Guest post by Teresa Romain
About a month ago, Lisa asked me if I would be willing to write a guest post or newsletter for her this month. I was honored to be asked and willingly agreed – promising I’d have it to her after the 15th.
This week I promised her I’d get it to her on Wednesday – which, in case you’re wondering – just happens to be the day I’m writing this. Why am I so late in getting started? Well – suffice it to say that the past 48 hours have NOT gone according to plan! To say that “life has happened” would be an understatement. And dealing with these “unexpected” – as well as my other responsibilities, coaching calls, etc. – has taken me MUCH longer than I had expected.
All of which leads me to say that, when it came to writing and getting this to Lisa today, I was REALLY tempted to say “I can’t,” “I don’t have time” or “it can wait until tomorrow – Lisa will understand”.
But the fact is that all of those messages that were going through my mind (and, I assume, have gone through yours at one time or another) weren’t REALLY what was going on.
Bottom line, I simply didn’t WANT to.
After an exceptionally stressful day yesterday and a somewhat sleepless night, I didn’t FEEL like it. And with a full schedule of coaching calls for today, I didn’t want to do one more thing – especially find time and a way to write this post. I wanted to take a nap. Read a book. Take a hot bath. Have some time to relax. Fix myself a nice lunch. Better yet, go out to lunch with a friend. Go shopping. Go for a walk. Even do the laundry. I just didn’t want to be in my office writing an article. Believe me – it’s nothing personal. It just sounded like too much work.
But I had made the commitment to Lisa and, indirectly, to you. And my schedule tomorrow doesn’t look any better – so putting it off isn’t going to fix anything.
So I decided to change what I was going to write about. I decided to write about not wanting to write this post. I decided to admit what was going on and share it with you.
Why did I decide to do that? (After all, it doesn’t exactly make me “look good”, does it?)
I decided to share it with you for the simple reason that I willing to bet that you also have “I don’t want to” moments when it comes to your business! Days (or weeks or months) when you know WHAT you need to do – make follow up calls, books some shows, coach your hostess, write your newsletter, go to a network event, input receipts – and you plain ol’ don’t WANT to. And, as a result, often don’t.
And there’s nothing wrong with feeling this way. It’s what we feel. Sometimes, like after my past 48 hours, it’s actually understandable.
The important question is – how do we respond? Do we give into the “I don’t want tos”? Or do we find a way to take the action that supports us (and, believe me, being in integrity supports us) – despite not wanting to?
As you can tell, I found a way to take this action – and I already feel 1000 percent better about myself than I would have if I had “waited until tomorrow” and just read a book or gone shopping.
That’s why I thought it might be helpful if I share with you some of the ways I have found help me when the “I don’t wannas” show up. I share them with you with the hope that they’ll help you the next time your “I don’t wannas” might sabotage you from taking important actions for your business.
Basically, I ask myself one or more of the following questions:
- Am I focused on (thinking only about) what I have to DO, i.e., the action itself? If so, then I’ve learned to shift my focus to what I want to HAVE or who do I want to BE, i.e, the result, that taking the action supports. Today, for example, that was as simple as imagining how I would feel going to bed tonight knowing I had kept my commitment – that I had been both disciplined and in integrity. And how I’d feel tomorrow being able to start the day “fresh”.
- What could I put in place or add to the process of taking this action that I DO enjoy? As I’ve been writing this, I’ve been listening to some FUN music (the soundtrack from Mary Poppins, in fact) and sipping on a cup of my favorite tea. Speaking of the Mary Poppins soundtrack – remember that song with the line “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down?” That’s what I’m talking about here. Only I wouldn’t recommend it ALWAYS including sugar!
- How can I make the taking of this action as pleasant and comfortable (at least physically) as possible? I didn’t use this one today (the others were sufficient), but some of the ways I’ve practiced this in the past have included putting on some comfy sweatpants or my jammies, curling up in a comfy chair with a blanket and a cup of tea, curling up in the living room with my laptop instead of working in my office at my desktop. Sometimes I’ve made phone calls outside or while lying in bed. When I’m physically comfortable, it makes taking the action I don’t want to take easier. This is REALLY important when the reason I don’t want to take the action is because I’m scared or taking the action is UN-comfortable mentally or emotionally.
- What will my REWARD be for taking this action – regardless of the outcome? That’s EASY today! I like to cook – and so I’m going to spend a few hours in the kitchen preparing a yummy (and fun) dinner for my husband and me! And tonight I’m going to either watch a movie or curl up in a blanket and read one of the books I’ve been wanting to read for a long time! It’s important to remember that this reward is for me taking the action – regardless the outcome. You may or may not like what I’ve written – or even agree with it. That’s out of my hands. Similarly, you need to celebrate taking the action – like making a phone call – whether you got a booking or appointment from the phone call or not!
- What is the simplest, smallest action I could take in this moment that will move me in the direction I want to go … that takes me a step closer to the results I desire? Today, that began by simply opening up Word in my computer and deciding to write “real time” about my “I don’t want to’s”. Since it was what I was dealing with and working through myself, it made writing about it simple. At other times, it might be to make ONE phone call or reply to FIVE emails or to write for 10 minutes. Remember, doing “something” is ALWAYS going to get your further than doing “nothing”.
So – there you have it! Five simple, yet powerful tools that can support you in your business. They can make the difference between taking or not taking the actions your business requires – especially on the days when you “don’t WANT to”. I hope that they’ll support you as much as they have me.
And, just so you know, long before I finished writing this guest post, my “I don’t want tos” disappeared and I have really ENJOYED sharing this with you. Now I’m going to head out to the kitchen and start whipping up something fun – I’m thinking a homemade pizza might just do the trick!
What about you? Do you ever have “I don’t wanna” moments? How do you respond when you do? Are you willing to try some of my “tricks” and see if they support you to move forward in your business – and to enjoy the satisfaction of being in action and in integrity? If so, then I’ll borrow Lisa’s phrase and simply say let’s PARTY ON!
About the Author: Aside from becoming one of my best friends in the industry, Teresa Romain is the founder of Access Abundance, an organization committed to transforming scarcity on all levels of Life and Work into truly Abundant Being, Doing and Having in the World.
Action Item: Listen to my interview with Teresa on the Small Biz Super Summit, where we talk about filling your “gratitude buckets” in order to be more successful in your life and business.