You want to make everyone happy. You don’t want to let anyone down.
You want to stretch yourself and grow, but instead you find yourself worn out and exhausted.
There may even be a part of your faith which makes you think that you must say “yes” to every request that comes your way because it is your duty.
Even though there may be good intentions with saying “yes”, it is not always the best thing to do.
We have to learn to say “no”.
There are only a set amount of hours in the day and week. In that week, we have to sleep, eat, enjoy our family, friends and loved ones in addition to work and other responsibilities.
When we say “yes” to something, we are impacting these areas of our lives.
In his book “Essentialism“, Greg McKeown talks about this concept. When we don’t say “no” we are saying “yes” to something else by default. That’s not good. Because now all of our time energy and effort is being spent on tasks that we weren’t supposed to be doing in the first place.
I know this first hand.
Back in 2005, I left my work at The Disneyland Resort to pursue acting in commercials full tme. But I didn’t have a plan. We had some money as a buffer, but I just thought opportunities would present themselves.
Well, several things presented themselves. However, it wasn’t what I expected.
I found myself getting over involved in my sons’ school, since I was now a “stay at home dad.” My continual automatic volunteering led me to overextend myself. I couldn’t say no. All of my energy and effort was now being put into projects where people would ask for help. My default answer of “yes” resulted in a never ending cycle of getting frustrated, stretching myself too thin and leaving me with no time to look for work. Our funds soon depleted. I was very fortunate to be allowed back to my work at Disneyland, but I learned a valuable lesson.
You can’t say “Yes” to everything. No matter how important it seems.
I learned another valuable lesson from McKeown’s “Essentialsim” about making decisions. Ask yourself, “What percentage do I feel like this is the right thing to do?” I’ve had opportunities that have come my way where I felt “Yeah, I feel like that’s about 60% the right thing to do.” That number doesn’t sound so bad…why not, it’s more than 50% right?
What it we took that same percenetage of 60% and looked at it as a score on a test? It would be an F or D minus grade at best.
And that’s a life decision! Why would we accept failing grades in our life decisions?
If you are not feeling 90% or more regarding a decision, if it’s not an automatic “YES!!!! I WANT TO DO THAT, BE A PART OF THAT!” then don’t agree to it.
It’s not easy to say “no”, but remember you are making room for that “yes” that can lead to the things you really want to be doing in your life.
Where are areas of your life that you are having a difficult time saying “no”? Let me know on my Facebook page.