#115 How Do I Feel I Am Disappointing Others?
#115 How Do I Feel I Am Disappointing Others?

I could certainly have benefitted from this question when I was younger. It took me many decades to realise that one of my deep concerns in life was not disappointing others. It clearly came from my childhood and some misguided attempt to manage people’s emotional well-being.

It can have significant consequences. For example, it led me to complete a 4-year law degree in which I fundamentally had no real interest. It has also led me to take on roles and responsibilities because I felt others expected it of me.

In truth, however, I need to take responsibility for my actions. Regardless of what expectations others may have had (or may continue to have) for me, the key is the expectations I set for myself. It is instead about following my own vision and not concerning myself with what others may or may not expect.

Because, doing otherwise, we risk failing ourselves. In my book, this is a much more serious affair than failing others.

Questions in the Image:

  • How do I feel I am disappointing others?
  • What expectations am I setting for myself?
  • How am I failing myself?

Want to Read More Around This Topic?

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown (link to Amazon.co.uk). The author, a research professor at the University of Houston, explores the concepts of authenticity and self-acceptance. She provides insights and guidance on how to embrace your imperfections, live authentically and let go of the fear of not living up to others’ expectations.

Nurturing Curiosity – Daily Practice: This is part of the Nurturing Curiosity series of tools, insights and questions designed to help nurture curiosity as part of our daily practice. In point of fact, every interaction we have is an opportunity to question what we are observing and how we and others are seeing the world. Also remember that questions come in many forms throughout our day. This topic has triggered a whole series of childhood memories around adults actively placing expectations on my shoulders – Don’t let me down! I wonder, how I might be doing this with my own children? With other children and younger people with whom I work?

About Tom O’Leary

I coach, mentor and teach leaders who are shaping a brighter future.

Leadership can be lonely, the challenges daunting, and the workload overwhelming. I help leaders feel heard, gain clarity, take action, build confidence and thrive! Leaders matter. Their work matters. We need them at their best!

The first step? Becoming more curious. I see curiosity as the key, allowing us to unlock deep insights that directly enhance our ability to think, act and lead.

This means spending time contemplating what might be possible so that when we take action, we can bring all our energy and power to bear.

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