If you have an expectation of someone or something, it probably means you think or hope that “what you expect” will happen sometime in the future.
That’s because expectations are future focused – whether it be a minute from now or 3 years from now.
In other words, they haven’t happened yet but you think or hope they will happen.
And, much of the time, these expectations are based on assumptions – things you assume, that may have lead you to have the expectations.
However, when you assume something, you are always recalling something that you have experienced or remembered from the past. This means that assumptions are always “past focused”.
In other words, expectations are future-focused and assumptions are past-focused.
Here’s why this is important.
It’s important because the assumptions on which you are likely basing your expectations are fed from information and criteria from the past that may no longer be current or up-to-date.
This is the “time trap”.
It means that if you are basing your expectations on assumptions which may not be current, you run the risk of your expectations not being met.
That’s why it’s important to always validate your assumptions based on current, relevant information as it pertains to the subject, person, issue, or circumstance of which you have expectations.
The reason it’s so easy to walk past this fundamental clarity is because the brain processes information so quickly that assumptions and expectations can blur together as “undifferentiated information”, with no conscious distinction between the two time frames of past and future and the important difference they actually make.
Raising this “time trap” to the conscious level and checking that your assumptions are current can significantly increase the chances of your expectations actually being met.