Having the Confidence to Walk Away

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Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about confidence and what it means in life. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never exuded extreme self-confidence, but I’m not exactly huddled in a corner consoling myself either.

What I’ve come to realize is that confidence is about boundries. It’s about knowing who you are and how far you are willing to go. It is about looking around at a situation and saying, “You know what, I’ll pass.”

Being able to say “no” and walk away from ANYTHING has never been my strong suit until recently. I often took on way too much because of my unwillingness to walk away. The end result was often me either over-extending and feeling crappy or the people who counted on me getting a less-than-stellar effort.

Not long ago, my company had a potential client we were talking to about a project. The project was fairly large and would have been great for us as a company. During the process of discussion, we had to go back for several meetings and revise our bids a few times.

At the last meeting, the discussion centered on our capabilities as compared to other companies. As honestly and as bluntly as I could put it, I said that we were who we were and that wasn’t going to change. They could either accept the word of our customers who gave us glowing reviews, the examples in our portfolio and our knowledge of the areas specific to the project or not.

I walked out of the meeting feeling a LOT better about both myself and my business. I realized that there was a time to give (that had happened already in the multiple meetings prior to this) and a time to stand firm.

That was a good lesson for me to learn because it is something I’ve tried to carry into my everyday life. There is just a point when, no matter how good something appears from the outside, you have to be willing to say, “no thanks” and know that something better is right behind it and have the patience to wait for it.

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