The Downside of Expectations, The Upside of Mindset

by | May 1, 2024 | Podcasts



SPEAKER_1: You’re listening to She Grabs The Mic, and I’m your host, Cole Baker-Bagwell. SPEAKER_1: Every week, we’ll explore what it means to be happy, present, and whole.

SPEAKER_1: You’ll hear from courageous women who are kicking ass in their lives, and leave with actionable tips that you can apply to reset from toxicity, tune into your gold, and live powerfully from the bedroom to the boardroom.

SPEAKER_1: Right now, it’s time to grab your headphones, kick back and relax, and get ready to be inspired.

SPEAKER_1: Inspired.
SPEAKER_1: Thank.
SPEAKER_1: Hello, Amazing Ones, and welcome to you wherever you are in this big, beautiful world. SPEAKER_1: I am so damn glad that you’re here.
SPEAKER_1: Thank you.
SPEAKER_1: Thank you for choosing to tune in.
SPEAKER_1: Thank you for choosing to show up for yourself.

SPEAKER_1: This week, we are talking about expectations, how they mess with our minds, screw up our energy, and how we can start rethinking, managing, and saying adios to the turbulence caused by our expectations by shifting our mindset.

SPEAKER_1: I’m going to give you examples of how expectations may be showing up in your life, and I’m going to offer you three micro coaching tips you can adopt to avoid the nasty little swirl we all experience when our expectations don’t pan out the way that we hope they would.

SPEAKER_1: Now, years ago, I worked with a therapist named Rosie, this fabulous woman, so wise, so incredibly cool, who taught me a pivotal lesson about expectations, and it was a total mind shift game changer for me.

SPEAKER_1: What she taught me was especially powerful when it came to managing the expectations I held around my family.

SPEAKER_1: As I geared up to meet various family events, celebrations, graduations, holidays, vacations, long weekends, I would always front them with this sort of dreamy expectation that, oh, God, it’s going to be such an incredible time.

SPEAKER_1: That’s what I wanted.

SPEAKER_1: And that’s what I set myself up for.

SPEAKER_1: I held my expectation of how things would go.

SPEAKER_1: And man, I built that story up in my mind like nobody’s business.

SPEAKER_1: I was so egotistical that I actually believed I could lead all of us into some sort of flawless Norman Rockwell nirvana.

SPEAKER_1: I told myself I was being optimistic and enthusiastic.

SPEAKER_1: But what I learned from Rosie was that I was actually setting myself up and pretty much everyone around me for a downward spiral because I was attached to my expectation of how those family events would go for me.

SPEAKER_1: And the minute the bottom would fall out, which it usually did because, hey, it’s family, I’d get caught in the swirl of disappointment and frustration every freaking time.

SPEAKER_1: I would feel terrible.
SPEAKER_1: I would feel sad and frustrated, sometimes even angry.

SPEAKER_1: My expectations around how my family would show up bit me in the booty, and it caused me to suffer for more years than I can count.

SPEAKER_1: So as I poured my heart out to Rosie about my disappointment and frustration and sadness and anger, her guidance was really simple, and it was very beautiful.

SPEAKER_1: And here’s what she said.

SPEAKER_1: She said, Cole, instead of saying, we’re all going to have this amazing time, why don’t you just say, we’re all going to have a time?

SPEAKER_1: I had to think about that for a little bit.

SPEAKER_1: But her point was this, regardless of what kind of time we had together, we would have had a time.

SPEAKER_1: A simple fact about the experience, no attachment to the outcome.

SPEAKER_1: And that one little juicy piece of wisdom helped me shift my mindset, and it helped me focus on what I could control.

SPEAKER_1: It helped me accept my family members for who they were and for who they were not, and it caused all of us to suffer a heck of a lot less.

SPEAKER_1: Let’s talk about what the word expectation means.

SPEAKER_1: By definition, it means to hold a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future, to await that something.

SPEAKER_1: Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with expectations.

SPEAKER_1: Our attachment to the outcome is the issue.

