Last week I was registered (and paid up) to attend a networking event that was sure to be a lot of fun and perhaps a good help to my business. But in the last few minutes before I was due to walk out the door for it, I took stock of my mood and decided that what I really wanted to do was to go Christmas shopping by myself instead. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by the mood of my daughter at the current time as well as some other “stuff” that I am currently facing, and I came to the conclusion that taking some time off for me was actually what I needed to do that night.

So that’s exactly what I did.

Later, instead of making up some excuse to my friends (who were also going to be at the event) about why I cancelled out, I told the truth. To my pleasure, my “truth-telling” got a positive reaction. As the saying goes: “The truth will set you free.”

In the next few weeks, if the busyness of the holiday season threatens to overtake you, I encourage you to put your most authentic self forward and speak the truth about your needs. Overwhelmed? Tired? Rather be by yourself? Need a retreat? It may be a good time to take stock of what you need to do, instead of what others are asking of you.

There will always be another party to attend, another networking event to take part in. If this is what fuels you, load up! But if you realize you’d rather be somewhere else at that particular moment, give yourself the permission to say so. Take the night off. Enjoy the freedom!