How to use Positive Expectation

How to use Positive Expectation

Bigger, better (buttered!) brioche buns

Sounds like a advertisement for a bakery, right? Or some kind of absurd new season on Netflix. Brioche buns and the method of positive expectation, not exactly an iconic duo…

et me set the scene for you. It was 6am the morning of my engagement party. After months and months of planning, weekends spent making decisions about glassware, and drink options and guest lists, the moment had finally come for my fiancé and I to celebrate our engagement with our closest family and friends, we couldn’t wait!

My phone began to ring, I answered it and my heart sank as the young girl on the end of the line informed me that there was an error in our order, and the 60 brioche buns we had ordered were not ready, and could not be made in time for our event. Despite my disappointment, I remained calm and assertive, and asked the girl if there were any other bakeries she could recommend, or contact on our behalf to try and remedy the situation. She told me she would do her very best to contact bakeries nearby.

I broke the news to my fiancé (now husband) David, and we immediately tried to rectify the situation, calling every bakery Google-able! We had no luck. Brioche buns, as it turns out, aren’t something bakeries have on hand often, let alone 60 of them! (At this point we even contemplated making them ourselves…)

We had planned to serve pulled pork sliders to 60 guests later that afternoon and trying his very best to solve the problem, David suggested that if we exhaust all possible options we could simply serve the sliders on dinner rolls. Now, I know there are foodies out there, reading this, with eyes wide in horror at the thought of swapping out delicious, soft brioche buns for grocery store-bought dinner rolls, and to be honest, so was I, not because I didn’t appreciate my husbands efforts to fix the situation, but because I had a sense, a feeling, that everything was going to turn out OK (and I really, really, didn’t want dinner rolls!). Better than OK in fact! I knew that there were brioche buns coming our way, I didn’t know the how or the when but I knew that everything was going to turn out exactly how it was supposed to.

Let me preface here by saying that 10 years ago, I would not have reacted in the same way. Not even close. I would have been angry at the bakery for the error in the first place. I would have demanded retribution! I ordered 60 brioche buns damn it, and if I wasn’t going to get them, someone was going to be held accountable!

That was the old me.

That would have been the reaction of a very angry, self-serving human out to blame everyone and anyone else for obstacles, large or small that life threw at me and for no purpose.

It doesn’t feel good to be angry.

It doesn’t serve anyone to get upset and become offensive. It especially doesn’t serve you.

Still feeling good about the outcome, knowing something excellent was about to come our way, there was one bakery left on our list that hadn’t answered their phone. It was 7am at this point, and we lived close by.  I suggested to David that we just drop in, and get a coffee regardless and ask. There’s no harm in asking, right?

I approached the lady at the counter, who proceeded to call the baker. Five minutes later she came out with one single brioche bun on a plate and somewhat apologetically said to us, I have around 100 of these out the back, gesturing to the single plated bun. She went on to explain they were left over from a street festival the day before, they were pre-buttered and that we could have the lot for $20.

My heart leaped! These brioche buns were bigger than the ones we had originally ordered, pre-buttered and significantly less expensive!

Prior to visiting this bakery the original bakery we had placed the order with called back to tell us that they were so sorry and there was nothing they could do. I assured them that it was OK, I would be calling her back in a matter of hours informing her that something better was coming our way, and it did.

I called the first bakery back and thanked them for losing our order.  I was so grateful for this obstacle because it gave me the opportunity hold positive expectations about the outcome of the situation, which turned out to be even better than we had originally planned.

We got home, and I took a moment to ponder what had just happened. My positive expectation that something good comes from everything in life, had proceeded to astound me! I teach these methods, I’ve seen them work in practice, but never had I seen them work so efficiently before, in such a short amount of time. It was incredible.

Positive expectation is when we expect good and favourable results.

I had no idea how these results were going to be achieved. But I knew I had the ability to hold positive emotions regardless, and this significantly impacted the outcome of the situation.

This is easier said than done as many of us “what if” ourselves into the negative all the time.

I could have questioned “what if there are no brioche buns in stock anywhere?” or “what if my guests are discontent with our party?”. You’ll be amazed at how quickly these thoughts can spiral into more serious concerns such as “what if this is a symbol of our marriage together, what does that mean for our future?”.  Now, I know we’re taking things to the extreme here, but when we’re “what if-ing” ourselves into a state of anxiety and negativity, particularly about more detrimental outcomes such as our jobs, houses, or children, these thoughts can feed off one another rapidly.

The interesting part about taking a moment to consider the good is that we don’t know what is coming or how it is coming, we are open and allow for any possibility, which in most cases surprises and delights us, and even turns out better than we had anticipated (with butter!)

It’s important to note that questioning the how this outcome will be achieved, adds resistant energy as you narrow your focus, thus, creating a feeling of control.

The trick here is to expect that something good is coming and let go of the how. I chose to focus on the feeling that everything would turn out OK, without knowing the details of the solution. I wasn’t in control, and that was okay, because I had positive expectations of the outcome. 

It’s not easy and it does take practice.

A good way to start practicing positive expectation, is not to wait until you are faced with a challenge, and instead repeating daily positive affirmations like:

  • Something amazing is going to happen to me today.
  • Something good comes out of everything.
  • I don’t know what, but something good is going to come out of this.
  • There is both good and bad in any situation and I choose to focus on the good.

When you are faced with a challenge or difficult situation let your self-awareness allow you to notice that you are thinking about what you assume could go wrong. This could be something at work, in your business, at home with your family or kids, partner or a dish you’re serving at your engagement party! Choose a statement from above, or one that is similar, one that resonates with you and say it to yourself. Build up the feeling in your heart, and a knowing that something good is coming. You will immediately feel better and watch as something good happens as a result of whatever situation you are being faced with.

This change of mind and observance of your current state and reactions doesn’t come easy, so #findfifteen to practice positive expectation every day this week, and get ready for the bigger, better, buttered brioche in your life.

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