Clean Up Your Expectations

clean up your expectations

April is such a messy and turbulent month in the upper parts of the United States. It’s cold and stormy one day and warm the next. The winter seems to want to hold on until the very last-minute and then suddenly it seems that Spring has sprung.

If April is messy outside your doors, there could also be a mess greeting you inside your home or work too. Maybe the mess is easy to see because it shows up as clutter on your desk or a disarranged bookshelf.  Perhaps the mess is project you are working on that is not going as well as you had hoped. Maybe the mess is in your heart because you are disappointed that you can’t find that job you want or can’t move ahead in your career.

The mess we encounter in our lives are often as a result of unrealistic expectations. Expectations are unwritten and volatile and can change as often as our mood changes. We think we know what we want and expect that others can read our minds or just know what we want. We know we want to move ahead in our career through promotions but management sees you as a good worker and is looking for you to stay in your role because of your expertise. You know you want  a six figure job in your field of expertise but the employers understand that there are many others that are looking to fill that job too.

How can you get more of what you expect from your job, your career and your life?

Start by getting very curious and asking powerful questions. A powerful question starts with open-ended words like “Who”, “What”, “Where”, “How”, “When” and elicit more than a “yes” or “no” answer. The most powerful questions are seven words or less.

Years ago, during a job interview, I really was starting to be concerned about the lack of clarity of the hiring managers view on the job I was expecting to get hired to do. So I asked the powerful question of “What keeps you awake at night?” Well, this hiring manager shared so many concerns with me that I suddenly realized that this was just not the right job for me. Here are some of my favorite powerful questions:

  • What else?
  • What is getting in my way?
  • How can I be of service?
  • Who can help me?
  • What don't I know for sure?
  • What am I assuming?

Get ready for spring by asking questions of yourself and others, you can start to see you can get the facts, uncover the thoughts driving your actions, realize root causes of your reactions and review your expectations and assumptions. 

What are your favorite powerful questions?