That Doesn’t Work for Me
In mid-2021, I made a rule for myself: I wouldn’t say yes to any projects or clients that didn’t seem like fun.
(You might argue that this is a luxury…I’d tell you yes and no. But that’s a topic for another time.)
That rule was a game-changer.
I didn’t have to explain myself… Even to myself.
No justifying or rationalizing or pros/cons lists.
Just: Nope. That doesn’t seem like it’s going to be fun.
[Note: I usually don’t say exactly that to my prospective clients.
Something more like, “This doesn’t seem like a good fit,”
or “I’m really strict about staying in my zone of genius and this isn’t it.”]
It was incredibly empowering to let my preferences matter that much.
I’m now getting inspired to bring that practice even deeper into my life.
Recently, I was holding space for a friend who was grieving a breakup.
I found myself admiring her self-love and clarity.
She’d ended the relationship because she and her former partner couldn’t agree on some foundational principles for how they’d relate.
She’d spent time doubting herself — was she asking for too much?
Were her desires unreasonable?
Was she unevolved to not feel good about what her partner was wanting?
Eventually, she said, the choice came down to one simple sentence: “That doesn’t work for me.”
“YESSSS!” I thought as I heard her speak.
That simple, inarguable statement has so much power in it.
No need to make the other person wrong.
No need to debate philosophy.
No need to prove you’re right.
Just: “That doesn’t work for me.”
And you’re free (ready, responsible) to take care of yourself.
Knowing what works for us and honoring it, simply — I’d argue this is one of the major keys to adulting.
PS – What keys to adulting have you discovered lately? I’d love to know. There are so many locks on that door!
This post was originally sent as an email to the Magic Words of the Week newsletter list. Every week, I share reflections on a word, quote, or phrase I think will help you thrive in your life’s work.