A woman I know is about to take a Caribbean vacation with her husband – their first tropical trip in ages and one they’ve been planning for a year. When she explained to me where they were going and how they’d get there, I told her I’ve never been but have heard the area is beautiful.

“You’ll have such a great time,” I told her.

“Well…we’ll see,” she responded, with doubt in her voice.

When I asked about her hesitancy, she launched into a story about their last family trip to a tropical destination – over 15 years ago. The airline went on strike and their family got stranded at an airport for eight hours, causing them to miss a full day of beach time. When she wrote a letter of complaint, the airline sent her a voucher for a free plane ticket; she was so mad about the incident that she sent the free ticket back, swearing to never fly with them again.

Now, nearly two decades later, that experience still weighs heavy on her mind and clouds her expectations for having a stress-free trip. With that mindset going in, she’s setting herself up for failure – sure to notice every error or slip-up, and potentially missing all the goodness in her midst. I encouraged her to expect something different, to trust that some kind of wonderful is waiting for her in paradise.

We can all relate to her, right? We all let experiences from our past dictate our expectations for the future. We think that setting ourselves up for disappointment will make it less heartbreaking when something goes awry. And, if it does, then we’re disappointed that we still feel the full brunt of our disappointment. Spending that energy expecting the worst and worrying about all that could go wrong does no good.

When you expect awesomeness {imagine it, feel it, believe it}, that positive energy fuels you, giving you the strength you need to breeze through little disappointments. You might even enjoy the detours. I have seen evidence time and time again that good things don’t just come to those who wait; good things come to those who expect good things.