Do you have expectations about how things will go? At work? At home?

Does reality sometimes fail to measure up to what you were expecting?

If this applies to you, you are not alone. Tune in to this episode to learn about the hidden costs of unmet expectations.

Then, if you are looking to finish charting faster, join me March 22 for a free webinar to help you do just that!

Save your seat and join the waitlist to hear about my charting program by going to

During this episode you will learn about;

[0:00] Introduction to today’s episode.

[1:39] An example from my own life:

[3:21] What are the hidden costs of unmet expectations?

[4:33] It doesn’t give the space to others and the freedom to make their own choices.

[6:04] There are some things in life that can’t be changed right now.

[8:06] The cost of unmet expectations can be relationship breakdown, relationship breakdown, frustration, disillusionment, and burnout.

[9:16] How can I respond to the situation?

[11:03] You have a choice.

[12:53] How un-met expectations can have hidden costs.

Above are the episode show notes and below is the transcript via Some episode transcripts have been edited more than others, but they are up in the meantime to help those who would rather read and for searchability on the web. Extensive editing has not been prioritized as I seek to both produce regular content and maintain my own wellness. See the website disclaimer if you have questions, since this is all for your education and entertainment only. Enjoy!


Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of the MedEdWell podcast, where physicians and other medical professionals come to be encouraged, and how to take the next step, their wellness journey. I’m so glad you’ve decided to join me for another episode, this is your first episode. Welcome. I am so excited that you’re here. I just can’t wait to share with you some of the things that I’ve learned. And that I want to encourage you with and encourage myself. If you haven’t subscribed, or left a review, please go ahead and do that. But let’s go ahead and jump into today’s show, talking about manuals and expectations, and the hidden costs of unmet expectations. They might say, manuals, what’s what’s that just the instructions for a particular device or thing that you got? Yeah, that it’s essentially talking about how things are supposed to go. And what that means for the design and the expected use. So manual, in this context, and in the context of life coaching is essentially expectations around how you think something is supposed to go, and what someone else should do. We all have them. We’ll get into expectations around how we interact with other people. But I wanted to bring a an example from from my own life. With regards to this case, Home Improvement. I’m doing a project to put in lights in the ceiling of my living room. And so tools and appliances have some instructions, essentially a manual from the manufacturer, how to use it. And one of these I didn’t read, I had a right angle drill attachment. And the manual, I later read said it was for screws not for drilling, and it could twist up. And I didn’t read the manual thinking, I know how this works, and what I can use it for. And fortunately, I wholly scrape my skin on my hands. But it did twist up. And I learned that it was not for drilling. So while this seems like a trivial example, it just provides a little context for what expectations and what expectations are, if you don’t know that they exist, that they’re still there. And they still make a big difference in how we show up for that particular situation. But it’s just whether it’s realistic or not. In this case, this came from the manufacturer, I didn’t read it. And so there was a mismatch of me understanding what the reality actually was. And so we have this with other people too. And it’s really important to just see that, when we think we know how other people should act, even if we do share about it, we really don’t have control over what other people are doing. The thing is, many times we don’t even share what those things are that we’re expecting. And so if we have these expectations, they aren’t met, or they are being fulfilled out of essentially a sense of trying to control the situation. What are the hidden costs of those unmet expectations? So first, I think it actually causes some relationship breakdown. As we have these manuals for others, or even ourselves. I have expectations for myself that maybe unrealistic or just aren’t showing self compassion. It doesn’t give the space to others and the freedom for others to make their own choices around us. It doesn’t honor them as individuals, whether that’s a significant other kids, friends, colleagues, and it’s just ends up leading to more frustration for me if I have these manuals And I just let that guide and define what my happiness and my worth, when I can’t control the situation. So it’s totally okay to have boundaries, it’s good to have boundaries, and can have some expectations, but not making our happiness dependent on the results of what other people are doing. But the situation has that, that allows for them to be their own person. And for me to take ownership of my own thoughts and feelings, and how I want to show up in that situation. So, first, unmet expectations can lead to some challenges in the relationship. But as I mentioned earlier, secondly, it can include and lead to frustration and disillusionment. There are some things in life that can’t be changed, potentially ever, but at least right now. And in the context of medicine, maybe that’s something around charting around systems, scheduling challenges, maybe something else with the call schedule, you name it, we could probably put it in the category of why this can’t get fixed right now. But if we expect that we can change it now, or that it must change, because this is wrong, we can still have those thoughts. But if we really expect that it’s going to change, and it must change, it can lead to frustration and disillusionment with why why can’t we make this? Why can’t we make this change? Why Can’t We? Why can’t we do this right now. And it’s really important in these situations, to hold on to your big, why your priorities, and what matters most to you, and focusing on what you can change for yourself, for your mindset, your thoughts, and how you show up, because regardless of whether this changes, you’re still going to be dealing with it. And many of the thoughts that you have, are going to be what actually cause you that pain, as you deal with the discomfort of frustration and the disillusionment, because this may just be a thing, a neutral circumstance. You’re charting your schedule, and yet, you’re causing pain, maybe with these automatic, unintentional thoughts that don’t allow you to really see how you could make a change. I have these automatic unintentional thoughts too. And it does cause pain. It does make me uncomfortable. But it allows for some space for self compassion, you’re willing to take a moment to step back and see, oh, that makes sense. I’m a human and this is a very normal reaction to the situation. So first, first cost of unmet expectations. Depending on how you respond to it can be relationship breakdown, second, frustration and disillusionment. And third, it can lead to burnout. So unmet, unmet expectations get compounded by moral injury, those systems things that make it so that you can’t do the things that you know, that you should be able to do. And it causes that inner turmoil, that moral injury. So the Silic can lead to the experience of burnout. I’ve been there less than a year out of residency, when I was bringing charts home and working through lunch, and just exhausted. It was miserable. And as I sat on the couch next to my wife, and we talked, she said something has to change. And she was right. And I don’t magically now see fewer patients for each day I am in clinic. I have a couple fewer sessions that I’m in clinic but the amount of busyness and sometimes chaos

