Disappointment- Motivation

 A little longer post today, but definitely very useful. I have learned a lot from reading it myself and you will too. 

Why it's important to let others down sometimes - and stay true to yourself

For many people, the thought of someone disappointing them is very unpleasant. People are convinced that if they are kind, they will never disappoint anyone. Or if they try hard enough; if they manage their time well; if they are selfless or pious. Shauna Niequist says she fears they are in for a harsh sobering.

She writes this in her worldwide bestseller Authenticity Instead of Perfection:

"I know this because I was one of them. For years, I tried to be seen as capable and responsible. Their opinion was important to me, because in this case my safety and happiness were guaranteed. So if I am responsible and hard-working, I am safe and happy.

Now let us turn the tables on a woman who is completely exhausted and fed up, who is without genuine contact with her best friends; a woman who is trying her hardest to remain responsible, but cannot do it anymore. Something has broken and anger has overridden all precious faculties. I needed a fundamental change."

On the road to authentic living, you're bound to disappoint someone

I guarantee you that you will disappoint someone on this journey. You will not meet their needs or expectations. You will not be able to meet their request. You will do something badly or not finish the task at all. This person may be angry with you or sad. You have let her down.

She may not be sad or angry, but she may be humiliating you or putting pressure where it hurts the most. She might say, "You're obviously not that hard-working." "I can see your skills are quite limited," or "I thought I could rely on you." These are sharp blades, plunged straight into the heart of people like me, people who depend so much on meeting other people's expectations.

Disappointment is easier to bear with time

But I can also tell you something good: you decide who you will disappoint, who you will say no to. And disappointment is always easier to bear over time.

On this path you will need a sense of God's deep, unconditional love and a firmness of your own intentions. Without that, you will expect from people what only God can give you, and you will give up your higher purpose to fulfil the purposes of others.

You may be searching for your purpose for a while and in the meantime be seduced by the instant gratification, the instant fix you get from the praise of others.

But the sweet rush of approval and the pat on the back often distract us from true love and true purpose.

Take your time when making decisions

Time always helps me to make decisions, because if I push myself, I always say yes.

But if I have time, I can say to myself: 'Go back to love, go back to your purpose. What you are being asked to do will not bring you more love and will not help you in your intention.

Some of us find it difficult to disappoint our superiors. Or people we want to impress, and those we think are important or important. I have come to one of the reasons why I find it hard to disappoint people: I often overestimate how close I am to someone, and then I don't want to disappoint that dear friend. But when I think about it more carefully, I realise that I am probably not his dear friend. I will not have caused him a deep heart wound, but only a mild professional disappointment.

Relationships are actually strengthened if we are honest

The two are very different. There is also a difference between being honest with a friend or relative and being honest about one's limitations. I find that many of my friendships are actually strengthened if I am honest about what I can and cannot do.

People who don't care what others think of them generally have no problem with being let down. I am not at that stage yet. I think it is harder for women to reach than it is for men, and harder for mothers to reach than it is for other women, because we are in a period of life when we are wiping noses, making breakfast and meeting all the other needs of children.

I remind myself that this will not bring me love and is therefore not a good reason to fulfil the request. I cannot find the love I want here; rather I will feel anger and resentment.

It is important to know your priorities

During this period, I have committed myself to doing only certain tasks, and if someone asks me to do something else, it is superfluous. That is why it is so valuable to know your intentions and priorities for a certain period - because these commitments become a litmus test for all the decisions you face.

Think of interpersonal relationships as concentric circles: in the inner circle are your partner, your children and your best friends. In the next are relatives and good friends. Then acquaintances and colleagues, and so on to the outer edge. Try to disappoint the people in the middle as rarely as possible. And then learn how to reject and thus disappoint those at the edges - people who are not close to you and who should not demand your undivided commitment.

But to do this, even with those closest to you - especially them - you need to create realistic expectations of what you can give them.

We need to be aware of our limitations

We disappoint people because we have limitations. We need to accept our limitations and so accept more easily the idea that we will cause disappointment. I only have so much time. I only have so much energy. There are only so many relationships I can handle.

It will all get easier in time. My first rejections were very painful. But when you often tell the truth about your capacity, about who you are and who you are not, you will be surprised how many people will encourage you. And how little you will care about those who do not.

When you say, "I can do this and I can't do that", you will find a tremendous freedom.

You will be able to devote yourself to your work with love again, because it will not be a ploy to win love or approval. You will again be able to love the things you give to people, because you will give them freely, without anger or resentment.

There is nothing wrong with kindly disappointing others

My immediate answer is always yes. My default setting is yes. But I find that time, honesty, silence, prayer, writing and talking with my husband help me to see more clearly what I can and cannot do, with a full heart and without resentment and pride.

An acquaintance, whom I do not know very well, recently asked me something. All the old patterns were awakened in me. Of course! Count me in! All for you! Then I waited a bit, breathed, prayed and took some more time, and then I lovingly, kindly disappointed her. I am happy to report that we both survived. Small steps are important.

Read more about what led to Shauna's transformation and her compelling vision of a whole new way of life, filled with grace, rest, silence, simplicity, prayer and connection to the people closest to us in the worldwide bestseller Authenticity Instead of Perfection 

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