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Positive Expectations

11 Examples of Positive Expectations

Positive expectations is the process of thinking and feeling based on hopefulness and confidence in the future. The following are illustrative examples.

Self-fulfilling Prophecy

Self-fulfilling prophecy is the idea that expecting and predicting things can make them happen. This certainly occurs as you generally have to think of a goal before it can happen. However, it would be lazy to think that everything you happen to predict or think automatically becomes reality.

Productive Assumptions

Productive assumptions is the practice of believing what is most productive as opposed to what is most likely to be true. In the case of positive expectations, this would include believing good things will happen because this improves your results in life. For example, assuming that people are on your side such that you open up to them. This assumption may not be completely true but may be more productive that alternatives such as assuming that people are against you.

Fake it Till You Make It

Fake it till you make it is the observation that many people feel that they are "faking" things when they first begin. For example, when you get your first management job you may feel that you're not really a manager but simply acting the role. Taking on risks before you feel that you are completely ready is a healthy type of positive expectation whereby you recognize your inexperience or shortfalls but believe things will work out anyway. This is preferable to blind confidence whereby you ignore risk or believe unrealistic things about yourself.


Schadenfreude is a sense of joy generated by the misery of others. For example, you may think that it is a positive expectation to think that your rival will fail. This isn't exactly positive as schadenfreude is a dark type of emotion that isn't productive. Generally speaking, the failure of others doesn't bring you closer to your goals. Self-satisfaction based on the misery of others is a low mental state that is characteristic of failure in life.

Abundance Mentality

Abundance mentality is the belief that there is enough for everyone such that the successes of others don't diminish your own. By being happy for others, their joys become your joys, their successes become your successes.

Believing in People

Trying to see the good in people including their future potential. People like people who like them. By assuming the best about people you will gain friends. By supporting them you may be viewed as a leader.

Defensive Pessimism

Defensive pessimism is the process of using pessimism as a tool as opposed to as a character trait or habit. This can be used to occasionally validate your positive expectations. For example, you may want to believe in people to the maximum extent possible but still recognize when someone has become a negative influence in your life.


People can experience a series of successes in life that continue for an extended period of time such that life becomes quite magical. This is almost always based on positive expectations whereby you feel that you deserve good things and think they will surely happen.

Positive Resilience

Everyone will face stress, disappointment and failure. This isn't a failure of positive expectations but is basic reality that will occur amongst the pessimistic and optimistic alike. Positive expectations can continue to be used to bounce back from negative aspects of the human experience without loss of enthusiasm.

Toxic Positivity

Toxic positivity is the senseless or excessive use of positivity. For example, believing completely unrealistic things about yourself. Positive expectations need not be wild and unrealistic. It is a mistake to go too far such that you become delusional and disconnected.

Deferring Judgement

People are quick to deem one situation as positive and another as negative. Deferring judgement is the process of assuming that good things can come from your greatest disappointments and demonstrating caution that successes may lead to problems. This is illustrated in a story known as the Chinese Farmer Parable.


This is the complete list of articles we have written about positivity.
False Hope
Good Habits
Life Is Fair
Personal Growth
Positive Expectations
Toxic Positivity
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