Being Let Down

Life expectations are nothing but our own life rules. Each one of us have certain expectations about what our day, month, year or lifetime will bring. Some of these expectations may be full of hope and excitement, others are full of dread and despair, but we set up these rules, and expect the events of our lives and other people to follow them. Sometimes we make these expectations known and at other times we “expect” that it will just occur, but what happens when someone or something doesn’t follow your life rules?

Disappointment. It is part of all our lives at one time or another. It can come in many forms; from a failed relationship, to not getting the job you wanted, your health, your finances or being let down by people close to you. It can be a minor irritation or a life changing event which can invade every aspect of your life.

When was the last time you faced disappointment from a certain outcome that did not meet your expectations? For me, it was very recently. I was let-down by a friend, some-one I considered to be working towards the same thing I was, some-one I trusted, some-one I cared for, and this is why when I realized that this wasn’t the case, I experienced an overwhelming wave of emptiness washing over me.

I questioned whether to write about my deeply personal experience here, and realized that it is easy for me to write about being upbeat and positive in these posts, but now it was time to put my learning and teaching into reality and give you an honest account in how I handled the situation.

My son and I had been working on a major project and had invited a friend to be involved. Without going into the details, I was ultra excited and trusting about this project, but having a business background, I thought it was necessary for us to have a signed contract outlining our expectations.

My alarm bells should have started going off when days, then a couple of weeks passed and the signed contract hadn’t been returned, but she was my friend, surely I could trust her? You see, I had built up in my mind, the way this was going to end up. We were going to have a product to be proud of, our friendship would flourish and our businesses would grow to new heights.

The only problem was that her expectations were not the same as mine, and with 3 days to go before our launch date, and after a phone call, the project was stopped.

That was about 2 months ago, and after an initial few days of me having a “pity party” for myself, I moved on. Production on our brand new product was scheduled and we are nearing completion on that project. Life was on the up and up and my disappointment with the initial project was over.

There have been a couple of setbacks along the way, most recently yesterday when I received a letter from this person. That’s the reason for this post today. Initially, I felt that gut-wrenching pain come flooding back, but it was gone very quickly.

I thought seriously about how I had come from being in tears to that feeling of acceptance and peace. Instead of giving up my goal, and wallowing in my disappointment, there were a couple of things I did, which apart from sounding good on paper actually worked for me. I can write this article without feeling sadness or bitterness, just acceptance. Wow! As I wrote that last sentence, I realized just how far I have come. What a wonderful feeling.

Here is a list of some of the things I have undertaken in the past few months.

  1. Initially I had feelings of despair about the lost friendship and money. I realized that these feelings were keeping me in a very low vibration and I needed to bring my consciousness to a higher level. I recharged myself by doing the things I loved – gardening, walking, watching funny movies, and probably most importantly for me, I meditated a lot than usual. This allowed me to clear the negative thoughts from my mind, and gain clarity about what to do.
  2. I let go of what “should have happened.” I realized that my dreams and actions were the only thing I had control over, and to judge someone else for pursuing their dreams was having a negative affect on my life.
  3. I placed a quote near my computer from Martin Luther King which I saw every day when I was working. Whenever I thought negatively about the situation, this was staring me in the face – a great reminder. “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope”

Please share with us ways you have overcome disappointment in your life. From sharing we can all learn, and as I have been reminded recently, it doesn’t matter how much you “know”, it’s how you react in real life situations that makes the difference in your life.

About Brenda

Read more about Brenda on the About Brenda Freeman page.
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45 Responses to Being Let Down

  1. Hi Brenda,

    What a wonderful and personal post! Disappointments and setbacks are tough to take and worst to wallow in for a long time but that’s part of life. What I find to be really helpful is accept whatever it is as “is” and not to create a full-blown story out of it. Our miseries are from the stories we’ve created about what has happened to us and then we replay those stories over and over.

    I’m glad you’ve moved on!


    • Brenda says:

      Thank you for your comment Janette.

      I thought it is important to be honest as possible when I write my articles, and to discuss the feelings and emotions rather than just say “I stayed positive”, which is an easy thing to say. We are human after all, and we do have emotions.

      I couldn’t agree more about replaying stories over and over, and for me to be able to write this story with no hurt, no anger, just acceptance was an amazing feeling for me.

      That’s why I wrote what I did, in the hope that others could see that when disappointments come their way, they don’t have to replay those feelings of hurt and disappointment. The person that they would be hurting the most is themselves.

  2. Kath says:

    I am currently living through a family situation that will be ongoing for quite some time. I’m sure we can all appreciate the intricacies and foibles of family interaction. I am experiencing difficulties and pondering where my boundaries are and how I can draw the line and make it known to others without offence. The reference to stories has grabbed my attention. In family situations, there are always “stories” floating around that influence our approach.

