I’m sure at some point in our lives we’ve all felt let down by someone else.
When we feel let down, more often than not, we develop opinions, stories, and pain around whatever information we may have without having the full story. Many times, this causes unnecessary hurt and anger, and even ruins important relationships that we’ve worked so hard to build.
On this episode, I pull back the curtain on why so many of us stick to our guns (so we can always be “right”), instead of being able to have adult discussions about what really is going on when we feel let down.
Join me as I explain how we can create forward movement and continue our evolution into a better version of ourselves when these things happen, as well as how we can make light of these awkward happenings and stay in the place where we can find our own shortcomings.
So get your earbuds in and turn up the volume! You won’t want to miss this opportunity to learn about the true power of being let down and how you can use it to create new opportunities for growth.
Grab your copy of our new Wisdom From The Life Coach School Podcast book. It covers a decade worth of research, on life-changing topics from the podcast, distilled into only 200 pages. It’s the truest shortcut to self-development we have ever created!
What you will discover
- Why we sometimes feel let down by others.
- The role expectation plays in this process.
- The importance of always having the full story.
- Two important questions that can help you save your important relationships.
- How you can create new growth opportunities from being let down.
Featured on the show
- Self Coaching Scholars program
Welcome to The Life Coach School podcast, where it's all about real clients, real problems, and real coaching. Now, your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.
Hello, hello, hello my friends. How are you guys? I am amazing. I'm so excited about this podcast, and I'm also very excited about the Self Coaching Scholars, and how much you guys are excited about it, too. Originally when I opened it up, I had opened it up with two calls during the month. I've now added a third, and I'm going to add a fourth. Basically, we'll have a call a week, for everyone in that membership. I've also added the Stop Overeating workshop too, as a bonus. That's super fun, to the membership. Also, the Stop Overdrinking membership will be added to that, all for the same price.
If you haven't checked it out, go to lifecoachschool.com/join. You have to be signed up by today. Oh my goodness, I was just looking at the schedule. Today is the last day for you to sign up to join us. The 22nd. It's actually the 21st, but I'm going to tell them to give you until the 22nd if you want to still join us. Make sure you go sign up right now. I'm going to get in trouble.
Okay. Let's talk about when you've been let down. I have lots of examples of this from this week. One of them is from a colleague of mine who sent me a text about how upset she was about something. One of them is about some tax implications with my own business, that I would say let me down. I've been working with some clients on this same thing, too. I think it's a really good topic, actually. When I was preparing for it, I was thinking about all the implications that happen when we feel like we've been let down.
The first thing I was thinking about is, you can't ever be let down unless you have an expectation about how someone should behave, or how something should happen. We have this expectation of how people should behave, or we have an expectation of how people should treat us, or what they should do. When they don't do that, then we feel let down.
I'm going to start with the example of one of my colleagues. She's a very successful woman, really good friend of mine. We have lots of debates over text, and we talk about a lot of really funny things, and we also talk about really serious things. She sent me a text, and basically said this. She said "A very credible source told me that someone else said something about me." I was like, first of all, just because we tell the story and use the word credible source, doesn't mean that it's not gossip. Right? It's all gossip.
Basically, someone came to her and told her that someone else had said something about her. It's all gossip. I just want to say that when that happens to me, my answer is usually, "It's totally true what they said." Even if I don't even know, I can find the truth in it, and let's just go with that and let's move on. A lot of times, people come to us very well intended. Right? They come to us and be like, "Hey, I just want to let you know this person said this about you." Right?
Here's the first thing I want to say about that. Why did they feel like they could talk about me to you behind my back? That's the first thing. That was my feedback to my friend. I basically said, "This person shouldn't be talking to you. Just call the source, call the person directly and find out what's really going on. Get the full story." She's like, "I can't believe this person said this about me!" I'm like, "Maybe they didn't. Maybe you don't have the whole story. Maybe you should just call the person that you love, that you're so hurt by this second hand information, and ask them directly."
I think it's so fascinating how we don't do this. It's like, we develop opinions and we develop pain and stories around second hand information. I do want to offer, if there is anything in your life where you're forming an opinion about someone, or about something without having the whole story, just call the source. Be like, "Hey, I heard this. Is it true? Did you say this about me, and why, and let's clear it up." Okay? The other thing that I want to offer is that you will hear things about people secondhand and you will develop opinions based on second hand information. Right?
