August 2013
Vol 6, Issue 8
Creative Coaching Group
 the Creative Coaching Group newsletter

Dear ,

Jan Carley squareHappy August! This is a special month for all of my high-achieving readers (yes, I mean you) because my feature article tackles one of the most prevalent crippling habits of high-achievers - that of habitually holding expectations. With apologies to Charles Dickens...the holding of expectations for self, others and situations is simply not great! When you let your expectations go and stay in the magic and power of the moment, amazing things transpire. Read my feature article below to see if your expectations are tripping you up and getting in the way of your happiness or success. 


Sometimes the most fabulous things happen when you don't expect them! I am excited to let you all know that I have been appointed Associate Faculty at my alma mater, Royal Roads University in Victoria, BC.  I will be teaching one of the 12-week online courses of their globally renowned Executive coaching program starting in 2014 which is so thrilling for me because I get to combine my love of teaching with my love of coaching.


I wonder what unexpected joy will come your way this month? 




 Jan Carley BA, CEC, PCC  

Professional Certified Executive Coach   

Creative Coaching Group 

Feature Article: 3 Super Tips to Kick your Expectation Habit

woman kicking with joyHave you ever expected something to turn out a certain way, and when it didn't, you were crushed? Have you ever gotten mad at yourself because you didn't perform in the way you expected? Or, perhaps you have been disappointed because someone didn't do what you expected them to? Expectations of self, of others and of results or outcomes can smash possibilities and leave us feeling miserable. 

Check out the SuperTips below for strategies to help you lessen the negative effects of your expectations.  


Habit #1: Expectations of Self    

Has anyone ever said to you, Wow, are you ever hard on yourself? If they have, you probably shrugged off their comment and marked it down to simply having high personal standards. Having high standards is not in itself a bad thing. High standards can drive us to achieve great things and they can be our inner motivation to succeed. Having a big vision of what we want for our lives is a good thing.

However, going into an anxiety-ridden state when we do not live up to our rigid expectations of our vision for ourselves is not a good thing. When we feel dissatisfaction for not meeting those expectations or disappointment because we fall short of that shimmering vision in our head it can feel pretty lousy and seriously impact our joy factor. Even when we have achieved a win by others' standards, we may feel lousy or unfulfilled if we haven't met our own expectations. 


SuperTip#1 : Create a fluid vision for yourself

If you can think of your vision as a fluid, ever-evolving and shifting ideal, as opposed to a rigid, unbending fixed point, you will have more space to adjust your vision and consider other possibilities when you do not meet your expectations of self. The fluidity of a personal vision is what keeps that vision vibrant and enduring. Remind yourself that a vision is something you work toward and is a changing picture rather than a black and white judgmental grid. Have compassion, love and patience with yourself as you go through the ever-changing process of living into your vision. Be aware of when the holding of high expectations of yourself is negatively impacting you (or those around you). Revisit your vision and consider adding more fluidity into your picture of self and success.


Habit #2 Expectations of Others

This one may be a hard habit to break. How often do we as bosses , as parents, as leaders or as partners say, I expect you to...?  Expectations are stories we believe about how others should behave. The more expectations we have, the more we set ourselves up for disappointment  because generally, people rebel against expectation.  


SuperTip #2  Create Agreements instead of expectations

Instead of expectations,  experiment with setting clear standards or creating clear agreements with people around their behaviors based on mutual respect. The very word agreement releases a burdensome weight doesn't it? An agreement is a mutual arrangement that harmonizes opinions or feelings. The negative insinuation of expectation simply disappears when you focus instead on creating agreements. 

For example:

Create an agreement with your teenager about keeping their room clean, and what the consequences are if they don't follow through on their end of the bargain.

Create agreements with your staff group that encourage the behavior or deliverables you want.

Create agreements on what being a member of your group means.


Habit #3 Expectations of Situations

We have all experienced situations where we want something so badly that it actually gets in the way of our success. When we get attached to a result over which we have no control we add a layer of interference that gets in the way of our actually achieving that goal.


SuperTip #3   Detach from the Result

There are times when detaching from an outcome is actually the best course of action for maximum results. Specifically, for those events, conversations and situations over which you have no ultimate control of the outcome, and especially for those situations to which you have a big investment of emotion attached. If the result or outcome of something is not in your absolute control, detaching from that outcome will serve you well. 


My recipe for success for those situations that you really care about, but ultimately have no control over the result or outcome is high intention, low attachment. Having high intention/low attachment will reduce mental interference and focus your mind and energy on your purpose (your intention). High intention, low attachment will open possibilities for outcomes that you may not have even considered. High intention, low attachment will allow you to stay in the moment which is where the power and magic lie. You can apply this High Intention/Low Attachment concept in any part of your life.  Go into that important situation with high "intention", that is, a clear and focused purpose and a low "attachment" to the outcome. 

Lightbulb of the Month

blue lightbulb


"Expectations exceeded bring good feelings. Expectations unrealized bring bad feelings. Expectations met bring nothing but more expectation." -Michael Neill, coach and author

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The Strength Deployment Inventory (SDI) is a relationship-awareness tool that helps you discover your innate motivational value system that drives your behavior both in good times and in conflict. This tool gives you incredible insight and immediate strategies for how to make both your communications and relationships more effective and productive. Click here for detail and pricing and contact me if you are interested the possibilities of having the SDI delivered to your partnerships or teams.  

Contact Jan Carley

Certified SDI   Facilitator at


About Jan Carley

Jan is a Professional Certified Executive Coach credentialed with the International Coach Federation. She is passionate about inspiring high-achieving individuals and teams to acknowledge their signature brilliance, leverage their strengths and focus their actions to maximize their performance potential. Jan combines creativity and positive, whole brain thinking to support and energize transformative change through her signature harmony from the inside out coaching approach.

3rd edition of Jan's book 

The 3rd edition of Jan's popular book, Harmony from the Inside Out, is now available for purchase and includes a bonus 50-page Action Guide download.  Purchase the book online at


Jan lives in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, and is available for individual and team coaching, workshops, and speaking engagements worldwide. PCC logo

Contact Jan at 604 873-1763 



Quick Links
Jan' Coaching Company Creative Coaching Group
Jan's work with BarbershoppersInner Coach of Barbershop
Jan's popular bookHarmony From the Inside Out
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