Sometimes, we need to check our thinking to make sure we are not only on the right track, but our expectations are aligned with potential outcomes. There is nothing wrong with balancing our expectations in these situations. Surely we always want to be positive and keep an open mind, but we also always have to make sure that what we anticipate is what may actually happen. While the surprise of an unexpected outcome can be great, the challenge of “catching up” to the reasons behind that outcome (particularly if we expected something much “better”) can be a challenge.
This also gets to the core of where we sit along the “optimist,” “pessimist,” and “realist” spectrum. Is it better to always look on the bright side? Do we end up being less disappointed if we always think of the potential negatives? Are we more “real” if we consider the balance between positive and negative, and go with what is most likely?
While I vacillate between all three, I spend most of my life in the “realist” sector. This means that I often look forward to things.
I’ve found that it is better to be prepared for both the best and the worst, then to live in a world where it is always one or the other.
Certainly, tempering expectations can take some of the wind out of our sails. But, it never takes all of it out, and provides enough momentum to keep us moving, even if it is slowly.