There’s no way to start this one ‘right’ so I’ll just dive in. Time after time, I’ll be on the phone working with my clients, and I’ll hear some version of “I’m not sure what’s the right decision, if I do this, then that….” They go on to tell me some version of ‘I can’t rock the boat’ or ‘I have to go along to get along.’
This is not a post about decision making, it’s a post about decision framing.
Too often, when the question is tee’d up, the questioner is more concerned about the external factors and way less concerned about the internal ones. Yes, there’s a balance. Yes, there are bills to be paid, and bosses to be placated. AND….
Definitely please for the love of all that’s good in this world please read this next sentence: YOU need to be in that equation. YOU are worth every bit as much as they are.
When I started this business, back in 2003, I was more concerned what people would think of coaching as a business then I was about whether I’d be good at it or like it. A little backwards, right? 13 years ago, after struggling to make the grade on all career fronts, it felt like I was committing career suicide shifting to a ‘soft skills’ area of business. Back in the day, the REAL business people duked it out in the trenches, selling or managing or operating.
But that wasn’t for me. In fact, 20 years prior to even that, I had to declare my major in college and I was absolutely positive, English! I wanted to write, go to journalism school, be curious about the world and reveal truth. I knew who I was.
And then blam! Real life lesson numero uno:
“No child of mine is going to study English and graduate only to flip hamburgers at McDonald’s for the rest of her life!”
Well, sheeeeee –it!
I knew I could write and I loved it. And what did I do? I caved. Yup, took accounting. Boring, boring, boring, so dreadfully dull and boring. Landed a job at an accounting firm. And withered into a dry crisp of a person for the next 15 years. (Try to picture me in sensible Queen Mum shoes, and a white bowtie blouse, and a skirt that fell just below the knee, go on now, have a good laugh. Fifteen-years!!!!!)
That was a bad decision. It was a bad match, and I knew it. What was worse was the framework I used to make that decision. I’ll call it the nasty stepsister framework – considering everyone else before I even began to consider myself and what would make me happy, alive, engaged, and powerful.
Stop walking on eggshells. Crack 'em good. Smash 'em yourself, if you have to.
Don’t trade your voice or your talent for scraps from the Big Girl/Guy table! Get on out there and light a fire under that creativity.
Go ahead and make my day. It might sound like this:
“No. Not my dream. I think I’ll go be ... oh shocker.....ME!”