While on a trip to Peru with a group of people experiencing Shaman rites and ceremonies, I experienced firsthand how expectations lead to judgment. During that trip, I was often told that I approached everything from an “even keel,” “steady,” “not fazed, and “calm and relaxed,” way and state of being. 

I recall on several occasions that things didn’t quite go according to plan during each day on the journey. People had expectations and those things didn’t happen or happened on a different day. Or they were told by the program directors one thing, but something else happened. There was no agenda of what was happening each day, which drove some people crazy that they couldn’t plan for each upcoming day.

With all these little things, people became frustrated, lost trust in the journey and in the people leading it, felt they had been lied to in some instances, and stressed. As a result of how they felt, they then began to judge and pass judgment on people, the trip, and even the location.

Little nuisances started to become huge problems and obstacles in their minds.

Expectations lead to judgment

Judgment comes quite easily when we have a little thing called Expectations.

Expectations can limit us in so many ways. They can cause a lot of stress and drama in our lives, especially in relationships.

They limit what could be possible for us in our lives and the lives of others. When we open up and free ourselves from expectations, a whole new world is unveiled for us to explore. It also allows the universe to intervene perfectly on our behalf, for our own highest good.

When I was preparing to go to Peru, I chose not to have any expectations or outcomes of the trip. My choice was to just show up each day and experience it and go with the flow of the day. I felt I had the most amazing time and experience because of that decision to let go of any expectations or outcomes. 

Something to explore

If you are feeling stress, anger, resentment or realising you are making assumptions and judging others, take a look at whether any expectations may exist. 

. . .Perhaps there is a relationship in your life that doesn’t feel quite right, maybe you aren’t connecting as well as you would like, or perhaps it just feels hard or heavy. Are you disagreeing often?. . .

. . .Maybe you are finding things challenging at your workplace or in the work that you do. Check-in and explore if expectations and judgments have been formed that could be limiting you in showing up as your best self. . .

. . .Is there a situation or event that causes you to feel anger, stress or resentment? Again, explore if there are any expectations or assumptions you have around the situation or event that could be causing those feelings.. . .

Learning to adjust expectations

If you identify any expectations, have a think about how you could shift those expectations or remove them completely.

If you feel you are being triggered or starting to create judgments of others, situations or events, then explore the following questions:

  • What about this situation or person is creating this feeling in me?
  • What expectations have I formed of the situation, event, person or myself?
  • Are the judgments I have made about the situation, event or person true? 
  • Have I made some assumptions, or do I have some expectations in place forming my judgments?

The trick to practising this way of life is that you must look at and experience every situation, event and person from a place of acceptance of what is. 

And remember this also includes acceptance of self! Accepting yourself just as you are, with no judgments.