Have caring for patients, when there’s needs and emergencies and codes. It’s still there. But I’ve had to work on what my expectations are and how I show up and deal with some of these automatic unintentional thoughts. And it’s a matter of saying, How can I respond to the situation? It’s how can I show up in a way that honors, the challenge, and the discomfort, the feelings that naturally come up. But at the same time, I want to own my part in it, of how I can respond, even if the system doesn’t change, even if this situation isn’t different. And it reminds me that I do have a choice. That if this is a job that is really overwhelming and may not be aligned with my big why that I could make a change doesn’t mean that I have to, it’s saying that I do have options. There might be consequences, how long I’m looking for work or re credentialing at a new institution. But those are options. And by considering that as one of the possibilities, that actually is empowering to say, I could make a change. But I could also make a change right where I’m at. And to adjust my expectations or do this a little bit differently, and advocate at a system level where I am now to be able to change the experience for me, and for my colleagues. I’ve talked in the past about advocacy, and being being there for yourself. And showing up in a way that allows you to seek to make that change. And make it in a way that the proposal is a win win, showing the leadership that the data behind why you are requesting this actually supports both them. And you know, this may not always be the case that you can make these changes in that win win situation. But it may just be thinking outside the box of how you’re going to get there. So three ways that unmet expectations can have some hidden costs, both and how that affects relationships, frustration, and even burnout. So as we wrap up today, I want you to consider where you are today, with expectations and me most. First, remember that we all have them that we have these expectations, how we think things should go. And those are very human experiences. There, there are these hidden costs. And it’s important to to have some grace for yourself as you come to these situations. And you’re like, hey, I have high expectations. But I can hold hold them a little bit looser than I did. And what I make that mean, when that’s not my experience when it doesn’t live up to the expectations. And then I can get curious, I can say, is this something that needs to change the situation where I want to try and do something to to make it go a little bit differently? Or is it something that I can have self compassion on myself and say that expectation is not necessarily reasonable. I want to do this differently. And in order to live in accordance with my big priorities, if it’s self care or family or being there for myself and others. It could look like a number of different things. But it’s about taking that time to consider where are you? What are you thinking? What are those expectations? Can we all have them? And then how do you want to either continue what you’re doing? Or potentially make a change in how you’re expecting things to go and clinic, at home, your job in general? And do you need to make some tweaks do you need to make a change? Is it time to make a larger transition, only you can decide. But I just want to encourage you to look at your expectations, those manuals and to realize that you can make these changes that you can make these changes that will really impact your wellness, and your experience in medicine. So, thanks so much for listening. I am so thankful for each of you having to listen and for those of you who like the video, you can find me on YouTube and some clips on social media as well Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn take a moment and share this episode with another doctor or medical professional in your life. And if you haven’t done so leave a review because this really helps get the word out there are other Doc’s if you’re listening around the time this episode comes out, I’ll be doing a free webinar to help you finish charting faster. They’ll be doing this on a regular basis to help physicians take that next step to get their charting done faster. So they can get home sooner for what matters most to them. An entirely redesigned this time around and I can’t wait to share it with you. So you can sign up for the link in the show notes. Again, thank you so much for all that you do. And have a great day