SPEAKER_1: And here’s where expectations get super tricky.

SPEAKER_1: The strong beliefs we hold can cause us to experience so much suffering, noise, chaos in our minds.

SPEAKER_1: Expectations are future looking.

SPEAKER_1: They keep our minds time traveling, which prevents us from experiencing the moment that we are in right this very minute.

SPEAKER_1: We miss it.

SPEAKER_1: We get attached to an outcome that we believe should happen or may happen.

SPEAKER_1: And then our thoughts around the outcome we expect can become really obsessive.

SPEAKER_1: It’s like this loop that just keeps going over and over and over in our minds.

SPEAKER_1: Now, if or when what we expected to happen does not, we get caught in the swirl.

SPEAKER_1: The energy of disappointment, frustration, anger, resentment, energetic and mental deflation filters right into our bodies and it affects our mood, our thinking and our state of well-being.

SPEAKER_1: Now, when we’re caught in this cycle of our own attachment to our expectation, we essentially are putting a big pile of poop right into this beautiful moment, the only one that is real.

SPEAKER_1: And all of this impacts how we experience our life.

SPEAKER_1: Now, we have expectations for all sorts of things, big and small, that can land us in the swirl when the outcome we have attached the expectation to falls short.

SPEAKER_1: It could be expecting to get compliments on your new haircut.

SPEAKER_1: It could be moving to a new city to start over and expecting that everything we always wanted will magically be in that new place.

SPEAKER_1: It could be casting our vote and expecting that the outcome will be as we would like for it

to be.

SPEAKER_1: I mean, there’s a whole range of things, so let’s look at a few everyday examples.

SPEAKER_1: Being kind to someone.

SPEAKER_1: How many times have you given a gift, sent snail mail to a friend, let a stranger over in traffic, or held a door open and expected to be thanked?

SPEAKER_1: Now, if we take action with an expectation that those people that we helped will return kindness or offer us gratitude, we’re attached to the outcome of our choice.

SPEAKER_1: We’ve all been in the car with someone who slows down to let a pedestrian walk across the street, and when the pedestrian does not acknowledge that that person has slowed down for them, the driver may say things like, that’s right, just keep on walking.

SPEAKER_1: Don’t say thank you, even though I did just let you cross the street.

SPEAKER_1: The driver was attached to the expectation that the person crossing would say thank you, and they waited for that to happen because they held a strong belief that that’s the way the cookie should have crumbled, and they suffer on the other side when it doesn’t happen.

SPEAKER_1: And when the people we show up for fall short, those nasty little voices of entitlement, oh my God, they take over our minds.

SPEAKER_1: And before we even realize what the heck has happened, we’re caught in the swirl of disappointment, frustration, anger, and resentment, this energetic and mental deflation that affects our mood, our thinking, and our overall state of well-being.

SPEAKER_1: Let’s talk about our work.

SPEAKER_1: There are so many ways that we hold expectations at work.

SPEAKER_1: How many times have you felt disillusioned, unappreciated, frustrated, or passed over?

SPEAKER_1: Now, I know a woman who worked for the same company for more than 20 years.

SPEAKER_1: She was absolutely freaking amazing at her job.

SPEAKER_1: If you ask any of her team members or any of her clients, they would tell you that this woman was invaluable.

SPEAKER_1: Now, her expectation was that if she just kept plugging along and doing great work, she would get promoted.

SPEAKER_1: Here was the problem.

SPEAKER_1: She never raised her hand to let anyone know that it was important, but she suffered because she thought she should be recognized and rewarded without having to speak up.

SPEAKER_1: So we expect if we do exceptional work that we will be recognized and valued, maybe even promoted.

SPEAKER_1: We expect collaboration with our colleagues. SPEAKER_1: We expect positive negotiations.

SPEAKER_1: We expect our leaders to lead us well, and when these things don’t happen, our mindset and energy goes right into the toilet.

SPEAKER_1: We get down on our work.

SPEAKER_1: We get down on our colleagues.

