“Know what you are willing to offer. Know what you are willing to accept. But most of all, be willing to walk away if you are not going to get it.”
These are the wise words from the guy teaching my online real estate course. And as I walked away from my first big negotiation on a property this week, the feelings hit hard. It felt like a major loss and one that I wanted to keep fighting for because I want it. It was the best one I had seen and in the best location. My lack of abundance mindset and my fear of the unknown had me wanting to do stupid things like throw more money and more effort at it than it is worth.
This negotiation rule is one that makes so much sense, and yet so many of us as people get too emotionally attached to things to follow this rational rule and it got me to thinking about other areas of my life. What am I willing to offer? What am I willing to accept? What do I need to walk away from? As people, we can often let others lessen our standards. We too often stay, when we should be walking away. We accept less than we want to receive. Than we deserve to receive.
As I sit and reflect on my life up until now, I realise that I have over the years constantly let other people and things cross the boundaries that I wanted to have for myself and I let them out of a place of fear. Fear that I am not good enough. Fear that I cannot find anything better. Fear of not being a good person because I have walked away from something I don’t want to be in and I feel guilty about not staying, either out of obligation or a sense of care. I have done it with jobs, relationships, friendships…. But at what cost? I have found that previously the cost staying for others is losing my sense of self.
A wise friend in talking about this told me that empathy is an amazing ability to have for others. But not at the expense of your own self esteem, when you are putting the other persons need to lessen their pain above the pain you take on yourself. That they are different beasts. And I think that as women, we tend to do this a lot. We are trained to be the care takers. To see someone in pain and to want to take their pain away for them. We are trained to put everybody else before ourselves and to our own detriment. To the detriment of our standards and our boundaries. We are fighting a losing battle.
There will always be pain. There will always be disappointment. But by fighting these things instead of accepting them and resonating with them, that is when we start to lose ourselves. That is when we start to cross the boundaries. When we see ourselves as worth less than that we are fighting so hard to keep, when what we should be doing is accepting and walking away.
These are hard lessons. And in life you will win some and you will lose some. It is a work in progress and one I can’t say that I will get right every single time, but as long as I’m getting it more right than before, that is progress. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to keep asking of yourself in relationships with other humans and the work and things what you value. “What am I willing to offer? What am I willing to accept? If not, just walk away.”