Happy MONDAY. Can ya believe January 2018 is already almost donezo??? I think the second you graduate schooling and move on to “adulting,” suddenly the speed of life is magnified, and it smacks ya right in the face. What I’ve realized now moreso than ever is that holy moly, time is precious. Once we get into our daily routines, sometimes we don’t even know what the heck day it IS because everything feels the same. It’s Friday! YAY! Oh wait…it’s Tuesday? Awkward. I catch the date only when it comes about time for Cool Sh*t I Lovelovelove, since it means we’re onto Next Month This Year – it’s that monthly reminder of time moving fast + furious.
And time is precious.
We felt that this weekend; J and I spent all day Saturday with my Nana + Pop, who have been married for 56 years (!!!). We took them out for lunch, heard all sorts of stories, danced around their living room to old Elvis records – it was so fabulous. It was also tech-free for both J + I. We each put away our phones entirely so that we could just focus on that moment with the people we lovelovelove so much. And of course, putting away phones for a day can feel so stinkin’ hard for so many of us so often in this day + age, where we’re attached at the hip (or thumbs?) to devices that have the power to instantly gratify us or satisfy us with one thing or another.
We live in this age of YES.
Say yes to new opportunities!
I just said yes to everything when I was starting out!
This is the year of saying YES to myself!
Yes yes yes yes yes! Yes, sometimes saying yes is good. Sometimes it’s good and necessary. But sometimes, saying yes is unhealthy. Sometimes saying yes means we’re inadvertently hurting ourselves, or going BACKWARDS in our personal progress or productivity. And especially once we realize how stinkin’ special time is, it becomes even MORE important for us to be able to maximize it, utilize it, + capitalize on it in our efforts to be our best damn selves as much as possible.
Is anyone else so totally OVER saying yes to everything??? Really, it’s exhausting. Instead, we should be learning to…
HOW TO SAY NO
I was recently talking with one of my girlfriends who was having the *hardest* time saying no to pretty much anything + everything. She was afraid of “hurting” her work by saying no, she was afraid of “hurting” her relationships by saying no…and the only thing hurting was herself, as she confessed feeling totally overwhelmed + overworked. Saying “yes” too much led to this fear + inability to actually say no without feeling a pang of guilt. She was being pulled in too many directions too count, forced to prioritize other people over herself simply because there weren’t enough hours in the day to actually get done everything she had said yes to for others.
She struggles so much with the word “no,” because it comes with full fear that the listener will revolt on the relationship.
The issue: Saying yes to others doesn’t mean you’re also saying yes to yourself. And saying yes to others also doesn’t mean you’re truly helping them, at the end of the day.
Sure, saying yes to start might be “an opportunity” – but when does an opportunity become something less than? I see this happen in blogging all the time. Girls will “say yes” to that first sponsored “opportunity,” of a brand wanting hours upon hours of your time and hard work in exchange for a bottle of shampoo or a $40 sweater. But one yes turns into another…and sooner or later, she finds herself totally overworked + underpaid, not even sure what the heck her value even IS since her “yes’s” were taken advantage of by those who sought it. (Hint: That was me a few years ago.) And in my 4+ years of blogging, I have NEVER had a disrespectful “opportunity” turn into a respectful one down the road. If someone wants you to say yes to something that purely + selfishly benefits them alone, chances are, there won’t come a time when those tides totally reverse.
Saying yes to others doesn’t mean you’re also saying yes to yourself.
In something like parenting, this isn’t a bad thing – it’s an essential. I’m obvi not a parent yet to things not four-legged, but I’ve already got that gist. Parenting is a selfless gig, and it’s not one where saying no for the sake of your own time is realistic. BUT, saying no *does* of course come in in other hard times – like when your kid reaaaaaally wants more candy or an iPhone at age 8. And sometimes, you’ve gotta “be the bad guy” and say no, for your good AND their good, too. And in that moment, somehow we can all understand + deal with that pang of disappointing someone, knowing that at the end of the day, it IS for their own good, too, to hear the word “no.” Which brings us to…
Saying yes to others also doesn’t mean you’re truly helping them.
