Expect the best, believe in the worst
I love to believe the best in people. LOVE IT! I delight in seeing people’s strengths. In giving the benefit of the doubt. In being glass half full. In encouraging someone to believe in themselves. You don’t believe in you? No problem, sweetcheeks — I believe in you! I believe in your inherent fabulousness enough for both of us!
Borrow a bit of my belief while you mend your broken wings — borrow it till you are strong enough and you can fly on your own. Even when you are on the floor, and battered and broken and blue, when you are down and out, I still see your potential. I see what makes you special. I will help you shine. You already shine for me.
I feel lucky that I naturally tend see the best, so much so that I have made it my living. A living I am blessed to have. I should just say at this point that just because I believe in seeing the best in situations and people it doesn’t mean bad stuff doesn’t happen to me or the people I care about. Obviously not.
I just mean that in every situation we always have a choice of perception. And if we choose to see the best we will more than often get a reflection of that. “Expect The Best” is my motto. It’s simply a nicer way to move through life. And when the brown stuff really hits the fan — well hopefully we have built greater reserves to get through it.
In my experience, when you look for the best, you pretty much always find it. When you believe in people they rise to meet, and often to exceed, your expectations. You can see this all the time — a new, more positive coach of the football team turning performance around into a winning streak right from game one.
Is that due to a change in training methods, tactics or kit in one week? Marginal at best. The turnaround is about the change in belief within the team. The uplifting belief in winning or that someone truly has their back or knows what they are doing. People gratifyingly rise, rise, rise to meet our expectations and beliefs all the time.
And yet, here is the rub. Sometimes we can expect the best of someone — and they come up massively, epically, gobsmackingly, short.
In the course of my work I hear some incredible stories. The too-good to-be-true boyfriend who turned out to be not only seeing six other girls on his delivery round, but was actually engaged as well (true story). The girlfriend who didn’t get her own way on the room allocation for the blended family in the new house her partner bought, so went behind his back and gazumped him with a higher offer direct with the vendor (true story). The husband who cheated on his wife, when she was pregnant with their child. With her younger sister (true story).
So when someone shows you without ambiguity who they really are — and it is not the best, it is the worst — you should believe them. If someone is prepared to lie to you. Cheat on you. Embezzle. Betray you. Hurt you.
If they unequivocally show with their behaviour that they believe you don’t deserve respect and they show you it’s time to take off the rose-tinted glasses, however naturally sunny your disposition. If they so clearly don’t respect you, you must stand up and respect yourself. Don’t let your natural sunniness be exploited.
Occasionally in life you may encounter someone who will show you exactly and unequivocally who they really are. When this happens BELIEVE THEM. Believe not IN them but in what they show you. And turn all that sunshiny belief away from believing the best in them to believing the best for yourself. That you can walk away from this person or situation and have a better life. That you can do better. That you deserve better.
Stop believing in them and believe in a new and brighter future for yourself instead. You’ve got this.
Through her online Happiness programme “Wellbeing Warriors”, life coach Louise Thompson helps people unlock their happiest and healthiest life. Sign up at louisethompson.com and find more from Louise at bite.co.nz/wellbeing