Rather than trying to avoid letting people down in terms of how they want you to live or be, how does it feel to allow yourself to be a complete let-down, without resisting it?
One can spend their whole life trying to live up to some other person’s ideal life, or to some other person’s (or even their own) expectations. We are told from a young age to not let other people down, and to not let ourselves down. What a monumental effort this is.
Have you ever looked at the words? If you never let anyone down, you will always be holding them up. If you were to hold someone up, after just a few seconds you would begin to feel tired, feel the strain of trying to keep someone up while they rest on you, while they depend on you to keep themselves “up”.
The same can be said for yourself. If you were always keeping yourself up, you would never rest, never relax, never sleep. Surely it is of the upmost importance to let ourselves and let others down.
If you say you will pick up someone from the airport, I'm not saying don't turn up and leave them there since you don't mind letting them down. This is not what I mean. I mean letting people down in terms of their expectations of you, their dependence on you for their own happiness, not conforming to their imagined ideal way of Life.
We can be extremely averse to the idea of letting people down. We act falsely, speak strangely or simply make stuff up just so that the expectations of another will not be shattered. Let them shatter, you have held them up long enough, you are not responsible for anyone else’s mental comfort or peace of mind. How selfish of someone to expect that you are responsible for their own happiness!
Fully accept that you can let everyone down. People can hold high opinions of you, high expectations, and they are no longer yours to maintain. They were never yours in the first place. They are merely mental creations.
If others hold low opinions of you, think little of you, what is the problem with this? Let them. If you are seen as insignificant, you no longer need to try to uphold the illusion of your own personal significance.
Everyone thinks that being held in high esteem by others is the ideal way of Life. In fact it is a huge burden if you are attached to it in any way, or trying to maintain the image others have of yourself. If you were rejected by everyone, if you allowed others to think nothing of you, you need not make any more efforts to be any certain way!
Our common assumption is that our own safety lies in the opinions of others. This is safety for the ego. You are Life itself, where is the question of your safety or security?!
The paradox is that when you are fully comfortable, liberated by being able to let someone else down in terms of opinions or expectations, you no longer carry around the fear with you, and so your actions are no longer infused with fear, but with freedom.
Stop avoiding not letting someone down, not being the person you are expected to be, not meeting someone else’s criteria of how to be or not to be. Let it all shatter. Be free from all this nonsense. Be a let-down, and you are free to be yourself, and act without fear.