We’re people pleasers by nature and HATE the idea of disappointing others. BUT. Saying yes just for the sake of not saying no doesn’t mean that you’re actually saying YES – you’re just not saying no. This was my friend’s predicament – she came to the realization that she was saying yes to folks because they wanted something, but she didn’t think what she was giving them was actually HELPING them. So it was a double whammy – say yes and give them what they WANT so that they feel happy in the moment, or say no and give them what they NEED and risk them being upset. She felt overworked, used, AND badly for prioritizing want over need and not having that harder conversation.
We say yes because we’re afraid to say no. But what if saying no would be the more helpful answer for you AND for them?
If the girl in the cubicle next to you asks for help on a project but you feel just as confused, what good is your help to her at the end of the day? Your coworker is now dependent on you to help her get it done, and she doesn’t actually know how to do it herself since she wasn’t forced to figure it out; she’s just banking on you. The hard truth might be that you’re just not the best person to help on that job in particular – and that’s OK! Saying no in that instance would benefit you AND your coworker by giving her the opportunity to a.) learn it for herself, or b.) find better help who might actually be of help.
If someone asks you out on a date, what good is saying yes when you have zero interest or chemistry? Sure, in the moment they might feel good about landing a date – but sooner or later, you’re going to HAVE to say no, lest you marry them. HA. Saying no would save BOTH of you the time + energy and allow you each to better spend that time finding your actual soul mates. So.
Feel no need to justify. Feel no need to explain. Feel no need to make up for it later.
Understand that “no” is a complete sentence, and your own sanity + wellbeing comes first. Granted, it’s a fine line, fosho. Saying yes to ourselves 24/7 would be selfish – of COURSE we want to rightly prioritze others when the time calls for it. But if something is jeopardizing your own mental health (or physical/emotional/etc health), it might be a reaaaaally good time to say no. Ask yourself…
- Will/would this bring me joy if I say yes?
- Will saying no truly hurt me in some way? And if so, is that a healthy and valid concern, or is it more of a concern that it wouldn’t feel acceptable to say no in this instance?
- Will this feel worth it to me?
- Will I feel taken advantage of or used if I say yes?
- Am I saying yes justbecause I’m afraid to say no?
SAY NO to things that don’t bring true joy.
SAY NO when you have that gut feeling that something isn’t justright.
SAY NO if you think it won’t be fully worth your time or investment.
SAY NO so that you have more room to say yes.
Ashton Kutcher had a great perspective on checking email; he said you’ve gotta start your day withOUT your inbox. Make your own to-do list, and don’t let yourself check email until at least a hour or two has passed. Why? Because your inbox is other people’s to-do list for you – it’s not your to-do list for yourself. Chances are, you’ll check your Gmail and find youself in a black hole for the next few hours, tackling other people’s requests and demands as they come.
Our days are short – our time is precious. And every choice is a yes or no call that leads us closer or farther away from growing into our best selves. You’ll feel more empowered + content in your own life when you feel comfortable confidently + kindly saying “no” when you know you need to or should. Saying yes to one thing means you’ll have to say no to another thing. Make sure you’re saying yes to things that you’re comfortable accepting over other things. Because you just never know when the next YES-worthy opportunity will come your way.
- “Focusing is about saying no.” – Steve Jobs
- “Sometimes we need to say no, so we have more time to say yes.” – Suzette Hinton
- “Half of the troubles of this life can be traced to saying yes too quickly and not saying no soon enough.” – Josh Billings
- “Saying no can be the ultimate self-care.” – Claudia Black
- “When you say yes to others, make sure you’re not saying no to yourself.” – Paulo Coelho
- “No is a complete sentence, and so often we forget that.” – Susan Gregg
- “You can be a good person with a kind heart and still say no.” – Lori Deschene
- Don’t say yes because you’re afraid to say no.
- “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” – Warren Buffet
- “What you don’t do determines what you can do.” – Tim Ferriss
What can you say no to this week to make more room to say yes?
Guaranteed you feel a weight leave your shoulders. 😉
I hope this helps ya in some way or another – it’s been on my heart a lot lately ever since my convo with my girlfriend, so I just had to share with ya. 😉
Thanks for reading, chicas (y chicos? Ha!) – go say no to something today to make more room for yes later this week.