Do you secretly celebrate when someone cancels plans that you didn’t really want to have? Do you really wish you had more time to yourself to try bringing some hygge into your life? Do you revel in arriving home after a long day… only to realize you’re stretched too thin to give attention to your loved ones, pets, and friends?
Once I started being mindful of what I was saying yes to, I felt a huge shift.
If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, there’s a good chance you’re saying yes to too much in life. Believe me, I’ve been there, too. If you’ve seen the movie Yes Man, you know the good that saying yes can do, and it’s easy to be inspired to do the same in your life. Each time someone presents plans to you, you go for it! Being spontaneous and living in the moment can be amazing, and they say life is short so you should live it up and take every opportunity… until you just can’t.
The thing is, it’s possible to overcommit to the good things in life, and you need time and space to do your own thing every once in a while. It’s one of my goals to say yes to fulfilling activities with friends and family who help fill my cup so that when I come home at the end of the day, I’m jazzed on life and looking forward to the next. Once I started being mindful of what I was saying yes to, I felt a huge shift. I even signed up for a jewelry making class, something I always wanted to do. Saying yes to my jewelry class allowed me to hold space for a creative hobby, and say no to binge-watching Netflix.
Too much Yes? Here are some clues that you can use to help decide
1. What’s your gut reaction?
If your gut reaction is something along the lines of, “THIS IS THE OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME” then by all means – say YES! However, if your gut reaction is something like “I don’t have time for this,” or “I’ll feel guilty if I don’t go, so I should,” then the right answer is no.
The answer may often be somewhere in the middle, but they call it a gut reaction for a reason and you should try your best to trust it. Saying no to plans isn’t always easy, but you have to protect your goals, personal space, and your energy. On the other hand, saying yes to a project, coffee dates, or other plans that will push your goals forward and help nurture important relationships may be valuable to you – it’s up to you to decide.
Be aware of your own energy, what you need, and what you have to give before you say yes.
2. How will the plans benefit you?
Every time you say yes, you’re saying no to something else. Signing up for the jewelry class was an amazing change for my life, but there may be other instances that aren’t as positive.
If you say yes, will you have to push pause on an important project? Is the benefit great enough? Will you be left feeling amazing, empowered, and fulfilled, or will you feel a bit drained?
Maybe a friend is visiting from out of town and you only get see them once in a blue moon, or maybe you’re considering attending a festival on your bucket list. Or maybe your friends are going out and you’re actually exhausted and don’t feel like it… you have the power to choose. It’s not about what others think of you, it’s about living an amazing life, feeling your best, and having energy for activities that make you feel good.
3. Who are the plans with?
Are they with a person who lifts your spirits and makes you want to be the best possible version of yourself, who encourages you to dream a little bigger and shine a little brighter? Or are they with an “energy vampire” – the kind of person who takes more than they give, and leaves you feeling drained.
I don’t mean for you to place labels on your friends, but let’s be honest – there are certain people who take more energy to spend time with, and then there are people who make you feel amazing. It’s okay to hang out with both types of people, but be aware of your own energy, what you need, and what you have to give before you say yes.
Slow down – make intentional decisions about what you say yes to, so that you can hold space for the things you actually want to do.