I am in a bunch of Facebook groups for businesses. One of the overwhelming themes I see in these groups is people apologizing for their priorities in life. I get so frustrated reading these posts that I really want to just shake the person writing them. Your priorities should not make you feel guilty, and they certainly shouldn’t ever make you feel like a failure.
Priorities in Life – Posts That Annoy Me
Here is an example of what I mean. “Hey everyone, I set a goal to get through this course I signed up and paid money for. However, I’m just not going to get it done because my entire family got the flu, my car broke down, and my dog died. All of these horrible things happened on Monday and I just can’t focus on this course. I just don’t know what to do next… ”
Ok, maybe that’s a little dramatic, but you have all read these posts. I am here to tell you, STOP apologizing for your priorities. Instead of focusing on all the things you didn’t get done because life happened, focus on the fact that you were able to take care of your family, fix your car, and give yourself permission to grieve the loss of your dog.
Own Your Priorities and Live Them
So seriously, stop telling me about how you can’t get things done because you prioritized something else instead. It’s okay to shift priorities as needed. It’s okay to prioritize something over your business, your current goals, or your night out. It’s not ok for you to constantly apologize because you did it.
The ability to change priorities in life is one of the reasons many people choose to become small business owners. Many of us want the ability to be fluid when needed, support our families, and adjust time requirements as things change. What I find though is most people think they know what their priorities are, but in reality, they aren’t what they think.
Figure out what your priorities are and make sure you are not committing to the wrong things. If you are prioritizing family because you have small children, then don’t feel guilty when they have to come first. If your priority is your small business and you are sacrificing everything else to get it done, then don’t apologize for missing a night out with the girls.
However, I want you to own your priorities and don’t promise things you can’t deliver on. If you promise someone you will do something, then that is a priority you need to accomplish. Therefore, the only time you need to apologize to me is if you promised me something and then chose not to make that one of your priorities in life and missed the deadline.
Your success in life is not determined by meeting other people’s expectations. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you aren’t good enough because your priorities in life are different than what someone else would choose for you. They are not living your life.
You Determine Your Success
That leads me to my next point. YOU define your success. No one else. Read that again… ONLY you get to decide if you were successful. Now that doesn’t mean you won’t have goals to accomplish as part of your success.
So decide what your priorities and your goals are, and decide what it means to you to be successful at those priorities. If you’ve decided you want to be a successful mom, then only you get to decide what that means. Is it spending 60 hours a week caring for your child? Helping them get to adulthood as a contributor to society? Or maybe you just want to do your best every day and hope it all works out.
Once you know what your priorities really are and you have determined what it means to be successful. Then you can be guilt-free when it comes to how you spend your time. You will be spending time on the right things, doing the tasks that get you closer to your goals and living your best life.
Stop Feeling Guilty
I’ve decided that most people who I see making constant apologies are doing it because they feel guilty. Let me tell you… YOU should not feel guilty about living the life you want to live. If you aren’t living the life you want to live, then make changes to get yourself closer to that life.
The choices you make about what your priorities in life are should not make you feel guilty. They should support your decisions, goals, and life aspirations. Choose to create SMART goals so you can measure what is working and what is not. This applies to regular developmental goals, business, and family.
If you are constantly apologizing for the goals you are setting, for letting others down, or for not meeting other ideas of your success; then you really need to stop doing that. If you are finding you apologize without knowing why really sit down and assess if you know what your prioritizes truly are. Likely you thought something was more important than it really was.
Figuring out what tasks are actually priorities will help you manage your time most effectively. This is harder than it sounds. That is why I’ve created a workbook to help you figure this all out. Let’s get your actual business and life priorities straightened out.
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Great post Joni! This is something I need to fine tune in both my personal and professional life.
Thank you Kimberly! I am so glad you enjoyed the post!