We are a “yes” society. We don’t want to let people down. We say yes, even when we know we don’t have the time or energy. We say yes, even when our bodies are screaming at us.
We say yes. Even when we want to say no.
We say yes to ourselves. To others. To obligations. To events. To meetings.
And then we wonder why we’re tired and stressed and run down.
Yes, I am guilty of this. It’s not as bad as it used to be, but I would feel so guilty about letting other people down. Or I felt that I would be missing an important opportunity if I said I wasn’t available.
But the truth is, I was only hurting myself. I had to learn that I wasn’t saying no long term. I was simply saying I wasn’t available at that time for that particular purpose. I learned to suggest alternative times, which 99% of the time worked out.
Your time is sacred. You, we, all of us only have so much of it in a day. And if you are continually saying yes to everyone and everything, you will have zero time for yourself or your family and you will, without a doubt, eventually burn out.
The trick is to learn what your priorities are, schedule your days, and stick to both of those. Know your limit. Know what will feed your soul. And know what will deplete it.
I know my schedule in and out most days. I can tell you what days are the easiest for me to schedule things and what days are the hardest. And I can tell you which days are my “I’m not scheduling anything” days.
It is an absolute necessity for me to have a schedule so I can see and know where I can say yes and where I can say no. And I’ve also started abiding by the mantra, “If it’s not a heck yes, it’s a no.”
If I have any doubt or wonder, “well, maybe I can…”. It’s a nope. Because inevitably, I end up stressed to the max, worried I’m going to miss something or wondering why the heck I overbooked myself. And I probably won’t get much out of whatever I said yes to.
It’s a terrible cycle. One I learned the hard way. I was a yes woman to all the things. I overtaxed myself on the daily and wondered why I had nothing left to give at the end of the day.
Yes (no pun intended), there are seasons where you will have more yeses than no’s. But the trick is to not live there permanently.
Short term go-go-go is sometimes necessary to get ahead. But long term will deplete you and make you miserable. Pssst – ask me how I know.
So what have you said yes to recently that should’ve been a no? I bet you have one thing that pops instantly into your mind.
Think before you answer the next time. Tell them you have to check your schedule before getting back to them. And pay attention to how you’re feeling. Is it a “maybe I can…” type of deal? Or is it a heck yes? Or is just an outright no?
Start focusing more on your priorities and schedule and see how your life can change. It’s amazing what one little shift can do for you.
Have an amazing week, and remember, it’s okay to say NO!