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Part Six: The Tension Of Anticipation and Expectation!

Updated: Jan 22, 2022

Anticipate: You’re excited for what the future holds, but you don’t try to control it.

Expectation: You try to predict the future and restrict your happiness to one outcome.

Always be excited about the possibilities. Never be entitled to them." James Clear

Over time I have grappled with these two concepts and have tried to bring clarity to the difference in the concepts and in the results.

Think with me as you filter this through your context.


Focus on the what, what has to be done. It narrows our vision to accomplish the tasks in front of us. If we neglect to pay attention, it is easy to narrow ourselves to one expectation that tends to demand that there is only one way. We can become trapped.

Take a moment to think when your focus on expectations and neglecting to pay attention pushed you into a corner that became restrictive.


Focuses on what lies ahead and allows space for possibilities and potential. Anticipation throws the door open to freedom of choice while heading in the direction for desired outcomes.

Take a moment to think when your focus was filled with anticipation. How did that make you feel? Describe the sense of energy you experienced and the resulting accomplishment you had.

In what ways can you shift your mindset from expectations that constrain and disappoint to anticipation that frees and fulfills by desired accomplishments.

Who do you need to encourage by who you anticipate they can be rather than by expecting what they will do?

Expectations versus Anticipation, make your choice!

Feel free to share your thoughts and insights here or zip them off to me at:

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Thank you for this insightful post! When we are motivated by “performance“ I think we are much more susceptible to operating under rigid expectations. The problem with expectations is that they are often rife with unhealthy and unhelpful judgments I have formed about myself and others. Judgments box us in and shut the door on collaborative creativity. Anticipation is a reflection of a childlike faith that something good is about to happen and trusting God to unfold it in His time and way which always supersedes ours. Perhaps this is the freedom and joy Jesus spoke about when we lay aside the constraints of working “religiously” and instead take His yoke that is easy and His burden that is light…

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I appreciate the differentiation! I feel I use 'expectation' too much...maybe I can persuade my brain to shift to 'anticipation'...

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