They came from a fellow graduate student. We sat on the same classes, that's it. She was a casual observer and I was unaware of the pedestal I stood on. I sure didn't ask or expect to be there.
Years went by and I still get comments like this. "I used to respect you when you ran faster." I also hear "I used to respect you when you followed certain rules that pleased me and my needs."
I recently decided I needed to process the failed expectations of others.
Of course I started with forgiveness.
Forgiving others means that I release them and I release those hurtful words. Once I am walking in this freedom, I renegotiate my approach to life. In the case of the Masters Degree, I remember that the casual observer was not paying my tuition. She was not a potential employer or friendly supporter. Now that I had those things in mind I kept pursuing my degree and I'm glad to say I graduated and I am happy and content. I finish the opportunity God gave me.
The last thing I do is to decide to finish strong. I remember focusing on losing weight and hearing about the failed expectations of others. I was well on my way and I heard words such as "stop losing weight or you'll look ugly." I know, it's awful but it happens more times than I care to report.
It goes for other areas of life too. You share a goal and a dream and many casual observers rise up to verbalize their failed expectations.
Remember to forgive first. Renegotiate your approach to life and to your goal. Lastly, decide to finish strong. You will find that there are more for you than those against you. I wouldn't expect this in quantity but in quality. I quickly focus on the people who matter: those who live under my roof and who are my support for life. God will show you who your supporters are.
Dealing with the failed expectations of others does not have to end in a heart of anger for those who hurt us (thus, forgiveness comes first). It is worth working towards forgiving and fiercely marching towards your goal.
You can do it and so can I.