“The thing that is really hard and really amazing is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” ~ Anna Quindlen
Most of us are pretty comfortable with disappointing ourselves. We are used to it.
We promise ourselves we’ll lose the weight, we’ll make it to yoga class, we’ll eat better, we’ll prioritize time for quiet and connection to God, we’ll start exercising…and it doesn’t happen, we don’t follow through, we give up.
But disappoint others?
That is an area very few of us are good at– because, of course, we aren’t supposed to be “good” at that, are we? When have we ever been taught that the skill of disappointing others is necessary in living an extraordinary life?
Or we hear that “you can’t please everyone” and we nod in agreement but somewhere in the back of our minds the people we imagine we’d have to disappoint are people we don’t think highly of or care much about.
But the whole “you can’t please everyone” truth applies to people we love. People we admire. People we want approval of. People we deeply care about. It’s hard to disappoint these people. It sends us into full blown shame swamps, anxiety forests and insecure deserts.
I’ve been in the focus-frenzy mode preparing for my upcoming series, Teach Your Life to be Extraordinary.
I’ve never created course material so intimately on my own growth edge before. This is the stuff I work through all the time in my own life.
In particular, I’ve had to make hard decisions in the past few months to get my work back in alignment with my life– which has meant disappointing people…and people I really care about.
And that is hard to sit with. For me, it has taken tremendous internal strength and trust. I’ve been on my knees leaning on God’s guidance.
Making the hard decisions is just hard. Sometimes there is no way around that.
But you also come to realize that discerning where you need to pull back, taking back commitments that aren’t aligning, and saying no when you need to- in the end, it creates space and freedom and peace. But the process can test your resolve and give you opportunities to know yourself more deeply than ever.
Along the way, you won’t get everything right. You’ll make mistakes. You’ll have to say,
“I’m sorry- I over-committed.”
“I’m sorry- I steered the ship we were both on in dangerously low waters and we need to back pedal a little.”
“I’m sorry- I’m choosing a different path.”
“I’m sorry- I really thought I could do this, but I can’t.”
And perhaps most importantly, it is the grace toward yourself that will strengthen you to keep moving forward.
The words said to yourself,
“It’s ok, you made a mistake. You’re doing your best to right it from this point forward but you’re not going to beat yourself up over mistakes…they are reminders that you’re growing and heading toward brighter, wiser places.“
…those words are just what might make this messy, wonderful journey back home to yourself all the softer and kinder road to be on.
Are there places in your life where you have over-committed? Where you have said yes, but it isn’t working anymore and you may need to find a way to say no?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic, leave a comment and share this post.
And, of course, if you’d like to join me for the 3 week class series beginning July 30 which is exploring a new path of passion and prosperity….of priorities and purpose….of meaning and motherhood…of authentic not perfect, you can get more information here.
Hi Lisa, I can resonate with your words here. I know all to well the gut wrenching reality of having to disappoint those we love the most. The disappointment when you had said “Trust Me” and then you have to say, “well I now have to take a divergent path” when you had already been whole heartily moving down another. In my case it was not that my previous path was incorrect but it was correct for different reasons then I thought so when that purpose was filled my stirrings started, my back of mind whispers began and the fear started building and building. I was no longer listening because I was so far down this path that I could not face adjusting the compass. I was and still am in full blown shock. I am no newbie to the world of spiritual awakening, self empowerment taking big big chances in life that were aligned with my higher self….but the lesson here is we are constantly adjusting the compass. For me the shift in the path is devastating for so many reasons, financial not the least of them. It is not even that the prior path was incorrect but rather requires a drastic turn that is going in a whole other direction, a direction I am now just trying to allow to emerge. I almost wrote just now (a path I am trying to figure out”) but I have to get my head out of this and open my heart more. I have to listen with my heart and trust. Words and advice I have given too so many women myself and now applying back to me…again! I thought I was listening but apparently not closely enough. This scary new direction applies to my business and one that I am now committed to supporting whatever direction it needs to take.
I look forward to our journey together Lisa,
Light and Love
Thank you for sharing your story and your insight-so beautiful to hear your courage as you keep saying yes to your right next steps.
I Have been recently asking the universe for more creative work and yes it has entered my life. One show in particular was overlapping with another (ironic I did both those shows the same summer Back in the 90s) I really thought I could direct both but in looking at my jammed packed schedule I knew one would have to go.. So I released…. it hard to say NO I don’t think I can follow through with this at this time. Part of me felt a huge weight lifted however the negative side of me felt like “why can’t you do it all?” … A failure. I have finally come to terms with I also need to take care of ME and make sure I am not over committed and can breathe!
Oh how I know that inner critic that tells me when I wisely say no it means I’m a failure…that is when we dive deeper and get really clear on the truth and trust that all is well and all is happening in the perfect timing…so grateful you shared your insights here!