Why Expect the Worst?

When you always expect the worst you can never experience the best.” Jayce O’Neal

There is the old saying “hope for the best, but expect the worst.” The reality is that when we expect the worst, all we can experience is the worst. If you think that something is going to be awful or that others are simply going to disappoint you, then all you can really experience is that possibility. It is human nature to brace ourselves for the worst. We think that if we anticipate a bad outcome, we will somehow soften the blow when and if it does happen. But, the reality is that it does nothing to ease our pain and instead prolongs it because in our expectation we have already spent countless hours worrying, getting anxious and perhaps even angry. What if, then, we could train ourselves to expect the best? What might be possible if we looked at each situation not with dread, but with the anticipation and hope? It is easy to see that having hope can lighten our mood and bring in new possibility, but having hope can also help us see light when dark times fall upon us. Instead of swimming in despair, we can begin to see the gifts each moment truly carries when we expect the best. We can begin to understand that even if we experience loss, there is always a silver lining – some gift or lesson to be taken that will help us grow and become stronger. By simply shifting our perception, we ease so much discomfort. And imagine that when we do that, we give others permission to do the same. We help others find peace where they too might have been lost in their expectation. So, rather than spending our lives bracing ourselves for what’s next, why not try opening up to hope?

Weekly Path to Peace: Expect the best.

  • Spend a few minutes seeing all the different ways that you expect the worst? Perhaps you run through scenarios in your head in anticipation of a big event or meeting. Or maybe you don’t allow anyone to help you because you think they just won’t be able to do it. Maybe you don’t even put yourself in certain situations because you are afraid of being let down. Spend time today looking at the different ways.
  • Now, take one instance that you identified and let yourself imagine the same situation expecting only the best. Imagine getting exactly what you want or that the situation will bring some new possibility that you aren’t even aware of at this moment. Make a promise (or put up a reminder) to go through this week expecting the best and notice how differently you feel at the end of the week.