Were Your Hopes Dashed?

Those who know me well are aware of my lifelong passion for football. Indeed, I have written in a previous blog about another side of the ‘beautiful game’ – What price loyalty?

Let me nail my colours to the mast and say from the outset that I wanted England to do well at the recent World Cup and watched all our games along with millions of others. In spite of some shortcomings in certain areas, the team did well and managed to reach a creditable fourth place.

Before the World Cup started, the general consensus seemed to be that England would do well to reach the quarter final stage. Despite not playing that well and with fixtures working in the team’s favour suddenly, seemingly overnight, various pundits and the public were saying that we could go all the way, reach the final and possibly win the competition. Parliament was even set to debate granting an additional Bank Holiday if England won the World Cup – Should England win the World Cup.

Did you contract this epidemic of optimism that was World Cup fever? How did you feel when the bubble burst and our favourable run came to such a frustrating end? English hope turns to familiar despair.

I have been vexing about the extent to which the nation builds up its’ hope in this way. The whole country always seems to develop a frenetic momentum that, in my lifetime at least, always ends in the same overwhelming disappointment (1966 excepted!).

This begs the question why do we knowingly set ourselves up for a fall in this way? Where does your sense of hope and expectation come from? What, more fundamentally, is the basis for this?

According to Chad Carden, author of Winning the Money Game ‘Expectations impact attitudes and mindset. If we meet or exceed someone’s expectations (ours included), we tend to have positive attitudes and mindset. The reverse is also true: If we don’t meet expectations, we tend to have a less-than-stellar attitude or mindset’.

I pro-actively resist the urge to over-promise and under-deliver by constantly reminding myself of the need to set realistic expectations. By doing this, you reduce the ignominy of falling short of meeting these and thereby minimise the risk of embarrassing yourself, your customers and losing credibility in the eyes of both. Ultimately, this leaves you with just one thing – a feeling of despondency and defeat. Sound familiar?

Moving forward, try to adopt a more realistic approach when it comes to setting expectations; both your own and those of your customers. Finally, please share this with everyone you know so that we might all reduce our stress and anxiety levels next time round!