SPEAKER_1: We curse the companies we work for.

SPEAKER_1: We get super down on ourselves, and then that bleeds over into our personal lives and just screws everything up, and it can stay with us for quite a while.

SPEAKER_1: We disengage.

SPEAKER_1: We start showing up as some other version of ourselves because we get caught in that swirl of disappointment, frustration, anger, and resentment, and it just hijacks everything about our well-being and robs us of the present moment.

SPEAKER_1: Let’s talk about moving.

SPEAKER_1: Have you ever moved with the expectation that life would be different for you, that maybe somehow your relationship would magically repair itself, that you would find a heap of new friends?

SPEAKER_1: What did you do that would make change and growth possible for you aside from move your physical location?

SPEAKER_1: Two years ago, my husband and I left our home city of Raleigh, and we moved to the North Carolina Mountains, this beautiful place, and we had really, really, really big expectations about what this place would give to us.

SPEAKER_1: We had days where we felt flattened by disappointment over the last two years, and we finally realized after a lot of mindful thought and conversation that there was nothing ever wrong with this place.

SPEAKER_1: The place was never the problem.

SPEAKER_1: Our expectations of what this place should be for us was the issue. SPEAKER_1: We were attached to an outcome that we fabricated.

SPEAKER_1: And once we got super clear on this truth and we detached from our expectations, oh my God, it was a huge game changer.

SPEAKER_1: We were able to experience the magic of this place and feel gratitude for what it actually is.

SPEAKER_1: Huge mindset shift.

SPEAKER_1: All right, let’s talk about social media.

SPEAKER_1: How many times has the social media love eluded you?

SPEAKER_1: How many times has it left you feeling deflated or unseen or rejected?

SPEAKER_1: I know so many people who are attached to the reaction of their shares.

SPEAKER_1: In fact, I am one of those people at times I really have to catch myself.

SPEAKER_1: Here’s what happens.

SPEAKER_1: When our expectation doesn’t align with what the algorithm decides is salacious or meaningful enough to promote, we suffer.

SPEAKER_1: My editor recently told me, she said, honey, social media is the language of the time, so of course we all participate.

SPEAKER_1: We write really thoughtful pieces. SPEAKER_1: We share our most human truths. SPEAKER_1: We pour our hearts out on these platforms. SPEAKER_1: We curate our pictures.

SPEAKER_1: We run them through all the filters, so we look fabulous.

SPEAKER_1: But if we post with the expectation that we’ll garner hundreds of likes or positive comments and that doesn’t happen, there’s an even bigger issue than getting caught in the swirl.

SPEAKER_1: Now we’ve devoted time, thought and energy to what we hoped would happen by making the post, instead of simply sharing the post and trusting that it will be seen by the people who were meant to see it.

SPEAKER_1: It’s a very different thing. SPEAKER_1: All right, let’s talk about our kiddos.

SPEAKER_1: How does your mindset change when your kids fail to live up to the expectations you have for them?

SPEAKER_1: What stories do you write in your mind?
SPEAKER_1: And how do they quickly spiral into your failure as a parent?

SPEAKER_1: I know a woman who completely came unhinged when her daughter told her she was going to pursue her dream of being a singer instead of going to college.

SPEAKER_1: Now college had always been her mother’s dream, her mother’s expectation for her baby girl.

SPEAKER_1: It was not her daughter’s expectation.

SPEAKER_1: And that led to a series of really angry conversations about disappointment and sacrifice.

SPEAKER_1: There was so much bitterness, and it hurt them for years.

SPEAKER_1: It took them so long to repair the relationship because the expectation was that the baby girl would go to college.

SPEAKER_1: The outcome caused suffering.

SPEAKER_1: Now, I get it.

SPEAKER_1: We place expectations on our kids with good intention.

SPEAKER_1: We expect them to be star students, musicians or athletes.

SPEAKER_1: We want them to have the best in life, and we believe that if we give them the right lessons or coaching or environment, enough love, that it will happen.