This is all over with what's going on in our life politically. People will say stuff all the time and I'll say, "Okay, give me the seed, give me the example of this, give me the facts." They don't even know the facts. They've only heard one person’s opinion, which I think is totally fascinating. Make sure you get the facts of the situation before you develop opinions or get upset or create stories. Her issue was, “I'm really upset, I can't believe this person would say this about me, I thought we were friends. I know that the person that told me this wouldn't lie about it.”
All that being true, let's say, let's assume it's all true. One of the things that I said to her is I said, "Make sure you give her a call, but forgive her ahead of time." Right? Forgive her ahead of time if she did say this about you. Just show up with love, and you'll have a very different conversation than if you're really angry about it. A couple podcasts ago, I talked about managing our anger and dealing with our anger. When you come at someone with anger, because you're angry about something, you end up getting a result you don't want. That's why I said to her, "Make sure you forgive yourself ahead of time."
She would've said, "I'm totally let down by what this person said about me," without even having a direct conversation, without even understanding where they're coming from. Now, let's say that this person, this friend, did say these things about her. Right? I want you to ask yourself, "So what?" Let's look at that big picture thing. So what? So what if this person did it? Nothing that happens out there in the world is painful until we make it painful.
She was very hurt and then very angry about it. I said, "All of your hurt and anger is caused by your story, because you don't even have the facts yet. You just have the third person facts. Not only that, you're making it mean something. You're making it mean that she's not your friend, that she doesn't care about you, all of these things.” Here's the bottom of the line: when someone lets you down, it's because you had an expectation of them that they didn't meet, and because you're telling a story about it.
Suggestion number one is to get the facts if you can. Suggestion number two is to change your story so you don't feel bad. Right? Change your story so you can come from a place of openness and compassion and love. I know that in situations like this, that is very difficult to do. I have a huge challenge with this in my own life. Being able to drop the story, drop the defensiveness, and just be present with the other person. I understand it conceptually, but when I'm in the middle of that situation…
When I was texting my friend about this, she was like, "Can I punch her in the throat first?" No. That is ill advised. That is not useful. I do think that it's useful to make fun of ourselves, and to make light of these things, and to stay in a place where we can find our own short- comings. That's where the true power is. Here's the thing. If you blame this person for saying something about you, and if you're pissed at them, and if you prove that they were wrong and that they shouldn't have said that, there is no forward momentum. There is no movement in evolving. All there is is, "I'm right, you're wrong," which doesn't cause any expansion in the world.
Yet so many of us stick to our guns so we can be right, instead of showing up in a way where we can kind of open up the ability to connect and have a discussion with each other. A lot of times, I've had people do this to me, where they won't talk to me about something. They just decide to delete me from their life, or they decide to give me the cold shoulder, whatever. You can't have a conversation about it. A lot of times that will make feel powerless, you will think that makes you feel powerless. I just want to tell you that you aren't powerless in that situation. You can still decide what you want that story to be, and what you want that story to be told about in your own mind, and make sure it's one that serves you, in a way that elevates you to a better version of yourself, instead of to an angrier, more upset, more convicted, in terms of convicting yourself, person.
Let's say that my girlfriend that I'm texting approaches her friend from a place of compassion and says, "Hey, I heard this, I want to understand." That's going to be very different than "I heard this, what the heck is wrong with you? Why in the world did you say that about me? I can't believe you did that. Here's my story about it," and laying it on her. Give me a call and be like, "Hey, I heard this version of the story, and I've love to hear your version of the story. I'd love to hear where you're coming from, and why you said these things to this other person about me."
That person is going to be much more likely to connect with you and tell you the truth about that, then if you attack you them. I think that's really important. Whether or not my friend did this or not, she was still pretty mad when I talked to her. I don't know if she did or not, but I hope that she did, because I think that when you love someone, the reason why you're upset when they don't meet your expectations is because you love them. You defeat the purpose if you come at them in a very attacking way.
