This blog is a revised and updated version of a previously published blog.
I have not written a blog for my business in quite some time. The good news, business has picked up, the bad news, I allowed side projects to distract me from my goal, to write one blog per week. For someone who loves to write, this is not a difficult task. After a few days of reflection and hard decisions, I cut my side project and am committing to the growth and development of my company.
It is not an easy task to admit we are not using our time well, to say we are not meeting goals. It is even harder, especially when you own a business, to close a door. I found myself worrying and fretting over my decision, making it much harder than it needed to. That was when I realized something, as leaders, when making a decision which will affect more than just ourselves, we can allow the problem/challenge/decision to have a life of its own.
This past Monday, feeding off the dreary, rainy day, my decision gained a life of its own. I had thought about this decision for at least a month, spoke to many people about it and was comfortable with my decision to walk away from this project. I knew the project took more time than it needed too, it would consume more than a week and left me feeling angry because what should be a great enjoyment, had become a chore. And so, after much thought, I walked away.
I knew to be prepared for fallout, and yet when it came, it still knocked the wind out of my sails. I found myself angry, upset and feeling taken advantage of. I knew this was the wrong reaction, I had planned this move and was prepared, I needed to choose to be in control. And so I did. I gave myself a minute and calmed down. Then, I followed up with a professional email explaining why I was walking away.
Did I owe an explanation? Possibly. I was letting a team of people down. Or was I? When I spoke to my mentor about it, I expected them to say I should stick with it. Instead, I received a very different answer. I was reminded of all the challenges and stress this project came with. And with one sentence, I felt my stress lifted, I felt my spirit rising and I realized I made the right decision for me.
As leaders, we over think many decisions, we look at every perspective and weigh all possible reactions. In most cases, this is the right move to make. But when we make a decision and then return to this mindset again and again, we are doing nothing but second guessing ourselves and giving our decisions/challenges/problems a life of their own. I usually know what the right answer is, my intuition is pretty spot on and when I listen, I am rarely led astray. The times I have not listened, I have deeply regretted it.
Most of us in leadership have gotten here through hard work and even harder lessons learned. We have cut our teeth on blood, sweat and tears. We have earned our scars. These lessons and trials have taught us to have insight, to pick up on subtle hints, tiny discrepancies, and personality clashes. All of this makes up our intuition. And when we listen, we thrive.
I refuse to allow myself to let my challenges/problems/decisions own me. I will not react, I will respond and because of this I will know I can be confident in my choice, preventing the situation from gaining a life and taking over. Learn to trust your intuition, learn to believe in your decisions and gain the freedom to be in control of your life.