The Willingness to Disappoint
It's not fun to disappoint people. Most of us definitely do NOT like doing it. Actually we will avoid it so much, it can make us suffer more and even be willing to disappoint ourselves.
Recently when I was leaving my parents' home in Indiana, I realized how hard it is to disappoint them. As I watched them in my rearview mirror (photo of me here), I realized the day would come when one of them would not be there. Then eventually, they both would be gone. That's a fact of life. It was hard as they told me to be safe and to call them when I arrived, and my mom gave me kisses another time, and we waved good-bye, and I honked the horn when I was down the gravel drive and almost to the road.
The experience got me thinking of how I have often struggled with not wanting to disappoint people. Some parents will tell their child they are a disappointment. Thankfully, my parents have never done that. But still, I feel like I disappoint them because I know they want me closer AND because I care about them and want them to be happy. This has happened in other relationships too. I try to protect other people's feelings - often over my own.
Sometimes we are actually taught to put other people's feelings ahead of our own.
But even if you haven't been taught that, you may want to put others first. If you are an empathic and loving person (and since you're on Wanda's mailing list, I bet you are) > then you likely WANT to put others ahead of yourself.
That's why it's so powerful to learn the truth. The truth is:
You are meant to be you...
even if "you" happens to disappoint others. This is being a good friend to yourself (image from Wanda's coloring book!)
Why is it so hard to disappoint others? Maybe you will be rejected, cut off, ignored... Face it, one of the hardest parts of truly being you is risking the disappointment others may act out:
* when you do not do what they want,
* or what they think you should do,
* or what they demand you should do,
* or what they imply you should do!
Like so much of my personal growth, I often know when I'm not listening to myself and when I am not honoring myself. Generally, I feel bad - emotionally and even physically. But it's easy to ignore our own selves, isn't it?
Until the day our emotions and our bodies speak up loudly and say "NO MORE!!"
Here's something I've realized. If you are making choices to not disappoint someone, you are being controlled by them >> whether they mean to be controlling you or not.
It's one thing to disappoint your parents when you're a toddler and you run out in the street after they told you not to. But we grow up (hopefully). And, it's another thing to disappoint your parents when you follow your heart and your true self. And you can substitute the word "parents" with "friend" or "partner"... it's hard to let down anyone we are close to.
The true solution to this dilemma is to become so strong and confident:
1) that you can be you, and
2) you can also be gracious to others who may want you do something differently.
If you're not feeling confident, you may go to extremes. If you feel like you're being judged or attacked, it's super easy to put up your force field and defend or attack also. Or maybe you go the other way and you hide and avoid.
The goal is to become confident in your willingness to be you and to disappoint others if it means being yourself.
As I grow more confidently in who I am, I can also add more humor to any situation where I am a potential disappointment. I can be loving and encouraging and accepting and playful (like leaving this plant friend for my parents to find:)
I can be me and also be strong in letting people know I love them even if I am disappointing them. As you grow more confident, you can be you > and you deeply know:
I am good enough! Even if I'm not doing things "right" or "the right way."
It's still hard for me to disappoint people. Sometimes it's even harder when they're not even telling me I am disappointing them.
But as I keep growing, the willingness to be me is stronger than the willingness to accommodate others. If I am denying myself and my truth and my needs and my feelings... how does that really help anyone?
Are you willing to disappoint others so you don't disappoint yourself? I hope so! If you're going to be a disappointment > be a good one, and do it on behalf of YOU!