I Can’t Say Yes All of the Time

Stop Saying Yes
Photo courtesy of Joanne.

I can’t say ‘yes’ all of the time.

I finally admitted it. By saying ‘yes’ to everyone and everything, I cheat myself, those I love, and what I love to do.

When I say ‘yes’ to creating one more blog post for a friend who doesn’t have time but who ‘desperately needs fresh content’, I don’t have time to create for myself.

When I say ‘yes’ to a friend who wants me to help out with her website content management while she is on vacation, I neglect my own desires to create fresh content and write for sites I manage full-time.

When I say ‘yes’ to attending five different events during the week, I sabotage my own creativity and sense of self by being overwhelmed and drained.

When I say ‘yes’ to a friend who needs me to meet her miles away from my home for coffee instead of arranging to compromise and meet closer by, I cheat myself of precious time when I could be creating or doing something I love.

When I say ‘yes’ to the little voice inside my head that says ‘Do more, help more, go more, run more, stretch more, offer more……‘ – I forget to nurture the things that make me happy, alive, and creative!

It’s more than just saying ‘no’ – it’s about not saying ‘yes’ just to appease others.

It’s not selfishness, or uncaring, or any of those things. It’s about making the best choices. It’s about living an authentic life that allows me to be me. It’s about prioritizing my hours, and days, and weeks – and my life – to do what matters most to me and nurtures my values and goals. Then I can do even more for other people.

And  I can truly say ‘yes’ to more things that matter.

Chances are I won’t upset anyone by not saying ‘yes’ if I’m clear about my choices and manage my priorities. And chances are very good that I will disappoint myself a lot less if I learn this very important lesson: Stop saying ‘yes’ without thinking first.

3 thoughts on “I Can’t Say Yes All of the Time

  1. I have a terrible time saying no. This is great advice and I need to chant the “stop saying yes right away” mantra to myself every time I hear the phone ring!

  2. I learned this from Brene Brown — it’s better to say “no” to something you don’t want to or can’t do than it is to say “yes” and feel resentful for having done so. I’m paraphrasing it of course, but that’s the message. Sometimes “no” is the only way to go.

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