SPEAKER_1: We expect them to be grateful when we make them like their favorite dinner or do their laundry.

SPEAKER_1: We expect them to believe and value the same things we do.

SPEAKER_1: We expect our kids to follow in our footsteps, and as we time travel into the future that does not exist, into this place of expectation, we miss the beauty of watching them unfold right now and experiencing these people as they are today.

SPEAKER_1: Let’s look at our life partners and our friendships.

SPEAKER_1: How often have you expected your partner or friends to give as much as you do?

SPEAKER_1: How many hours have you spent sulking or feeling rejected when they haven’t?

SPEAKER_1: I know a woman who is dating a man that she loves with all her heart.

SPEAKER_1: He’s emotionally unavailable, but very available for dinner dates and bedroom time.

SPEAKER_1: Now his backstory prevents him from giving her his heart, but she expects him to change, and she keeps waiting for that to happen.

SPEAKER_1: And it hurts her so deeply, and it keeps her stuck in this world because she is expecting that he will change if she gives him enough love.

SPEAKER_1: Her attachment to the expectation causes her to suffer.

SPEAKER_1: And we tend to mindlessly put a shit ton of pressure on the people we love the most, from phone calls and laundry to steamy sex.

SPEAKER_1: My great-grandmother had some of the wisest words when it came to relationships, and here’s what she said.

SPEAKER_1: Her name was Sally Daisy, darling, darling little southern lady. SPEAKER_1: And she said, give 92% sugar and expect 8% in return. SPEAKER_1: Now, Sally Daisy was not a martyr.
SPEAKER_1: She was a wise and mindful woman.

SPEAKER_1: She understood that it was a far better use of her energy to focus on giving as much as she could, to focus on what she could do.

SPEAKER_1: And she chose to live her entire life with that spirit. SPEAKER_1: And you know what happened?
SPEAKER_1: It filled her up.
SPEAKER_1: It was enough.

SPEAKER_1: She was one of the most joyful, kind, nimble, and contented people I have ever known. SPEAKER_1: Travel.

SPEAKER_1: Oh, my God. SPEAKER_1: The joy of travel.

SPEAKER_1: How many times have you gotten angry or been out of shape because your flight or subway was late or because traffic was jammed or construction was happening or a bridge was closed?

SPEAKER_1: What kind of thoughts started buzzing around in that mind of yours?

SPEAKER_1: I was catching a flight to New York for work a few years ago, and it was like one of those 7 a.m.ers, which means that most of the people there had to probably get up around 4.30, pack their bag, grab their crap, get in the cab, get to the airport, go through security, the whole nine yards.

SPEAKER_1: So the mood level was volatile, to say the least.

SPEAKER_1: Now, this flight kept getting delayed with the promise that it would take off, quote unquote, soon.

SPEAKER_1: An expectation was set for us, and our focus went there.

SPEAKER_1: Now, it was super exhausting to sit in the airport, but what was even more exhausting was to feel how that delay and that promise of what would happen affected the moods of the passengers and the gate attendants.

SPEAKER_1: I mean, it got to a point, it was sort of like mayhem in that particular slice of the terminal. SPEAKER_1: It got a little scary.
SPEAKER_1: We were attached to the outcome that we would take off soon.
SPEAKER_1: Let’s talk about family time and vacations.

SPEAKER_1: All right, summer’s coming up.

SPEAKER_1: What kind of expectations do you have about the vacation you’re going to take this year with your people?

SPEAKER_1: When was the last time you attended a family event and left feeling disappointed?

SPEAKER_1: And how did that affect your mindset afterward?

SPEAKER_1: Now, I have a friend who had a dysfunctional family dynamic growing up, and every year when she goes to visit them, she hopes, hopes beyond hopes, that things will be better, that things will be different, that somehow, someway, these dysfunctional people that she grew up with would change.

SPEAKER_1: And when they don’t, she gets so angry, she becomes so sad and depleted, and then she

comes home with that energy, and it takes her like days or even weeks to bounce back.

