One of my favorite authors and thought self-development leaders, Dr. Wayne Dyer said “Yes is the breath of creation.“
It is absolutely the very first step in creating anything that you want or dream of. But what happens when your “Yes” is not involved in creating something you love and enjoy but rather it depletes you of your precious energy and time?
It’s not just the holidays when we find ourselves over “yessed!” It can occur at any time of year, but it seems that the holidays bring about a whole new expectation and level of opting in vs. saying “NO.”
What happens when you are saying yes to things…
And then, once you say yes, how do you feel? Do you feel excited and expansive? Or tight and regretful? Do you say “Yes” knowing that you’ll likely cancel? When you cancel, do you give an excuse (real or imagined) and feel like you let someone down including yourself?
The next time someone asks you to do something or go somewhere, unless you know you are free and (this is most important!) feel an immediate surge of excitement and you know it’s an easy yes, simply answer, “Let me get back to you on that.” If that feels too abrupt, you can always first thank them for the opportunity with, “Thanks for asking!” or “Thank you for thinking of me!” and then tell (don’t ask) you’ll get back to them.
This will give you time to evaluate if it’s something else you want or need to do. Anyone who is worth supporting or spending time with will appreciate that your answer is genuine and heartfelt.
If you decide not to say yes, let them know as soon as you’ve decided. No one wants to be left hanging.
“I appreciate you thinking of me but I am not going to be able to do that for you, attend, make that happen, contribute, etc.”
And leave it at that.
You do not need to offer a reason for your decision. You certainly can give one, but save those explanations for your inner circle who truly “get” you. Remember, you don’t always owe an explanation for your choices or need to defend your beliefs, thoughts and actions. You get to choose, my friend, and isn’t that a wonderful thing?