Lessons learned from Harry & Meghan
I am fascinated with the British monarchy. I have been most of my life but I really started paying attention with the entrance of Diana, Princess of Wales. These past few weeks I've been watching Harry and Meghan make some choices that are disappointing many powerful people.
(In case you have had more pressing things in your life let me fill you in. They've decided to step back as 'senior' members of the royal family.)
Apparently the Queen is really disappointed. It's a big deal. And it seems everyone has a comment to make. I love what Oprah said, "Who doesn't feel what it takes to make that decision? To give up everything you've known in your whole life to say, 'I'm going to choose this new life and what I believe to be the truest vision for myself.'' (Source: Oprah Magazine Instagram)
I feel the same way about the choice to Disappoint More People. It won't be easy but I want you to choose the life that will be the truest vision of yourself.
I'm launching a resource today called "Five Ways to Disappoint More People." I want you to get comfortable disappointing more people. I have worked globally with women for over 25 years. There is something I have noticed that transcends culture and economic backgrounds. Women are really good at taking care of other people. We are really good at putting the needs of the people around us before our own needs. But we often find ourselves feeling angry, resentful, bitter or disappointed about our own life choices.
What keeps up putting other people’s needs before our own? At our core, I believe is a desire to be liked. We want other people to like or even love us. We are afraid if we start saying what we want or need that something traumatic will happen. We can learn from Harry & Meghan, if they can disappoint the Queen of England and negotiate for the life they want, surely you can do the same.
You might be afraid that your decision will cause someone else to spiral out of control. From my background, I know a lot of women who are afraid of speaking up in their faith communities because they will be labelled or worse ignored or abandoned. The fear is real. I can share stories about meeting with male leadership and being told I was overreacting. You are not in a healthy community if you are afraid to speak up or if when you do the leadership ignores you.
It happens elsewhere in our lives too. We don’t speak up at work about toxic situations because we are afraid of being labelled as a ‘trouble maker.’ We don’t tell our partners that we aren't happy because we don’t want to hurt them. We don't challenge our adult children's behaviour because we don't want to damage our relationship with them. Our entire lives can be lived in avoidance of disappointing anyone.
The only way we are going to have healthy communities and authentic relationships is through being honest. The truth will set us free - if we give it a chance. Believe me when I tell you, as scary as it is, once you start disappointing people you will experience the benefits. Here are some of the benefits you can expect to experience:
You will have less resentment.
You will be less overwhelmed.
You will start to experience the type of life you long for.
You will have healthier relationships.
You will feel more confident.
The people around you will start taking responsibility for their own lives.
If Harry and Meghan can make a decision aligned with their deepest values, even in the face of disappointing many people, you can as well. And let's give the Queen some credit. While she may not like what they decided she has worked with them to find a way that works for everyone. Some of the people in your life will surprise you when you say what you want or need. They will be happy to work with you to make sure you get it.