The Difference Between Beliefs and Expectations: Letting go of the uncontrollable

Many of us have a correlation between both

Alice Lam
2 min readJul 18, 2019


Photo by RYAN VU on Unsplash

The best of both worlds is when you can truly dive into your beliefs and have a separation between them and people’s actions.

Belief and expectations should not be in the same lane. There is no such thing as a belief when there are expectations.

First of all, change is hard to obtain (mentally and physically), but that’s what is so beautiful about it. It’s about the process of experiencing micro-changes along the way. The progress that you see accumulating over time to form something big enough for it to be officially called ‘change’.

Sometimes change is necessary and much needed, but the perspective that we have of it can be damaging for ourselves and others.

When we have the power to believe that change is possible even in the most impossible situations — it is called faith. Faith is hands-free. We whole-heartedly believe in a situation while there are no facts presented to us. This approach should be taken within our relationships with friends, families, and others.

Letting go of any expectation grips will help us not feel the backlash of disappointment when something doesn’t go our way. It helps us not associate with something bad when the situation is out of our control.

Change or improvement can look different for everyone. Sometimes we grip onto certain expectations or a desired outcome so tightly that may we miss it when it has been granted. We have such large expectations of exactly how something should look like that when it has been granted, you are let down in a sense.

Your expectations for someone to change can give you a distorted perspective because your version of change may not be the best for your friend or family.

Letting go of expectations and resorting to only having a belief for change and/or improvement is the best mindset to adopt.

The power of not expecting anyone to change, but staying consistent with your beliefs give you the leverage of not being let down, disappointed, or being hurt.

It can sound a little heartless to not expect someone like your best friend to change for the better of him or her, but if we think about it, these expectations are only our desires for another individual. It is something that we cannot control.

Expectations are a way we express how we want someone to be or a way for us to care for others, but expectations have nothing to do for ourselves. Expectations are a reflection of your desires for a person, which no one has control over. Instead, switching your mindset over to believing they can change or improve is a much healthier approach for all parties.



Alice Lam

I write about purpose finding, learning, mindful self-development, and relationships.