How often do you justify yourself on a given day? I imagine if you give it some thought you'll find it's quite often.
Think about it.
A friend you don't particularly like asks you to go for coffee and you say, I'd love to but I can't because ...
...the kids have a birthday party and my husbands away on business and my car broke down last week and.....
Why do we do that?
When we justify ourselves and the decisions we make we inevitably feel a sense of guilt and shame for our decisions. We justify, or give excuses, not for the other person, but to ease our own discomfort.
The cashier at the store asks you to donate to this weeks charity and you say, "No, I donated the other day when I was here" or she tries to upsell you on the deal of the week and you say, "Not today because .... I already have 10 of them at home, thanks."
What would it be like to simply say, "No thank you"?
I can tell you, at least at first, it is incredibly difficult and uncomfortable for most people. In fact, I often challenge clients to try stopping at "no, thank you" the next time they are asked to do something that they don't want to or can't do for any reason.
It's a simple, yet strangely empowering exercise for many with a fear of judgement and often leads to increases in confidence in other areas of their lives.
Imagine how freeing it would be to stop justifying yourself. To simply say, No and walk away.
Now, I'm not suggesting you forget your manners. There are situations where you may want to provide another option; one that is more suitable to your life and family.
For example, the next time your mother asks you to come for Sunday dinner on a night that you already have 2 birthday parties, swimming lessons and a soccer tournament, you say, "This weekend won't work for us. How about we plan for next Sunday" or "Sundays dinners won't work for us. You are welcome to come to the soccer tournament if you'd like"
Taking control of your life without justification is empowering and will help you live a life that is your own.
Give it a try and share your experience with us below in the comments.