Are you a recovering yes-aholic like me? It seems that more women feel like they’re often programmed to be super achievers and ‘yes’ people. Want us to take care of the children, work a full-time job, volunteer at the school, and help with other charities and organizations? SURE! We can handle it all. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean that we should!
I did something big the other day that reminded me of the importance of saying no. I quit volunteering for a program that I have been involved with for more than 10 years. Was it a hard decision? Yes. Do I feel like I have freed up so much of my space and energy? Hell yes! It was a very hard and very liberating decision.
I loved the program and have absolutely no hard feelings about leaving. Years ago, I was very passionate about it. But, as time went on, more and more of the responsibilities were being put on my plate. It was making me feel a lot of dread. It was not only taking up so much of my mental space, but also my physical space in my home. I had a whole closet full of binders and work related to this program (and if you know anything about me, I love a good decluttering).
An author that I really admire, Marie Forleo, talks all about the “no train” and how we need to be all aboard in order to reach our potential. Even Warren Buffet shares this belief with his quote, “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” So, now that I have freed up some space in my life for myself (both physical and mental), I have decided that I am either going to say “no” or “hell yes” to future opportunities. My rule is that if it’s not a “hell yes” filled with enthusiasm and passion, then it has to be a “no”. I made a list of four main questions to ask myself the next time an opportunity comes my way that will help me determine my answer.
- How important is this?
If this opportunity doesn’t align with what is most important to me in my life at the moment, then it should immediately be a ‘no’. Time is so valuable, and if the opportunity that has arisen doesn’t sound like a priority, then it shouldn’t become one.
- Is this how I want to be spending my time?
Time is so valuable! We are all busy juggling so many different things, and, quite frankly, if this opportunity doesn’t sound fun and exciting, then it shouldn’t be a ‘yes’. Even if it does sound very important and align with my values, it won’t motivate me if I dread spending time on it.
- What kind of ‘yes’ would this be?
There are countless reasons why we would say ‘yes’ to an opportunity that arises. We may feel pressured to say ‘yes’ out of guilt or obligation. We may even feel pressure to say yes because this opportunity strokes out ego, and makes us feel important to be asked to join. But, at the end of the day, if it is not a resoundingly joyful ‘hell yes’, then I am going to make sure it’s a ‘no’. An ego or guilty yes just don’t have the same effect as a hell yes!
- Does it feel right?
Most importantly, after I’ve asked myself all of the other questions, it comes down to my gut feeling. We all have these intuitions that we simply need to trust. Does this opportunity feel right? If I feel like it is a loud ‘hell yes’, then I am going to trust that feeling and go for it!
Leaving the program that I volunteered at for the past 10 years was not an easy decision, but it was a decision that I needed. I feel like I have freed up so much more space and time for the things that I am truly passionate about, and I hope that by asking yourself these questions will help you reprioritize the opportunities that come your way as well!If you’d like to hear more about how to say ‘no’, be sure to give Episode 10 a listen on the Fit is Freedom Podcast! Or, if you’re interested in hearing more about the importance of decluttering your life and your spaces, check out my article about the one simple way to declutter your mind and living space or Episode 1 of the Fit is Freedom Podcast!