If there’s one thing that will get you in a pickle faster than anything, it is over-explaining. Have you ever made a choice and then felt like you had to defend or justify your decision? If you have a pulse and you’re still drawing breath, I would go out on a limb and say that you have (I certainly have!).
Let’s say that someone asks you to attend an event and you have another commitment. Can you decline the invitation gracefully saying “Thank you so much for the invitation but I won’t be able to make it.”? Or, do you feel you have to explain the entire back story around why you can’t make it and secretly pray that your reason is justified or acceptable to the person on the receiving end?
I see this painful cycle of torture play itself out with many of the clients I work with especially when they start to set stronger boundaries and make more powerful choices around how they invest their time and energies. They yearn for more ideal clients, more free time, and dedicated space to work “on” their bigger business goals. But then…
- The people-pleaser in them comes out.
- They feel like their reason for making a choice has to be “valid enough”.
- They seek approval or acceptance from the other person.
This internal tug-of-war gets even worse when the other person is a prospect or client. The mind commotion starts with: What if they don’t like me? What if they take their business elsewhere?
I can really understand this struggle from the inside. I used to feel like I had to over-explain everything. I felt someone else had to be OK with my choices for my choices (and me) to be OK.
If I couldn’t make a particular event, I had to explain the back-story and all the related variables back to biblical times in an apologetic tone. When I was done with the convoluted tale, I then had to activate my own inner abuser who would beat me up for hours because I really should be more accommodating and available.
It was an exhausting and abusive cycle that served no one, least of all me or my business!
I’m here to tell you that when you own your own business, you don’t have to justify or defend your choices. You set your own policies and procedures, boundaries, and operating guidelines. As long as they are aligned with who you are as a brand and are in integrity to how you want to live your life, you don’t need permission from anyone else to make that choice.
For example, if you decide that you do not have client appointments on a particular day and someone wants one:
Do say: “I don’t have anything available that day.” Or “I don’t have appointments available on Wednesdays (or whatever the day is).”
Don’t say: “I am trying to get more of my business building tasks done and I really want to spend more time with my family and I found that if I leave a chunk of space for myself without any appointments things work better for me and my dog is happier because she has a bum hip and gets walked midday and I hope that is ok with you?” (The run on sentence ends with a tentative plea for approval with some grand upspeak at the end.)
Can you relate to this?
Do not be ashamed, but know it is something you need to change if you want to be effective in the role of CEO of your business and your life. Your business can only grow as far as you’re willing to grow.
Ever feel conflicted as you make choices in your business or where business meets personal life? If so, contact me for a discovery conversation and learn how you can break free of this inner-torture for good. Schedule one here: https://www.timetrade.com/book/Z9XWN
How to Prioritize When Everything is a Priority
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