Mark, say no. Take one.
Hey, it’s Marie Forleo and you are watching MarieTV, the place to be if you want to create a business and life you love, and this is Q&A Tuesday. I got to keep it interesting, you know what I’m saying?
So today’s question comes from Kelly and she writes, “Hi, Marie, a local civic group I’m involved with asked me to write curriculum for a girls’ mentorship program. I agreed because I was only going to school and working part-time, and I thought I had enough time to do a great job. But since then, I was offered a great full-time job, and between that, school, the internship associated with my school program, I’m burned out. I barely see my friends and family, my waistline is steadily growing and that damn curriculum is staring me down in the face. I don’t want to flake on a commitment I’ve made and potentially harm my professional reputation, but I’m completely overwhelmed. How do you know when to suck it up and try harder or to call it quits? Gratefully, Kelly.”
Kelly, this is an awesome question, something all of us can relate to. I don’t know anybody who hasn’t over-committed, including myself. Now, every situation is so different. I don’t know your timeline, I don’t know your history, I don’t know a lot of facts besides what you’ve shared, so while I can’t tell you what to do, what I can do is help you make the right decision for yourself. I can give you a script to back out gracefully if that’s what you really want to do. And most importantly, I can teach you a simple trick to stop over-committing in the first place.
Alright, so let’s start at the top. Is backing out a habit for you? Are you always flaking on your commitments? In other words, are you the cancel queen? “I hereby I declare this day officially canceled.” Okay, you need to look inside and get real honest with yourself. If you are always pulling this kind of thing, it’s time to stop flaking out and just get it done. So if you choose to go this route, you just have to suck it up and make it happen. That means don’t procrastinate and no dramatization. Set yourself an amount of time and just do it.
Now, if you need a little help with this, I’ve got a great article below called How to Double Your Results and Work Less. It’s an article that I actually wrote after creating a webinar for Tony Robbins and I know it’ll help you.
Now when those times come that you do need to back out gracefully, remember that honesty is the best policy. I know it’s really tempting to tell those little white lies in these kinds of situations, but don’t do it.
“Hey, Sally? Hi hun. Hi. Oh my God. I know. Look, I’m so sorry. I know we’re supposed to hang out tonight, but I am so sick. It is coming out of both ends. Yeah, I had oysters last night. It’s not a pretty sight. I’m telling you. I’m discussing right now. Totally can’t hang out. Do you hate me? No? Okay, good. I’m so sorry. I can’t wait to see you soon. Yes. Okay. Love you so much. I’m so sorry to do this. If I wasn’t sick, I would so love to hang out tonight. Okay, baby. Alright, love you. Bye.” Yes, we can totally go to the movies now.
Now everyone’s done that, including myself, but I have a policy now of only telling the truth. Why? Because you can never go wrong with the truth. People respect it and you respect yourself. So remember this and you bet your bottom dollar, it’s a tweetable. Honesty is the best solution for cleaning up a sticky situation.
Now, most of the time I prefer to have these kinds of conversations in person or over the phone, but email may be best, so use your own judgment. Here’s a little script as a guideline to get you started.
“I’m writing with a sticky situation today. As you know, back in September I agreed to write the curriculum for the girls mentorship program. When I said yes, I fully believed I had the bandwidth to do a great job. In October though, I was lucky enough to get a full-time position. While this is amazing, it also drastically changed my schedule. It pains me to say this, but I need to step down from this commitment. The girls deserve an incredible curriculum and I’m sorry I’m not able to deliver as I thought I would. I apologize for causing the program and inconvenience and, likely, a delay. Let me know if there are any questions I can answer, or any other way I can support the program moving ahead.”
Finally, here’s how to stop getting yourself into these kind of situations in the first place. This is one of my favorite pieces of advice of all time, especially if you’re addicted to over-committing. You need to pack your bags and get yourself a first class ticket on the… What?
Here it comes. All aboard.
People around the world, join hands, get on the no train, the no train. People around the world, join hands, get on the no train, the no train. No way, Jose.
[foreign language 00:05:06].
[foreign language 00:05:08].
[foreign language 00:05:10].
Hell no. Nine Oh no, no.
Now if you haven’t heard of the no train, all it means is that you give yourself permission to make no your first response to requests on your time. Now you can do this for a set amount of time, or you can do it forever, as long as it takes for you to break the pattern of over-committing. And you know, sometimes just saying no outright isn’t really appropriate, so you can say this, “You know what? Let me think about it and I’ll get back to you in a few days.”
Kelly, thank you so much for asking. Let us know how it goes.
Now, I would love to hear from you. Have you ever struggled with whether or not to back out if something really important? How did you make that decision and what was the outcome? Now, for bonus points, I would love to hear what’s the silliest white lie that you’ve ever told to back out of something?
As always, the best discussions happen after the episode over at marieforleo.com, so go there and leave a comment now.
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Stay on your game and keep going for your dreams because the world needs that special gift that only you have. Thank you so much for watching and I’ll catch you next time on MarieTV.
It’s picking up in my head. In my head.
Sometimes I can smell what The Rock is cooking.
No. No. No.
I know it’s weird. It’s so dumb.