Click to share:

What I Learned from a Gym Locker About Expectations

When I go to the gym, I stop in the locker room to put my extra things in a locker. I noticed one day that I had a habit of hesitantly opening each locker to see if it was free.

Sometimes I would find a free one first off and sometimes I would have to open several to find one empty. But it was that sense of hesitancy that I suddenly realized one day was always there.

It was as if I was expecting that it would be occupied and I would be “denied” its use, so I only halfheartedly tried. That possible “rejection” is what created that hesitancy for me. I was both¬†expecting and¬†fearing that rejection, that “no.”

I heard a quote once, “You’ll either live up to or down to your expectations.” What this essentially means is that your expectations influence your results. If you have low expectations, you’ll likely not give your all to something and therefore be less likely to achieve the best result possible. You might even miss opportunities because you don’t even try for them.

Even though the negative expectation didn’t stop me from opening lockers to find one I could use, the low energy I had and the subtle fear it caused was certainly something I recognized I didn’t want to create for myself in my life–in any experience. So I decided to shift my attitude and my expectation.


Instead of expecting the locker to be taken, I opened each one with the expectation that it would¬†be empty; but also held the attitude that if it WAS taken, that there were plenty more to try and that I would ALWAYS find an available one if I kept opening new ones. And guess what? That’s what happened!

I also began to examine where this negative expectation was showing up in my business. I definitely noticed it infiltrating many things. This was especially true when it came to ideas I had for offering my services to large businesses and organizations. I kept procrastinating on following through on action steps to offer my services to this market. In my mind, I had the expectation¬†that they wouldn’t take me seriously or even say yes to my request for a conversation.¬†

Since this realization about negative expectancy, and my decision to shift my expectations to positive possibility as well as holding the attitude that there are many “locker doors” to try¬†and some WILL¬†be open for me, I have taken steps to build¬†a corporate & organizational training division of my business. And guess what?

Doors HAVE begun to open. I HAVE found people in organizations who are open to talking with me and validate what I have to offer them. And I have had several PAID training gigs that have been well-received by the people I trained and the people who hired me.

I am now dedicating more of my time and resources to developing this division of business, and have even decided to do some rebranding of my company to create a wider range of perspective on the work I do and the offerings I provide (so be on the lookout for changes coming soon). There’s now an excited expectancy in following through on all the ideas I have come up with to follow this path!

So, where are YOUR expectations? Stop for a moment and ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I have high expectations or low expectations for myself and/or my business?
  • Do I expect to win or expect to lose?
  • Do I expect “yes”s or “no”s when I ask people to buy from/hire me, partner with me, or give me support?
  • Am I holding back on pursuing ideas or opportunities because I’m anticipating rejection?
  • Am I playing to win, or am I playing to not lose?


1. Assess where you have been playing small (or not at all) in order to not risk experiencing a closed door

2. Shift your attitude and expectancy to one of positive possibility

3. Set some possible first steps (baby steps or a giant leap; either is perfect) to pursue an idea or goal

4. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Trust that if you stay committed, positive and keep opening doors, you’ll eventually find one that you can claim. And once you find that first one, it will re-encourage you to go for more.

Do you need help with creating a winner’s attitude of positive expectancy? I might be able to help.¬†Schedule a complimentary¬†MMM Business Strategy Session¬†or Personal Performance Consultation with me¬†
to identify and change what practical or psychological challenges are holding you back from being and doing better in life and/or business.

Did you like this post? Did you get something helpful from it? Did you take some action that lead to a good result for you? Do you disagree or have something to add? Please leave a comment below to share with others.


  1. Chas Ridley says:

    Well said, and something I’ve done myself at different stages in life. Am going to look at where I might be doing it now. Especially like your wind-up question: “Am I playing to win, or am I playing to not lose?”
    Looking forward to reading more of your words.

    • Lisa Smith says:

      Thanks for your comment, Chas.
      Hope this helps prompt you to find ways where you are holding yourself back so you can step it up.

Speak Your Mind


%d bloggers like this: