I am fortunate to have many insightful friends who inspire me to be a YES! to the things that matter in my life. They are generous with their vision and support. It's my pleasure to connect you with Susan Koening, who has served as my coach in addition to being a friend.
Like so many people who love accomplishments, I developed the habit of saying yes to countless opportunities that came my way. I struggled to find time for my encore career in coaching while juggling an already full life.
This took a dramatic turn when my coach asked, "What have you done to grow your business this month?"
"Nothing" I confessed. I defended myself (being a lawyer I had the skills) with a litany of how busy I was writing my book, teaching law, running the firm, and dealing with family dramas.
"Just how important is your coaching to you?" she asked. "Oh, it means everything to me, Coach!" I proclaimed in my typical enthusiasm.
Coach was silent. She allowed me to stare into the face of the disconcerting truth that I had chosen to put other meaningful activities before my passion. She didn't judge me. She simply let me observe that I alone was responsible for the choices I made.
We so want to make a difference. We keep saying yes. We keep doing more. We long to do even more, but we don't have the time. We add to our responsibilities but rarely take anything off. Life gets busier and busier.
Successful people are often shocked to learn that creating a "Stop Doing" list might be their most important "To Do" ever.
The thought of no longer doing much of what I had done for years was hard to face. I made an impressive argument for holding on to everything on my agenda. Eventually I faced the truth. There were not enough hours in the day for me to add one more initiative to my rich life. Like it or not, I had to choose. In that moment, I had to be willing to choose to let go of something good to make room for something great.
I started small. I found others to take my place. I surrendered to the reality that ego had tied me to many of my past choices. Little by little I eased out of the many "Yeses" I had spoken over the years. I mourned as I said good-bye to the parts of my life that I had enjoyed for many seasons.
Eventually I was able to spend more time doing what I loved most of all. The feelings of frustration about not having enough time to do what was most important diminished. My good life was now even better than ever.
Rather than waiting for the universe to bring you enough time, money, and energy for creating the life you want, start today by making your "Stop Doing List." You might delight to discover that the key to having more of what you want is by doing less, not more.
Susan Ann Koenig, JD, Executive Coach is an attorney turned speaker, author, and coach. She inspires and empowers successful people to make their greatest contribution.
Visit Susan's website www.coachkoenig.com to learn more.