Do you think having expectations are a good thing or a bad thing?
There are those who believe that the reason people don't manifest what they want is because they have expectations. They argue that releasing all expectations and going with the flow is the source of emotional and spiritual freedom... and the manifestation of one's dreams.
Lately, I've been mentally debating the issue of expectation and I completely disagree with those who say "release ALL expectations." And here's why. The expectation is not the problem; the lack of openness is. In any situation, you have to know what you want. There's a part of creating a thing that requires you know what exactly you are creating. Specificity comes in knowing the what. Opportunity comes in being open to the how.
What most people do, however, is get vague on the what and rigid on the how and that's where expectation becomes a problem. When you begin to say "I have to have this job by this year and this date", you are locking yourself in scarcity. You are showing that you don't trust life to work on your behalf. You are trying to control what's not in your control which creates more insecurity, not less.
The moment you say "I have to be married and have my first child by 28", you are demanding from the universe what only the universe can decide and provide. But letting go of the how doesn't mean you completely disregard holding the vision. If you're a writer, hold onto your vision of being a writer even as you open yourself up to the way in which your writing manifests itself. If you're an actress, continue acting and keep the vision of yourself winning that Oscar ever in front of you BUT be open to roles that don't pay or roles that aren't 'Oscar material' so the universe can act on your behalf.
The problem with manifestation isn't that you expect too much; it's that we believe for too little. We count on the universe failing us. We expect life to turn its back to our needs so we vie for control only to find out that our restriction on life puts a restriction on our dreams.
The answer isn't to expect less. The solution is to believe for more, stay open to possibilities, and let go of any thought or belief that says "I can't have both."
Remember: life works.