SPEAKER_1: There’s this fantastic line in Christmas Vacation that kind of underscores all of that for me, and it’s the point in the movie when the entire holiday turns to absolute total shit.

SPEAKER_1: It just goes off the rails.

SPEAKER_1: And Beverly D’Angelo turns to Chevy Chase, and she says, Sparky, you hold expectations that no family can live up to.

SPEAKER_1: We all do it.
SPEAKER_1: We’re human.
SPEAKER_1: We want the best.
SPEAKER_1: The mindset shift here is what are we attached to? SPEAKER_1: Now think about these examples.

SPEAKER_1: What common denominator do you see? SPEAKER_1: Okay, I’m going to give you the answer.

SPEAKER_1: The expectations, the things that we hold strong beliefs of happening that we wait for, and all of these examples, these things are external to us.

SPEAKER_1: Now in many cases, the strong beliefs we hold rely on someone else showing up in alignment to our belief.

SPEAKER_1: We’re holding on to a belief in our minds about how other people should show up for us, how they should think, how they should choose, how they should respond.

SPEAKER_1: And in other cases, the expectations we hold might rely on a whole series of universal dominoes lining up exactly the right way to create the outcome that we are waiting for in the future.

SPEAKER_1: When we hold expectations for the world around us and we’re attached to the outcome we want and it doesn’t happen, we suffer.

SPEAKER_1: All right.
SPEAKER_1: So how do we break this cycle?

SPEAKER_1: How do we get to a place where we can release ourselves from the attachment, where we can suffer less?

SPEAKER_1: I have three micro coaching tips for you to help you look at the expectations that you’re holding on to right now in your own life and then get out of the swirl.

SPEAKER_1: Avoid it all together if that’s important for you. SPEAKER_1: So if it is, grab your pen and a piece of paper.

SPEAKER_1: If you’re sitting still, if you’re not, just come back and replay the last few minutes of this podcast.

SPEAKER_1: All right.
SPEAKER_1: And before we move on with the tips, I want to be really clear about something.

SPEAKER_1: Letting go of expectations does not mean letting go of your goals or dreams or holding people accountable.

SPEAKER_1: Not at all.

SPEAKER_1: It means letting go of the attachment that robs you of energy, time, well-being, and prevents you from living in the present, the only moment that is real.

SPEAKER_1: You can prepare, you can plan, and you can do your best to show up, and you can take steps forward to manifest your dreams and goals.

SPEAKER_1: And, oh my God, you should every single moment because everything is possible with the right mindset.

SPEAKER_1: The key here is understanding what you can do is all that you can do.

SPEAKER_1: So here are the tips.

SPEAKER_1: All right, the first one is get intentional.

SPEAKER_1: Instead of relying on your satisfaction and happiness coming from someone else or someplace else, decide how you want to think and feel.

SPEAKER_1: How do you want to experience today? SPEAKER_1: How do you want to experience your life?

SPEAKER_1: How do you choose to manage the mental flyballs that will absolutely every single time come your way?

SPEAKER_1: That’s your power.

SPEAKER_1: Prepare, plan, make your best effort, do your very, very best.

SPEAKER_1: And no matter how things shake out, you can know that you did everything in your power and that amazing ones is worth celebrating.

SPEAKER_1: Number two, get clear about the expectations you’re holding and the attachment that you have to their outcome and ask yourself why.

SPEAKER_1: Why are you holding on to a strong belief for what you’re waiting for?  What’s the worst thing that can happen if the something that you want doesn’t happen?

SPEAKER_1: And how would letting go of your attachment to the outcome change your mindset, change your mood, and elevate your experience of what is happening right now in your life?

SPEAKER_1: Number three, create mindful agreements.

SPEAKER_1: Have a conversation about what you’re working toward and the possibilities you can see.

SPEAKER_1: Create agreements about how you plan to show up, how you want other people to show up.

SPEAKER_1: Openly discuss any concerns you have and make sure that you are on the same page so you can hold one another accountable.

SPEAKER_1: Here’s the thing.

