I've blogged before about how our expectations can trip us up. Sometimes we have such high expectations that no reality can ever match them. Other times, our expectations might be perfectly realistic; but people and situations just don't meet those expectations for one reason or another. Either way, we can get tripped up and become discouraged, depressed or even angry about what didn't happen.
Especially with the really important and big things in our lives, it's healthy to stop and take stock of expectations. Take your career, for example. Is it—or was it—what you had hoped it would be? If it wasn't, did it have parts that met or exceeded your expectations? Or it might be a relationship for which you had high hopes.
It can be extremely helpful to take the time to feel the sadness over what didn't happen that you had hoped would happen. Grieve the loss of that expectation or those dreams. Then let go of that expectation or dream. That's an essential part of grief work—letting go.
When you let yourself feel the sadness and grief—and then let go—you open yourself up to experience more joy. You can then begin to see the good things that happened—and celebrate those parts of your expectations or dreams that did get realized.
So remember there are two parts to examining these expectations: grieve what hasn't happened and celebrate what has.