A friend recently confided in me (and she said I could share this story with you).
“I’ll be talking to a client,” she said, “and they’ll ask if I can do such-and-such for them. And in my mind I’m saying ‘No, no, no, no,’ yet I blurt out, ‘Sure, no problem!’”
We both laughed. After all, who hasn’t been there?!
The way she sees it, she doesn’t have a choice. She wants to keep her clients happy, she appreciates the opportunity to make more money, and she doesn’t want to ruffle any feathers.
But the truth is, she’s worn down and feels like her business has taken over her life.
Can you relate?
Well, you’re not alone.
I’ve seen many women stretch themselves too thin because they were afraid to make the hard choice of putting their own needs ahead of their clients’. They want to live and work differently, but sometimes it feels like an impossible shift.
What if I told you that there’s ONE thing you can do to shift out of this go-go-go, yes-yes-yes mindset into one of greater freedom, more space, and less pressure?
You’d probably feel less stressed, love your business more, and have more freedom in your life, right?
If you want it, you’ve got it. Today I’m going to tell you exactly how to get there.
What You Really Want
The first step to creating more freedom is to remember why you started your business in the first place. (We talked about this in depth last week.)
You sure as heck didn’t start your business to feel burned out and constantly stressed. Instead, you probably wanted to work less than 40 hours a week, set healthy boundaries with clients, and create a work schedule that could flex and flow with your life.
But wanting freedom isn’t the same as having it. And right now, you haven’t achieved the freedom you crave, and you have no idea why!
No matter how hard you work, how many courses and webinars you take, how many clients you work with, you feel like you’re stuck on the hamster wheel with no end in sight.
3 Signs That Your Work-Life Balance Is Out of Whack
The second step to creating more freedom is to pinpoint where exactly things aren’t working in your work-life mix.
How do you find them? First, you must spot the three freedom-blocking traps that keep even the smartest women on the hamster wheel.
Once you’ve spotted them, you can use the ONE thing I mentioned earlier to set yourself free.
But first, the freedom blockers…
Freedom Blocker #1: Saying yes when you should be saying no.
Like the friend I mentioned earlier, you say yes even when you don’t want to, especially when it comes to your work and your clients.
There are a few reasons for this. Maybe you don’t know what’s most important to you (so you tend to waffle). Or maybe you fear confrontation or being seen as a complete and utter jerk.
Freedom Blocker #2: Saying no when you should be saying yes.
On the flip side, you say no to the things that really matter, like taking time off, writing an email to a friend, going on a date night with your partner—you know, all the stuff that actually makes life fun and bright and happy.
Note: There is no right or wrong when it comes to what matters most to you.
Freedom Blocker #3: Refusing to trade off.
You want to have your cake and eat it too, so you try to do it all. You run around like a crazy person—so even though you finished a huge client project and made it to your great-uncle’s 90th birthday party and made a casserole for your friend’s potluck dinner, you’re completely wiped out (and still don’t feel like you did enough).
True freedom is achieved when you stop trying to do it all and start to employ the power of deliberate choices.
Start Making Deliberate Choices
Whether you suffer from one or all of these habits, one thing is certain: If you don’t adjust your behavior soon, you’ll end up exhausted, irritable, and completely uninspired by your business.
What you’re doing isn’t working, but it doesn’t have to stay this way. In fact, we’re now going to hit on the ONE thing you can do to shift out of your bad habits immediately.
Simply put, you must start making deliberate choices. Deliberate choices about your goals, your life, and your business.
This means you have to stop…
- Running on autopilot
- Blaming your clients for your work overload
- Hoping that the universe will expand the days to be 32 hours long
- Thinking that if you just work harder, you’ll fit it all in
- Constantly stressing about what’s not getting done
- Sacrificing parts of yourself in an effort to fit a mold
- Ignoring your deepest, most heartfelt longings
Instead, you must start…
- Making conscious, decisive tradeoffs
- Digging deep within yourself and identifying what really matters to you
- Knowing that decisions have consequences (you can’t change the laws of physics!) but you get to choose which consequences to live with
- Admitting you aren’t superwoman but you are a human-woman who can enjoy the life you’re creating
- Feeling free to be 100%, authentically yourself
- Working toward your goals without letting your business take over your life
What might this look like in real life? I’ll share two quick personal examples. (Though if you need, I have hundreds I could share—so just ask!)
Example #1: I deliberately choose sleep (most of the time).
I was at a conference earlier this month, and the schedule ran very long each day. After sleeping poorly for two nights and not getting my required 9-10 hours, I was a wreck!
I made a deliberate choice to miss the first session the following day so I could catch up and function like a decent, only-slightly-sleep-deprived human.
The sleep exception? If I have to catch a 6 a.m. flight, I might get up early to make that happen. But it’s a deliberate choice.
Example #2: I deliberately choose to work less.
As much as I love achieving big goals, more than anything, I don’t want to work crazy hours. I know I do my best work in the first 30 hours of the week (or less!), I love my free time, and I love not working.
Does it feel like a sacrifice? Heck no! Because I’m making a deliberate choice about what’s truly important to me, namely, free time.
What Are Your Deliberate Choices?
This is the ONE thing you can change to find more freedom in your business and life: You must get clear about what matters to you and prioritize that. And own that. And choose that.
Making deliberate choices doesn’t mean you have to do something drastic like quit your job or give up your business in order to get your free time back (if free time is what you want more of).
Deliberate choices can look like this:
When you promise yourself to turn off the computer at 5pm, do it.
When you hear an internal no-no-no when a client requests something, say no.
When your wedding anniversary rolls around and you promised your partner you’d take the day off, really, don’t check your emails.
Freedom can be that simple. And when you make small, purposeful changes, the whole world seems to open up.
Where you felt trapped, you now feel free. Where you felt stifled, you now feel renewed. And it’s all because you start moving toward what you want—what you truly, deeply, so badly want.
So, tell me…
Which Freedom Blockers are you guilty of and want to change?
What deliberate choices do you need to start making?
Where do you feel stuck when you think about making deliberate choices?
Leave a comment below!
Then join me on a totally free, 6-week journey to creating success without sacrifice in your life and business. It’s going to change everything.