    Brenda, your list of undertakings to deal with your disappointment has encouraged me to do the same. I shall drop the “stories” and analyse my “own” feelings and desires. I’m sure I will then come to a conclusion in regard to my boundaries and how I should proceed in the future.

    I am a people person and love helping where I can. So many times in the past I have jumped in enthusiastically and been hurt or disappointed. I failed to ask myself what my goals and expectations were. I failed in “assuming I knew what would be a satisfactory outcome” In this current situation, due to the ongoing nature, I really need to do my homework. I shall keep in mind that I am responsible for me and can never dictate, anticipate or assume on someone else’s behalf.

    And finally, I am really tired of hurting myself and so I have decided I am not going to do it anymore 

    • Brenda says:

      Well done Kath. There comes a time for us all when we become tired of hurting ourselves through our unfulfilled expectations. It is easy to blame the other people and take no responsibility and just remain in the hurt. All this achieves though is more hurt, and it certainly doesn’t help you or the other person.

      It is hard as a People Person to understand that we are not responsible for others outcomes. We can help, but it will only work if your desired outcome is the same as theirs. Understanding what they want out of the situation (and sometimes that may be sympathy and more pity) goes a long way in freeing yourself from your disappointment.

      Congratulations making your decision. It is the first step, but a big step.

  3. Bea says:

    I have also recently been let down by someone close to me. However, I have been angry about it since. I just can’t seem to let go. reading this – made me stop and think about what I have been doing to myself.

  4. Warren says:

    I dont know whether i agree with you on this one or not, but it is a well written post.

  5. Gerold Harle says:

    Congrats on the way you handled this situation – it is never easy – a true lady

  6. Shane says:

    Thanks for posting this article! Makes you appreciate so much

  7. Yasmin says:

    Such a wonderful story about how you coped with being let down – an inspiration to us all

  8. Carmel says:

    I relate to this – had a close friend let me down – wish I had read this post sooner

  9. Bonnie says:

    Thank you for sharing this account and well done on your ability to move on from it. This is not an easy thing to do – I am trying at the moment

  10. Peta says:

    What an excellent site. Thank you for sharing this persoanl account – think we have all experienced “being let down” but it is from our expectations

  11. Rikki says:

    Enjoying your honesty

  12. Ulga says:

    I think we all have experienced something like this. It took me years to rid myself of this feeling and blame

  13. Mona says:

    Thanks for sharing both sides here. Many sites such as yours only provide the “positives”. It is good to read your human side as well. Thank you

  14. Aaron says:

    Whenever our expectations are disappointed we must first look at ourselves

  15. Jacqueline says:

    Excellent blog. Love to read your heartfelt posts – it helps more than you could know

  16. Shawna says:

    Had a similar experience with someone I trusted – learned a valuable lesson – trust is earned not given

  17. Berniece says:

    It happens to us all

  18. Lena says:

    I hardly comment, but after reading a bunch of remarks on this page, I actually do have to say – you have touched a lot of people and make sense – thanks

  19. Marco says:

    Magnificent and you are just too excellent. This is actually a great website.

  20. Leanne says:

    I love reading a post written with passion and after this post, I was actually excited enough to drop a thought 🙂 and say thank you. This helped with something I am going through right now.

  21. Arti says:

    I am sure this post has touched many people. We have all been let down at some stage

  22. Rosa says:

    Hello my friend! I want to say that this article is awesome.

    I would like to see extra posts like this 🙂

  23. Shari says:

    Thanks for the good advise. I am often let down 🙁

  24. Belle says:

    You hit the nail on the head with this one.
    Thank you|

  25. Stan says:

    You have done a marvellous job with this site

  26. Daniele says:

    This could have been my story 🙁 Sometimes people let you down and it hurts

    • Brenda says:

      Daniele, yes it does hurt, but don’t let it consume you. The other person most likely wasn’t setting out to hurt you. Yours expected outcomes may have been different.

  27. Pearl says:

    Definitely believe in what you write. Thank you

  28. Kieran says:

    This helped me enormously – can’t thank you enough.

  29. Robert says:

    Know the feeling!

  30. Mark says:

    Well written

  31. Gail says:

    I think we have all been let down sometime in our life. It was good to read how you handled it – not all positivity but real emotions. Thanks for your honesty.

    • Brenda says:

      Gail, I believe we must be honest about how we feel. We cannot be 100% “happy” all the time. As humans we have a range of emotions and none are better than others. Sadness and hurt are normal reactions. The difference is “Do I choose to stay in those emotions or move on and learn some lessons?”

  32. Rafael says:

    What happened after? has it been sorted

  33. Hayley says:

    Keep up the great articles

  34. madden says:

    I like this website – its so usefull and helpfull

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