How many times do you have to go through icky situations before you finally admit something is not working and move on with the lesson learned? Once? Twice? A dozen times? *raises hand meekly* Yeah, a dozen times, that’s me.
I’m annoyed with myself. I had an uneasy feeling about a particular project at the very beginning, and I ignored my intuition, went ahead with a project I shouldn’t have. I kept giving more and more beyond the original agreement in an effort to help. The lesson? I should not guilt myself into giving my time and expertise away.
I know I’m not alone. And that’s not comforting. It’s a frustration to realize how many times we put ourselves through these types of situations. I know many other women business owners who keep finding themselves in similar predicaments. We feel so passionate about helping others that we jump wholeheartedly into serving people that we can’t help for one reason or another related to where they’re at and what they’re ready for. We take advantage of ourselves and our own giving nature to reach out and end up realizing that we should have said “no” and moved on.
It’s such a tiny little word… just two letters. NO. And yet, it’s so difficult to learn to say.
I had the urge to throw something at my computer screen, but after a brief period of inner reflection including a reminder of what I paid for the aforementioned screen, instead of taking out my aggression on an innocent and beautiful piece of technology (yes, I love my screen), I came up with a list of 10 things I will not do in 2010. I’ll keep that list private… it’s not a nice, fluffy, positive list.
But hey, sometimes we all need to vent privately. That’s okay to do. I figure this was the last of my tantrums resulting from bad decisions that came before my big changes last month. In some ways it’s a relief to just get another thing behind me so I can move forward. I gave myself permission to accept that November was a turning point for me, and I screwed things up before that so there will be some remaining consequences to deal with as I make the necessary shifts and changes.
What I do want to share is that as a challenge to myself I’ve rewritten my “don’t do this” statements into positive statements and have printed them out to hang on the bulletin board above my desk where I will see them daily.
- I will listen to my intuition. It speaks softly, but always for good reason.
- I will say yes and no with confidence and authority.
- I will make smarter, faster decisions.
- I will accept responsibility for all decisions I make, whatever the consequences. (I anticipate that I’ll mess up because I’m human. When I do, I’ll fix it as I always have and then let myself move on.)
- I will work only with clients who are a good fit for the type of work I enjoy and excel at.
- I will value myself, my work, and my time by requiring upfront payment for projects.
- I will give generously and privately to projects/causes of my choosing and I will not feel guilty about when/where/how I choose or choose not to give.
- I will challenge myself to stay out of my comfort zone and strive every day to do better.
This is my sandbox. You’re invited to stick around and play with me if you’re willing to play by fair rules. We’ll respect each other. We’ll honor our commitments. And together we’ll learn that “no” is a good word. It should be said more often. So that when we say “yes” we can create amazing things.
Forget 2010… that’s 21 days away. Starting now I will respect myself by following these rules.
How about you? What changes are you ready to make? What lines are you going to draw in the sand?