1530s in English, “state or condition of waiting or awaiting with confident anticipation”, from French expectation (14c.) or directly from Latin expectationem/expectationem “look out for”.

Our personal, school and professional life is made up of expectations. Expectation is the condition of waiting for the successful outcome of something. It is the projection of a hope, a dream, a desire. Expectations are inevitable because they are the result of an automatic process of our mind. We are real experts at imagining the future. We influence and are influenced by expectations. In statistics, the “law of iterated expectations” holds that, if something is expected from the future, it is already expected in the present.

Expectations are formed through assumptions about what we believe should be right and normal, based on what we have been taught and learned in our family, at school and in society. Cultural expectations are what we share in society and are about what is accepted or rejected. The image of ourselves that we have formed is full of expectations: those of our parents, family, teachers, peers, friends and partners, etc. What they expected of us will have greatly influenced the creation of our self-concept.
Without realising it, we enter this game of expectations formed in our culture, trying to adapt to what we are supposed to do, so as not to remain isolated and excluded.

The problem is that most of the time our expectations are those that fail to include deviations, errors and bumps in the road. And it is for this reason that, whenever expectations deviate from reality, we find ourselves overwhelmed by frustrations. Expectation, however, does not offer certainties. Rather, it creates an illusion and therefore disappointment whenever we fail to take into account the option that that our hopes may be dashed.

And so it is important to be aware and realise that life is often a roller coaster; it is a series of ups and downs, descents and ascents and accelerating and braking. And in this life of ups and downs, mistakes are not an extraordinary event but a natural and necessary part of any journey. By including this view of reality in our expectations, we will be more inclined to accept the unexpected, avoid falling into success trap, not wait for the obstacle to become evident, but to anticipate it, facing complex challenges and deviating towards unexplored routes.