How To Manage An Expectation Hangover
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How To Manage An Expectation Hangover

Need to manage an expectation hangover?

What is that you might be asking?

An expectation hangover is that feeling of disappointment or anger we get when something happens to us that we didn’t expect.

For example: you’re expecting your crush to ask you out. But instead, they ask out your friend.

Expectation hangovers can be anything from a minor annoyance to a hugely triggering event. They might even make you question yourself. Or make you feel like a victim. (“How could this possibly happen to me?”)

When you’re starting out manifestation, it’s easy to get carried away with planning for things in your future.

Living consciously is truly an exciting gift and no one can blame you for wanting to take full advantage of it.

But a funny thing happens once you’ve studied the Law of Attraction for a while.

The people that have studied it the longest might not seem all that excited about it anymore.

Which is kind of crazy! If you know it works and you’ve made stuff happen with it, then why aren’t you EVEN MORE excited and hard at work manifesting all kinds of cool stuff into your life?

Well there is another truth that becomes apparent after some practice and here it is:

All the beautiful intentions that you manifest for yourself for never feel quite as good as you want them to.

The golden glow of achievement wears off really quickly.

We build things up so much in our mind (I’ll finally feel happy when I get the degree, go on the trip, walk down the aisle). Once you finally do the thing there IS that moment of elation.

But that always quickly passes and you’re left with the feeling of “Now what?” We go back to our routine and not much is different.

And what’s worse is that our joy at experiencing our target wears off very very quickly.

The intention that we worked so hard for simply becomes part of our new normal.

We’re all guilty of it: of pumping up an idea or concept so much in our mind that we think it will change everything.

But even if you become rich, you’ll still suffer from your regular insecurities.

Even if you get the dream job, you’ll still get into arguments with your partner.

Even if you lose the weight, the person you had your eye on will go out with someone else.

An expectation hangover is pure disappointment: we’ve expected X result but got Y.

Those expectations of ours can be shockingly strong! They can give us tunnel vision, to the point that when we forget that there are even any other options. Then once we get that unexpected result at first we feel stunned then quickly either outraged or resentful.

Things should have been different.

Expectation hangovers happen when something we’d taken for granted suddenly disappears. (For example, getting fired or dumped out of the blue.)

But they can also happen when we get exactly what we want and yet don’t feel quite as happy about it as we thought we would.

When something bad happens (like getting dumped or fired), we go into buffering mode temporarily. We try to bargain or plead our way back or live in temporary denial of what’s happened. Those are just natural ways our brain gravitates to in order to put off dealing with the issue at hand.

But an entirely different phenomenon happens when we achieve the thing we want and it doesn’t match up to our expectations.

We think that if that goal isn’t making us as happy as we thought it would, then there must be something wrong…with us.

This is where the Law of Attraction can begin to backfire.

If you don’t explore this mental block or acknowledge that it’s happened, then you’ll soon stop making new plans or setting new intentions for yourself.

Because what’s the point?

So let’s try to prevent that from happening! Here are four ways to help manage your expectation hangover to make sure you keep manifesting beautiful things into your life with joy and fun.

4 Ways To Manage An Expectation Hangover

Manage An Expectation Hangover Tip #1: Give Yourself An Adjustment Period

Part of living consciously is knowing that there’s always an adjustment period.

So once the dust settles, know that it’s normal to experience a come-down afterward (or maybe even a mini-depressive episode).

Your new life takes some getting used to. And the truth is that change always requires a certain level of discomfort, even when it’s something we’ve invited in for ourselves.

So know that there’s nothing wrong with you. Nor is there anything wrong with your goal.

Give yourself enough time to adjust to your new normal, without freaking out about how weird or unexcited you feel. Sometimes that elusive feeling of contentment takes a little while to arrive.

Manifesting 2.0: Expectation Hangovers + The Law of Attraction

Manage An Expectation Hangover Tip #2: The Feeling Was Always The Goal

No matter how bummed you feel about something always try to remember it was always the feeling that you were truly going after, never the experience or physical item itself.

Sometimes when we hit the finish line we feel totally different than what we thought we would.

And that’s okay, because when you set the intention you were just taking an educated guess. There really is no possible way of knowing how you’re going to feel until you actually get there! This is a learning process. If your goal isn’t what you thought it was, it’s time to dig in a little deeper. Maybe you need to set a new goal or maybe you need to change your expectations.

Manifesting 2.0: Expectation Hangovers + The Law of Attraction

Manage An Expectation Hangover Tip #3: You Can Still Control How You Feel

Because it was always the feeling that you were really seeking, not the goal itself, you can figure out how to get that feeling anyway. The truth is we have a full menu of feelings available to us EVERY DAY. You don’t need anyone or anything to feel what you want to feel. You can do the things that take you there without any of that stuff.

Our feelings always come from our thoughts! So if you’re feeling disappointed, it’s simply time to reframe the situation so that you start to feel good again.

4. Release Control

The more practice you have achieving goals, the more obvious it becomes that feelings and goals really have nothing to do with each other. So you can still have all the fun in the world of asking for and achieving anything in your life.

But when you REALLY TRULY know that the goals don’t really matter and that the feelings are yours to experience RIGHT NOW, then you automatically lessen your grip on your goal.

Releasing your expectations and control is the part of the Law of Attraction that most people have difficulty with. Which is understandable because your experience hasn’t allowed you to make this connection yet!

So in a weird way, the more you practice manifesting, the less of a manifesting “high” you’ll experience. But you’ll also get better at making things happen because you know that it all works. And you’re able to do your part and get immediately out of the way of the Universe.

And that’s how the real magic happens.

manifestation quote

I hope this post helps to keep you inspired on your manifesting journey! This truly is a life-changing practice and I want to inspire you to take full advantage of it! Sometimes we all get manifesting burnout. My intention is that this post helps to put you back on track.

Good luck with it & I’ll see you back here next week!

Jenn Stevens The Aligned Life

PS Looking for more? You might also want to check out this post about the 21 Universal Laws & how to use them or this one about how to zap mental blocks.

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How To Manage An Expectation Hangover


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  1. My husband has gotten a new job and we are adjusting to it now. We have been wanting this for 3 years and now this job comes with different off days than mine and different hours. I am happy about many things about this job but there are side effects I didnt take into account. Your article was something I really needed to hear today. Thank you

    1. So happy you like it Wendy! ????

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