A thought to start the week: “the power of expectation”.
The Power of Expectation
Expectations are an interesting construct in the brain. They’re not an actual reward, but the feeling of a possible reward that, nevertheless, activate our reward circuitry.
And so expectation can be positive: we naturally orient towards people, situations, information and actions that move us towards something our brain has tagged as valuable. Our goals.
But expectation can also be negative: since positive arousal, whilst feeling good, still deprives the brain of much-needed cognitive resources. We don’t think as clearly.
And the situation is exacerbated since our brain’s natural inclination is to avoid threat – such as an unmet expectation! And so we draw tenuous links and discard data and facts as we work hard to reinterpret events to meet our expectations.
The trick, of course, is to manage expectation. We can do this best by paying more attention to our own experiences. Setting our expectations just a little lower than usual. And by finding ways to come-out ahead, even in small ways.
So for this week: start noticing your expectations and their effect on your thinking.