Having NO Expectations This Holiday Season - November 2023

Having NO Expectations This Holiday Season - November 2023

Imagine living life and this holiday season from the perspective of having no expectations about anything.  I anticipate that is hard to fathom for most people.  What I have learned over the years is that every time I create expectations in my head or heart, I walk away from conversations, situations or events completely disappointed. Nothing ever turns out the way I want it to or should I say expect it to.  If I am really honest, there is no way anything could come close to the expectations that I set for myself or the events that I plan.  I have unrealistic and unsurmountable expectations most days.  I have come to realize that perfectionism is lurking around every corner too…just waiting to rear its ugly head.  No wonder I walk away disappointed as there is no such perfect conversation, situation or event.  I suppose there is a sprinkle of people-pleasing in the mix too.  I believe some of you will be able to identify with all of this.

The high, actual insurmountable expectations sprinkled with perfectionism and people-pleasing tendencies has been, quite truthfully, adding so much stress over the years and only intensifies during the holiday season.  It has impacted my worthiness as I never “feel good enough” on the other side of my self-induced expectations.  There most often seems to be a major let down or a sense of failure.  Then during the holidays, there are expectations from family members that add even more pressure.  UGH!  No more……

Want to join me in the initiative to let it all go? 

My recommendation for all of us this holiday season is to let go of expectations, decide to have no expectations in whatever we are experiencing or planning to experience.  Choose to “just be” in the moment, to be present in the moment of now.  The present is our true gift!  There truly is so much value in being mindful!  Mindfulness is the new mental health buzz word, I am here to tell you…  I feel free every time I choose mindful presence of the moment vs. anticipating the outcome of my expectations.  Being present/mindful brings more joy into each experience vs. the disappointment when expectations are unmet.   What will it take for you to become more mindful this holiday season? 

What would your life and this holiday season be like with NO expectations?  What do you have to do to consciously create the same freedom in your life?  Drop me a line; I would love to hear your thoughts.

My hope for you this holiday season is that you too let go of all expectations and just enjoy all the moments the season has to offer!  Happy Holidays!



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Cella Janisch-Hartline, RN, BSN, PCC Professional Certified Coach, Nursing Leadership Senior Manager for Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative has been involved in various healthcare industry leadership positions for the past 40 years. The majority of her career has been spent working in an acute care critical access facility for nearly 25 years. Throughout her work experience, she has learned most of her leadership skills and techniques through the school of “hard knocks”. Cella’s passion for teaching leadership tips and techniques earned her the 2018 Outstanding Educator Award through the National Rural Health Association. She is well-known for her humorous, engaging and personable facilitation style.
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