I have been working on changing my thought processes. Especially when it comes to removing drama from my life and my work. My default thought process is to think if I make a commitment or start working with a new client, I must finish my commitment. Sometimes, this need to finish a commitment has actually made me ill.
I still think that 90% of the time, you should finish your commitment. Walking away should not be done lightly. But, if something is causing severe anxiety and frustration, it is ok to politely walk away.
I had to do this last week with a particularly difficult client. I was losing money and the job was causing me significant stress. I was losing sleep, my eating habits were becoming erratic and my time with my family was full of stress as I was constantly cutting things short and going without sleep in order to accommodate the client. To top it off, the client had no respect for my work hours. I would check my voice mail in the mornings and find four and five increasingly irate messages because I was not answering the phone at 3 and 4 in the morning.
Everyone else would have walked away long before I did. I felt I needed to honor my commitment. Even though, from a business sense, it was a disaster. I finally realized that I have to start thinking of myself as a business, not as an individual. Changing just that thought gave me the power I needed to walk away from the drama.
With that under my belt, I am working on changing my thinking about other aspects of my life. For example, I am trying to be more “present” with my kids and realize that even I need to take breaks occasionally.
Do you have areas in your life where you changed your thinking? How did it work out?