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One main cause of your suffering

By Atip Muangsuwan

What is the one main cause of your suffering?

From coaching many clients on both business and life dilemmas, I’ve found out that one main cause of their suffering, misery or pain is derived from… the expectations of themselves, of others and from others.

Recently, there was an executive client who shared with me that she was not happy with her boss. This is because her boss didn’t give her the time, direction and support that she needed. She said she herself always gave her time, direction and support to her direct reports. But how come when she needed the same things from her own boss, she never received them in return.

This is a classic case that I’ve often heard from my executive and business clients. So, what I did during my coaching session with them was… I helped them explore their expectations that started from the expectations of themselves, of others and also from others. Particularly, for this case, their expectations of their bosses; that is, what their bosses should do or behave in order to meet with their expectations.

They said… their bosses should give them the time, support, direction and blah…blah…blah that they need. But their bosses didn’t!!! So, they’re not a good boss. They don’t have leadership and blah…blah…blah.

So, I asked my clients… “Have you talked things out with your boss? Have you told your boss what you need from him or her?”

Most of my clients replied… “Yes. I already told him or her about my needs. But he doesn’t change or she doesn’t change. Things remain the same.”

Then, I asked my clients, “Whom does we have the power to change? Them or you?”

My clients suddenly got the Aha moment and replied… “Me. Myself.”

Then, I followed up with the key question, “And what will you do with your expectations of your boss in order for you to have no or less suffering?”

My clients replied, “I’ll have to lower my expectations if I don’t want to be disappointed and suffering.”

The problem solved! 😊

If you don’t want to suffer from your own disappointment, then don’t set high expectations of others. Because you don’t have the power or control over other people’s behaviors or action. The only person that you really have the power or control over is… “You yourself”.