Some of the decisions I have made this year — choosing a part-time job over full time so I could launch my own business in a tough economy, spending two months in New Orleans when we have a cozy place in a great Brooklyn neighborhood — don’t make sense to some people. Ditto our choice not to have children, not to own a car and who knows how many other things.
And that is OK.
I am happy to talk to anyone who is interested about how we’ve made the choices we’ve made, but I’m not interested in convincing you I’m right if you’ve decided I’m wrong. It’s my life and if it works for me, that should be enough. We all have different needs and priorities so why should I explain myself?
That’s why this recent column by Christine Kane struck me — it’s a distraction and a waste of energy to explain ourselves.
Christine offers up her content free for reuse as long as it’s in its entirety with her bio attached. So here it is:
Jennifer’s parents didn’t approve of her choice to hire a coach now that her new business was up and running. Jennifer was expecting a long letter from them filled with judgments about her irresponsibility – first, with starting this “crazy” business and second, with paying someone for advice. As she waited for that letter, she was figuring out what she would write back.
My client Sylvia just bought her dream house. She avoided telling her father about it for fear that he would judge her, call her irresponsible and proceed to describe her imminent demise. She finally did email her father and tell hi. On our call, she told me that she was waiting for his reaction gearing up to explain her choice to him.
Now, there are some people who might read these stories and think, “Are you kiddin’ me? Who cares what anyone thinks about your houses or coaches or anything??!”
If this is you, then read no further. This article is not for you.
I’m writing this for the “explainers” out there. And it doesn’t matter if you explain to parents, partners, or priests. You know who you are!
You’ve heard me talk about the benefits of going “Complaint-Free,” right? Well, today, we’re going to talk about going “Explaint-Free!”
And here are 6 irresistible reasons to do just that:
1 – Waiting Drains Your Energy.
When I’m coaching an explainer, I can see that much of her energy goes to the act of waiting.
She waits for judgment.
She waits for people to “get” her before she’ll take action.
She waits for people to approve of her choice.
She waits for criticism.
This literally drains her creative life force. Both women in the examples above were losing energy waiting for criticism.
Here’s your first big challenge: Give up the non-activity of waiting.
2 – You Need to Learn to Trust your Choices.
Explaining robs you of empowerment.
Our decisions teach us valuable lessons about intuition and instinct. RARELY do our clear decisions come from our mental activity. Gut instinct is clearer than our critical minds.
When we explain ourselves, however, we move away from the place of deep trust in our intuition and into the realm of mental activity – where the choice didn’t come from in the first place! We’ve suddenly stopped honoring and trusting ourselves and started creating a pattern of mental activity as we question our choices.
3 – Explaining Blocks Creativity.
Creativity means you’re the Creator of your life. You’re a Creator. Not a Reactor. When you explain yourself, you become a “Reactor.” You can’t live in both realms at once. They contradict each other. Living in a state of reaction causes you to cut off the flow of creativity.
4 -Disapproval is a Great Opportunity.
Yes, I’m serious about this!
Becoming an adult in the deepest sense is about learning to take responsibility for your actions and choices. Sometimes that means other people won’t like these actions and choices. And what a great opportunity people provide when they do that!
I once heard a relationship coach say that love can sometimes mean letting your partner be disappointed in your choices. Think about that. Can you stand in your body and love someone enough to allow them not be happy with a choice you’re making?
5 – Explainers Endorse Irresponsibility.
People who take personal responsibility for their lives do not blame others (or themselves) for their unhappiness, for their life situations, or for their financial state, etc. Instead, they recognize that they created it, and they can un-create or re-create anything. It’s an empowering place to live.
Many people do not live in this level of personal responsibility. They are too busy blaming other people, taking other people’s inventory, and looking outside themselves for their happiness. Author Byron Katie calls this minding other people’s business instead of your own.
Your choice to explain yourself teaches other people that it’s okay not to take responsibility, and that it’s okay to mind your business instead of their own. Your explanations actually perpetuate the pattern of irresponsibility!
6 – Explainers Play Small. It’s Time to Play Big.
Explainers are waiting for permission, or approval, or for people to “get” their choices. So much unhappiness and depression comes from a lifetime of waiting for these meaningless things. It’s the ultimate meaning of Playing Small.
Playing Big means you trust in yourself enough to make lots of mistakes – and keep going anyway, no matter what people say to you. Playing Big means being clear, and making decisions from your soul. And, by the way, your soul doesn’t feel the need to explain anything!
Christine’s bio: Christine Kane is the mentor to women who are changing the world. She helps women uplevel their lives, their businesses and their success. Her weekly LiveCreative eZine goes out to over 20,000 subscribers. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can sign up for a free subscription at http://christinekane.com.