ReZoomers – Stop Saying You’re Sorry

As I read Susan’s blog post this morning, I absolutely agreed with her whole premise with respect to my business life.  If I can get my clients to sit down and speak, listen and hear each other, I have a greater chance of helping them solve their issues short of litigation.  On a number of occasions it includes the exchange of the ‘I am sorry’ sentence.  The people in the room, after listening to each other, empathize and recognize there actually is another way to see something.

However for we Rezoomers, saying sorry is a mantra!

We are apologetic for thinking of ourselves first, not thinking of all the ‘others’ in our lives ahead of ourselves.  We assume we have the ability to do both without a few ruffled feathers along the way.  So for us, please do not apply Susan’s blog to your personal life, we already apologize to everyone in spades.

A Rezoomer needs to recognize it is ok to think of yourself. Oh My God, are you kidding me!!

Our choice to Rezoom usually occurs at a time in our lives when some other transition is occurring.  Kids are going off to school, a monetary down turn has occurred or a spouse has been lost due to death or divorce.  We are already going through emotional changes and helping others in our lives navigate their way through too.  You cannot possibly think about or pursue a change in your life at this time, others need you.  I don’t deserve a chance at rezooming my life.

We Rezoomers are particularly vulnerable to the “I don’t deserve this” gremlin.

My gremlins occur all the time.  They come in the shape of the people in my life.

Both my parents are in their 80’s, I have a wonderful husband and two older sons, 21 & 18, and a multitude of friends who helped me survive the before and after of Rezooming.  I absolutely believed, as I started down this path to Rezoom my career, none of them could survive without me!  A notion perpetuated to this day by my folks, whom I love!  However, my husband, sons and friends did and do thrive and revel in their independence and mine.

I think this is the hardest obstacle to tackle.  In the old days, I would work overtime to make sure everything was taken care of while I was away at an event.  I would be totally unnerved while I was away, especially when the inevitable call would come with a crisis.  I really should be home doing all things for all the people in my life.

I understand now, it was a test.  I had created the gremlin.  He gave value to my life as a mom.  However, when I looked more closely, I’d been a great Mom.  Ironically, my parents, husband, sons and friends survived despite my being away!  I was not indispensible and that is a good thing.

Now that I am back to work full time, the “I’m Sorry” gremlin pokes out his head early and often.  So many people in my life cheered when I went back to work, opened my own office and made my own money.  Now, not so much.  Reality has set in.  Reality means I cannot get away for lunch, clean up after, run errands for, or a myriad of other things I used to do.

It was sobering to me, but more importantly to them.  Especially when I stopped apologizing!  Rather, thanks to my burgeoning mediation expertise, I recognized and valued their feelings, but did not take them on as my own.  I didn’t try to fix them. Rather, I enabled them to think how can they move forward as I have moved forward.  Neither person is wrong in how they are now living their lives or having their expectations.  Rather, how can those needs and expectations be channeled to enable all parties to get what they want out of the relationship?

We Rezoomers are infinitely capable of assisting others to get on with their lives.  Not so when it comes to contemplating getting on with our own lives.  We allow ourselves to feel guilty for not being all things to all people as we venture forth to explore this next phase of our lives.  That has to stop.

You are taking your first bold steps toward independently thinking of yourself.

Believe it or not, it is ok to think of ones self first every once in a while.  You do matter.  What you are working toward matters too.  Those around you, whom you are apologizing to, think so too (though they may not know it yet).

Have you felt guilty about Rezooming your career?

All opinions, advice, and experiences of guest bloggers/columnists are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, practices or experiences of Solo Practice University®.

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2 comments on “ReZoomers – Stop Saying You’re Sorry

  • From Jay Foonberg:

    After many years of litigation, I decided to “rezoom” my approach to handling of litigation. My “rezoom” works well for all concerned, and has contributed greatly to my income and my stature as a lawyer.

    In my first contact with opposing counsel ( preferably in a phone call), I state the following:
    “Ms. Jones, I am going to ask you 2 questions. Please do not interpret these two questions as a sign of weakness in the matter.

    My first question is:

    “Can this case be settled? If so, lets devote our legal skills to crafting a settlement, instead of wasting the clients’ money and our skills as lawyers on unnecessary litigation expenses.”

    If the answer to that question is either “No” or “Not yet”, then my second question is:
    “How do you want to play the game? I’m happy to play the game under your rules, I just want to know how you an to handle the case.
    If, you want to be reasonable with me, then I’ll be reasonable with you. If you want to be obstructive and scorched earth with me, then I’ll be obstructive and scorched earth with you. If you are reasonable in giving me what I ask for in discovery, then I’ll be reasonable in giving you what you ask for. If you want to require me to make motions and go to court ands run up bills over every little aspect of the case, then we’ll do the same with you. Either way is fine with me. I am prepared and happy to play the game either way. but please let me know. ”

    Susan. this approach often results in faster resolution of disputes and lower expenses for the client and quicker, affordable, and collectible fees for me. Additionally, I gain a fair amount of respect from opposing counsel for this approach.

    Before “rezooming”, I unintentionally treated many litigated matters as ego and financial matters , thinking only of my personal income and “winning”.
    By rezooming, I remind opposing counsel that our role as lawyers is to favor resolution of litigation not creation of disputes and litigation to earn more fees.

    I have also communicated that being obnoxious and non cooperative is no threat, I am prepared for war if necessary.

    I do not know if this is what you had in mind when you wrote of “Rezooming”.

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