The other thing that I want to offer here is if you love someone and you're in a relationship with them, are you really just allowing them to be who they are? Are you allowing people to judge you? I will tell you guys, this is a tough one. I have people that send me hate or email, I have people that disagree with my concepts. I have people that don't like what I do for a living, don't like the way I talk about money, don't like the way I talk about relationships. They're angry about it.
I had someone send me an email the other day saying that all I care about is money, which I think is so interesting, because this is a person that is listening to my free podcast telling me that all I care about is money, which is totally fascinating to me. In that moment, can I allow that person to believe that? Can I allow that person to judge me, even though I know that that's not true, and I want to fix their perception about it, can I not do that? Can I allow that person to believe that? I know that that's not the case.
I will tell you that I think that's the work that we are all required to do. A lot of the things that people say about me are completely fabricated and untrue, and what they attack me for has no teeth, so to speak. Yet, I still want them to think differently about me. I think we all have this idea that people should like us. That's where we get let down, because our expectation is, hey, everybody should like me. When they don't, I don't feel good, and I feel let down.
The other thing that really helps me when I feel like I've been let down, the best example of this is with my bookkeeping and my taxes. There was a mistake made in some numbers for my finances, and I ended up owing a lot more in taxes than I had planned on. This has actually happened to me a couple times. I understand that this is going to happen. People are going to make mistakes. It's going to happen. My expectation was one thing and the news that got delivered to me was another thing.
One of the best ways for me to come reconcile that, literally in my mind, is to understand that everything is happening for me. Every time I feel let down is an opportunity for me to grow. Is an opportunity for me to overcome my own limitations as a person, my own mistakes as a person, and my own unrealistic or realistic expectations of how the world should accommodate me. So many of us when we do something, we want to be able to dictate the results. We don't want anything to go "wrong" in the world. We don't want people to behave wrongly. We don't want mistakes to be made. We want to be able to create the money we want to create and not have there be any mistakes there whatsoever.
I want everyone to like me. We all want everyone to like us. Wouldn't that be great, if everybody just loved us all the time? Right? When we get ourselves into that position, then we create this drama for ourselves, this unnecessary story about it. If you can back up and let other people judge you, and understand that the world is not there to accommodate us, and that everything that happens is supposed to happen on purpose for our highest good, then I immediately relax.
When someone puts a hater comment on my website, or they send me a hater email, or they tell someone else something about me, or whatever happens…if I can just understand, “no, that's all supposed to be happening and that's all happening for me and it's all part of the process,” then I can get to work on myself and learn at a higher level, versus arguing with the universe on how the world is supposed to be.
This person should behave this way, and this money should happen this way, and this is what I should owe in taxes, and this is what I shouldn't owe in taxes. I hear myself doing that, it's ridiculous. It doesn't change anything. It doesn't change the reality of it. I'm still going to pay the tax bill. It just makes it a lot more pleasant for me.
What can I learn from the situation, right? What can I believe about myself that will serve me? How can I grow from this situation? That happens when I believe the thought that everything happens for me. Now, I have offered this thought to a lot of my students, and some of them don't love this thought, and that's okay. It may not work for you. I have found it to be ... I've shared it a lot. This was meant to happen, and everything happens for me, are two thoughts that change everything. I'm like, why would that ever happen? This is horrible, this shouldn't be happening. Then I'm like, “oh, I'm confused. This is totally supposed to be happening.”
With my girlfriend, my texting friend, of course this was supposed to happen. You were supposed to hear this second hand through this person, so you could rise up to the next version of yourself. Right? Knowing that you can tell the story however you want to tell it. You can find evidence for the story however you want to find evidence, for any story that you want to tell. You can interpret any situation in a way that serves you, or in a way that hurts you. That is the true power of being let down.
I'm going to summarize it for you. You are the only one that creates a situation of being let down. You think the other person has let you down, but I promise you they haven't. What has happened it, you created an expectation in your mind. That person did not meet that expectation, and then you felt let down. You had an expectation for how the world should work, or in my example, I had an expectation for what I would owe in taxes. I got a different number of what that should be, and then I felt let down because of the story I told myself about it.
