaking and possessing of a wish discovers the folly of the chase." William Congreve, "Love for Love"

"Now, I return to this young fellow. And the communication I have got to make is, that he has great expectations." - Charles Dickens, "Great Expectations"

What happens when our desire for a different kind of life is in conflict with our current reality? We've been conditioned to believe that change has to occur on the outside first. This is what leads many people to believe that losing weight, or having the perfect relationship, perfect job or lots of money in the bank will solve all of their problems. It would be nice if it was true, but it's not. For some of you reading this, that's not exactly new information. For others, you may feel I'm only saying what coaches are supposed to say.

Speaking from my own experience, I know how difficult it can be to continue to believe in your dreams. The situation you're in can make those dreams seem totally ridiculous. That's when my inner critic decides to make an appearance and remind me of a few things. Real life is tough, you've got to try and survive and forget about fantasies. There have been times when I refused to believe I could have a better experience. Of course if you aren't getting what you want out of life, it is much more interesting to picture yourself as a brave survivor than someone who made bad choices.

So, if I'm honest with myself, I have to accept past decisions and learn from them. Then I have to open up the possibility that what happens next will not be a repeat of what has happened in the past. Easier said that done, but it is at the very heart of shifting your paradigm. It takes courage to see a thriving business when right now all you see are financial losses. Or see a healthy body where now there's one that's out of shape or unhealthy. It requires courage to open yourself up to loving again when you've been hurt or betrayed. It takes courage to take risks when you don't see how it will all turn out, or when people are telling you that you're crazy. It especially takes courage when someone tells you that they believe in you...that you can do it...but all you feel is fear.

It does sound like a cliché when you're told to move through the fear. However, that's the only way to get to the things we desire. My coach told me that all that is required is to make the decision and take action. I don't know exactly how it's all going to happen, but that's not really important. What is important is to believe that you can manifest your desires in spite of what you see around you in this moment. When you're holding the vision for what you want - and you make the decision to move forward - you've got great expectations.

Deborah A. Bailey is author of two non-fiction books including, “Think Like an Entrepreneur: Transforming Your Career and Taking Charge of Your Life.”

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