Your Expectations Don’t Just Influence Your Destiny, They Determine It 

You are influenced by parents, friends, teachers, and society. Some bolster your outlook and encourage you to reach for the sky. Naysayers undermine your future.  

Some folks have your best interest at heart. Others want to pour you a cup of gloom and doom.  

External influences reinforce your viewpoints and shape your expectations over time. 

When you believe the world’s unfair, you’ll be on the lookout for things to go wrong and people to do you harm.

Negative expectations ultimately turn into self-fulfilling prophecies.

Leadership quote: Expectations don't just influence destiny, they determine it. Image of a young plant.

Expectations Matter More Than You Think 

Expectations have a dramatic impact on behavior and performance. For example: 

  • When you believe people are trustworthy, you’ll invest in long-term relationships rather than thinking everyone’s out to get you. 
  • When you believe hard work pays off, tough days are viewed as opportunities rather than believing the company is taking advantage of you. 
  • When you believe life has its ups and downs, you’ll take bad days in stride rather than thinking you’re the only one with problems.  
  • When you believe the world is your oyster, you pursue it with vigor. When you think people like you don’t stand a chance, you quit before you even start.  

Expectations don’t just influence destiny, they determine it. 

What do you notice about the power of expectations?

This post is adapted from Leadership by Example: Be a role model who inspires greatness in others by Frank Sonnenberg. 

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Frank Sonnenberg is an award-winning author and a well-known advocate for moral character, personal values, and personal responsibility. He has written 10 books and has been named one of “America’s Top 100 Thought Leaders.” Additionally, his blog — FrankSonnenbergOnline — has attracted millions of readers and was recently named one of the “Top Self-Improvement and Personal Development Blogs” in the world and one of the “Best Inspirational Blogs On the Planet.” Frank’s newest book, Leadership by Example: Be a role model who inspires greatness in others.