The Hug Theory: The Power of Expectation

The final sounds of the last song begin to fade, and endorphins sky-rocket as heart rates slowly taper. We step down off of our bikes and prepare to stretch. At the end of every SoulCycle class, we plant both feet on the ground and find that forward fold. We rise up as a pack, scooping up the amazing energy created in the room, and I leave the class with one last message:

“Expect good things, and they will happen.”

What’s it like to think about what we really want in life – the dreams that will truly fulfill us? If you’re like me, these ideas will begin to consume you. Suddenly, they are all you can think about. This is a good thing! Somewhere along the road, when dreams don’t happen right away, or an extra challenge gets thrown into the mix, we find ourselves not confident in our journey and begin to trick ourselves out of believing that we really want these dreams. This is not so good of a thing.

Have you ever talked yourself out of wanting a dream? I know I have before. We all have! Doubt is real, y’all! It’s easy to become overwhelmed with fear, competition, thoughts of failure, lack of confidence – the list goes on. We talk ourselves out of our dreams because, honestly, it comes down to this – it’s embarrassing, even if just to ourselves, if we end up not being able to achieve them.

We talk our dreams down so we’re not disappointed if they don’t happen.

Eh, I don’t really want this anyway.

It’s okay, I’m probably not going to get it.

I’m not qualified.

I don’t really deserve this.

I’m not good enough.

I could never do that.

That kind of thing doesn’t happen to people like me.

I’m happy enough doing exactly what I am doing.

I’m doing okay, and that’s good enough for me, right?

Wrong. There’s so much more waiting for you. You just have to be open to receiving whatever that may be. Enter: The Hug Theory.

(Bear with me here. Also – this will be way more fun if you act this out and not just visualize it – just have fun with it. Grab a friend and try this if you’ve got a buddy nearby.)

Imagine yourself standing up and walking around the room slowly. Cross your arms firmly across your chest and stay set on keeping them there. You could really use a hug at the moment, but no one is around so you don’t really see a hug in your future, so you just keep to yourself. A friend comes into the room and unexpectedly swoops in to give you a hug – but you weren’t ready for it! Your arms are still firmly crossed while your friend embraces you. Wow – this hug just got really awkward, and now you feel weird.

That’s kind of what it’s like when you talk yourself out of your dreams. You think it would be nice if your dreams were to happen, but you don’t want to get your hopes up only to end up disappointed if they don’t pan out the way you want. You walk around closed off to protect yourself from getting hurt.

Now imagine this. Here you are standing up, walking around slowly again – but this time, your arms are open wide. You can just feel that someone is going to walk in at any moment and give you a hug! That same friend swoops in and gives you a huge hug, and your arms are already open, so you embrace your friend back and you just got the best hug ever!

Wow – that sounds much nicer than the awkward weird hug in the first scenario. 

Why don’t we walk around with our arms (and minds) wide open, expecting to actually get our dreams? Just how we’re more likely to receive a good hug with our arms open ready to receive it, the same goes for our dreams! Live your life expecting to get what you believe you deserve! I mean, why not? We don’t need to justify why we want something, and we certainly don’t need to talk ourselves out of wanting something because we fear it won’t happen.

Changing your mindset to actually believing good things will happen is an ongoing practice. Catch yourself with the little things and develop a habit for when the bigger things come into your life.

If you want to have a good day, expect to have a good day.

If you think you deserve that job promotion, expect that it’s already yours for the taking.

If you are searching for a deep love in life, truly believe that it’s out there for you.

If you are seeking a life of fulfillment, know in the depths of your core that it is achievable.

Pro-tip for just about everything in life: It works better if you actually believe in it.

Expect good things, and they will happen.

What are some instances where you’ve talked yourself out of wanting something because you feared it wouldn’t happen?

How do you think that situation may have changed if you believed you deserved to get what you wanted?

Sometimes when I’m overwhelmed, I repeat a mantra out loud to myself. “Everything will work out for my good.” I say it, and I expect it. What’s a little phrase you could tell yourself when doubt and fear start to overwhelm you?

The best thing about walking around open to good things happening to you, is that you’ll be ready when amazing things you hadn’t even imagined yet come your way! Expect good things – and please, after all of this talk, follow through with your urge to give somebody a hug today! We could all use a hug at some point. I’ll see you next week.