I signed up for Anita Ojeda’s #Write28Days Challenge over a month ago. This is something I really want to do, as part of writing a lot more in this year of yes. Life provided me with the perfect excuse to give this up (more about this in another post). But my theme for these 28 days was to write bravely, to write authentically and this is who I am at present. The only person who would be disappointed about not doing this challenge is Me. In the past, I would disappoint myself, but try my hardest not to disappoint others.
Is It Okay To Disappoint Others?
If you are an Indian, like me, you’ll know that we hardwired not to disappoint others. It’s ingrained in us. We’re always reminded to do what pleases our parents, our extended family and society at large. We feel the weight of these expectations in every major decision we take.
I spent a great deal of my life trying very hard to live up to standards of behaviour and choices set for me by others. It’s only when I truly started to be myself, that I began to disappoint others. My parents, my family and my friends found it hard to handle the real me that started to emerge.
While most people in my life found it difficult to come to terms with a people pleaser suddenly saying ‘no’, I too had to come to terms with the fact that I was inadvertently hurting and disappointing people.
It Is Okay
I began to ask myself if it was okay to disappoint others. And I realized that it was indeed okay and here’s why:
If I want my life to be meaningful, I have to be authentic. I have to live out loud and be honest about how I feel, what I want, and what’s important to me.
“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”Dr Suess
I have to learn to say ‘yes’ to what’s important and make time to follow my passions, and do what inspires me, I have to learn to say ‘no’ to the demands that others might make on my time and resources.
If it’s not an absolute ‘yes,’ it’s a ‘no’.Cheryl Richardson
I cannot live an authentic life, if I base all my decisions and actions on the expectations of others. As Anne Lamott wisely said: “Expectations are resentments waiting to happen.” I might end up disappointing others, but I certainly don’t want to live a life resenting people when I allow their expectations to rule my life.
Today, let us remind each other that we are right where we’re supposed to be – right here, right now, moving at the pace we’re supposed to and trying our best to be ourselves.
I’d love to hear how you feel about disappointing others? Do share your experiences and thoughts in the comments below.
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