The outdoors as an Expectation Detox

Published by Graham Milton on

Expectation Detox

Adventure as an Expectation Detox

Are your expectations making you unhappy? Can adventure help?

I had a personal revelation a few months ago and realised the following:

1. I was putting unreasonable expectations on myself as to what I could achieve each day.

2. These expectations gradually increased each day without my realising what was happening.

When these expectations reached a critical level something happened. I found myself switching to an ‘expectation detox’ regime and it really helped. I’ve looked back at what happened in a bit more detail and given some thought as to how teachers and pupils may be able to make use of it. Some of you may well already be doing it whether consciously or subconsciously.

What it is an Expectation Detox?

Doing some work with zero expectations of the output. Going into it happy that you might get nothing out of it. Resetting an ever increasing and unrealistic expectations you put on yourself.

The process

1. Notice – Notice when you are overwhelmed and identify specifically what activity is causing it — sometimes harder than you think.

2. Find the source of the expectations – Think about the expectations you are placing on yourself. Would you expect that of others? Are they reasonable? Where did they come from? What do other people think?

Expectation Detox

Without getting too ‘self-helpy’ there are lots of things you can do to detox your expectations. I suggest doing what you need to do to experience one normal working day without any expectations on yourself.

As a teacher you may find it easier to spot excessive expectations in your pupils than yourself! Are your pupils putting unreasonable expectations on themselves? How can you help them realise where their expectations are coming from? Can you help them do a 24 hour detox?

Adventure as an expectation detox

Adventure and the outdoors can be a fantastic way to detox your expectations.

When people are in very different environments (like the bottom of a canyon or on a whitewater river!) they often don’t even know how to set any expectations on themselves.

One of the fantastic things about the outdoors and adventure is that there is often no need to set expectations for it to be fun and beneficial. 

With adventure experiences, it’s easier to appreciate that the lower your expectations are the more you will make that experience your own and reap the benefits

With good quality adventure the benefits just flow naturally without having to set and manage expectations. 

I think this is something that we can all try and bring to our ‘normal’ lives.