Here's what we can do. I think it's okay to set an expectation about something, but then when the world doesn't meet our expectation, it doesn't accommodate our expectation, we don't have to use that as an excuse to be upset. We don't have to use that as an excuse not to like someone. We don't have to use that as an excuse to feel badly about ourselves. We can use it as a reason to grow. We can use it as a reason to tap into our ability to coach ourselves, to take our life to that next level.
If you can approach your life like that, like every negative thing that happens…every time I'm let down is an opportunity for me to evaluate my expectations, evaluate what's going on in the world, and decide what I want to make it mean.
Let me tell you a little bit about what's going on for me with my tax situation, because it's so interesting. I got this huge tax bill of something that we owe, this amount that we owe in taxes. It was because of an error that we got a different number than we were expecting. I went on a walk and decided what I would make it mean. Initially, I was making it mean, something has gone terribly wrong. This is horrible. None of my dreams are coming true. How will I pay my bills? I go totally off the deep end into this place where I'm not good enough. This should have never happened. I can make it mean that I'm going to feel anxiety for the rest of the week or I can decide, “oh no, this is happening for me. This is an opportunity for me. This was exactly what was supposed to happen for my education in the world.”
If that's true, then what? I went on my walk and I decided, “oh, this is my way of deciding whether I'm truly committed to doing what I want to do. I'm going to have to double down now. Am I committed to doubling down? It's not going to be as easy as I thought, to do what I want to do, so now I have to double down.” Immediately, I started feeling even more motivated, even more excited, even more determined about what it is that I want to create for myself.
For those of you who are on my Friday Coach Like, I talk about the difference between saying you want something, and being committed to getting it. I really recognize that, wow, I needed to really be committed for this to happen. I'll tell you, it shifted me. It shifted me in a very significant way for 2017, for the work I'm willing to do.
The other thing that it does, you guys, that's so powerful, is it allows me to be willing to let all of my errors, all of my negative stuff, all the work I still have to do, come up. I don't have to pretend that it's not there, because I see, “oh, this is all part of it. This is all part of my work.” All of my shortcomings, all the places where I'm not yet where I want to be are going to come up.
That's why these situations are happening, because it shows me where I have yet to overcome myself. To overcome my brain, to overcome my thought errors. To not process emotion where I'm still trying to not deal with my life. That's a beautiful thing, right? If I just want to go along in life and just be happy joy joy all the time, and have everybody like me all of the time, there's not going to be any contrast. There's not going to be any way for me to work on myself. When contrast presents, when I get hater emails, when I get bad news about my taxes, or when somebody, like what my girlfriend said, when somebody gossips about her…opportunity.
What if we could just have a little bell? Bing. Opportunity. This is your assignment. This is what is going to make you a better version of yourself, if you take the class, if you sign up for it and if you do the work. This is an opportunity for you. You can sit and complain about it, you can diminish yourself because of it, you can use it as an excuse. Or, you can use it as a reason to get better. I highly recommend that you use it as a reason to get better. That you use it as a way to grow, and you be willing to admit any shortcoming that you have, anything that you're not yet fully evolved into yet.
Notice that maybe, this is here to help you get there. When you think about your life that way, everything works. Everything's great. You keep moving forward. You keep getting better. Anything that lets you down in your life is simply an opportunity. I want to highly recommend that you start approaching your life that way. Think about something that you think has let you down. Write down, what was your expectation that you had that created the let down. All of a sudden you've taken all your power back. You're not let down because of that other person, you're let down because of that expectation.
Then, make sure you have the facts. Make sure you have the story that is based in reality, and not third hand opinions, and not some unthought through story that your brain has created for you. Then decide what you want to learn from it. Decide how you want to grow, because you've had this opportunity. Remember, you're only being let down as an opportunity to grow, and so then you can use it in your life to make yourself better instead of using it to diminish yourself.
All right you guys. Have an amazing, awesome, beautiful week. I hope you're let down a lot this week so you have opportunities to grow. I'll talk to you guys next week, bye bye.
Hey, if you enjoy listening to this podcast, you have to come check out Self Coaching Scholars. It's my monthly coaching program, where we take all this material and we apply it. We take it to the next level and we study it. Join me over at thelifecoachschool.com/join. Make sure you type in the "the", T-H-E, lifecoachschool.com/join. I'd love to have you join me in Self Coaching Scholars. See you there.