SPEAKER_1: We tend to miss this whole idea of communicating with other people because we get so trapped in our own minds and in our own reality, in our own world that we assume, and you know what that does, right?

SPEAKER_1: Makes an ass out of you and me.

SPEAKER_1: We assume that everybody in our lives is on the same page, and most of the time that’s not true because they’re in their own world.

SPEAKER_1: They’re stuck in their own mind.

SPEAKER_1: So we have to create these mindful agreements that allow us to get on the same page and work together.

SPEAKER_1: Now as a little bonus today, because this is the first episode in May, I have a fourth little tip for you.

SPEAKER_1: Develop a mindset of the pine, not the oak.
SPEAKER_1: When something doesn’t go as planned, be flexible like the pine so you can withstand the

storm, and you can pivot into possibility.

SPEAKER_1: Have faith in something bigger than yourself.

SPEAKER_1: Accept that things are happening exactly as they should for you in that moment.

SPEAKER_1: My friend Barbara Bijoux has this beautiful saying, when things don’t quite pan out, she says, if not this, then something better.

SPEAKER_1: And that’s the mindset.

SPEAKER_1: That’s the mindset of possibility.

SPEAKER_1: And it prevents us from suffering.

SPEAKER_1: All right, amazing ones.

SPEAKER_1: So let’s wrap this up with a very quick cliff note style spin of the big takeaways from today.

SPEAKER_1: First of all, expectations will cause you to time travel in your mind.

SPEAKER_1: They are future looking, and they get in the way of you experiencing the only moment that is real, which is right now.

SPEAKER_1: Attachment to outcomes will get you caught in the swirl when things don’t pan out.

SPEAKER_1: When you get attached to the outcome of an expectation, it can monopolize your focus and lead to swirlville, like I said, when the thing that you’re attached to doesn’t happen.

SPEAKER_1: And finally, dream, vision, and manifest your life with intention until the cows come home.

SPEAKER_1: Focus your mind, energy, and effort on what you can do. SPEAKER_1: Get really clear on what you want and why.

SPEAKER_1: Communicate, create agreements that lead to greater alignment and intentionality for yourself and for the people in your life who will be part of your dream or vision.

SPEAKER_1: These things will help you shift your mindset.

SPEAKER_1: They will help you suffer less, and they will help you experience your one fabulous life a whole heck of a lot more.

SPEAKER_1: I hope this has been helpful today.

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SPEAKER_1: Thanks for choosing to be right here with me.
SPEAKER_1: I know you could have been a million other places, but again, I am grateful.

SPEAKER_1: And if you’re ready to get out of the swirl and develop a mindset of clarity and confidence that will help you live your most clear and kick-ass life, I can help, and I would absolutely love to meet you.

SPEAKER_1: Head to the contact form on my website,, let’s grab some time to talk and explore what’s possible for you.

SPEAKER_1: And before I scoot today, remember this.

SPEAKER_1: There is only one you in this whole big beautiful world.

SPEAKER_1: And in case no one’s told you yet today, that is what makes you simply amazing.

SPEAKER_1: Big love.

SPEAKER_1: I hope you’ll join me next week.

SPEAKER_1: And that’s the end of the show today, everybody.

SPEAKER_1: I hope it has served you well.

SPEAKER_1: Thank you so much for tuning in.

SPEAKER_1: If you’ve liked what you’ve heard, please drop a review wherever you grab your favorite podcast.

SPEAKER_1: Please subscribe so you never miss an episode.
SPEAKER_1: And please be sure to share this podcast with another woman that you love.

SPEAKER_1: If you’d like to learn more about me or my work, check out my website,

SPEAKER_1: Until next time, remember to be super kind to yourself and do your very best to leave everyone and everything just a little bit better.


If you’re ready to develop a mindset of confidence and clarity that will help you live your most authentic and kick ass life, I’d love to meet you. Send me a note. Let’s explore what’s possible for you with mindfulness based life coaching.

Cole Baker-Bagwell

Master Certified Professional Coach

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