Have you ever gotten into the habit of saying “No” too often?
What gets us in this kind of habit? For me it happens because I feel overwhelmed and don’t feel like I can add another thing on my plate. It happens when I’m feeling tired and just want to isolate and stay home alone. Sometimes it happens because I lack confidence and allow doubts to have space in my thoughts.
Saying “no” can be legitimate and good. It’s when it becomes the norm or a pattern that we need to step back and look at why we are saying “no.”
We definitely want to say no to the negatives in our life. Saying no to negative thinking, negative influences and negative experiences is a good thing! But, sometimes, we begin to say no to almost everything and as a result, we don’t allow the good things into our life either.
Then, there is the times when we say “yes” to too many good things, and we turn the good into feeling overwhelmed and tired. Guess what? That’s a recipe to getting back to saying “no” again.
John C. Maxwell has a quote that says,
“Learn to say ‘no’ to the good, so you can say ‘yes’ to the best.”
How do we do that?
It begins by taking stock of your life, deciding on what you value most and then prioritizing how you spend your time. It also means getting rid of the things that don’t fit, even if they are good things.
Follow these steps:
1. Take a minute and list all of the activities, tasks and things that you are doing on a regular basis.
2. On a separate sheet of paper, list what your top five values are (such as building my relationships, using my gifts and talents, creating a peaceful home, providing for my family, etc.)
3. Next, in a chart, list all of your activities under each of the values.
4. If an activity doesn’t fit underneath one of your values, put it in a separate list.
5. Prioritize each item under each of your values.
By doing this, you can begin to see where you are spending your time, and if it doesn’t align with your values, you can begin to get rid of what is not important and switch things around so that those things that are most important to you get your attention and your “yes.”
Use this for future decision making as well. Ask yourself if the new activity aligns with your values, and then decide if there is room in your life based on your answer.
We all have a lot of things in life that we have to do or need to do. Let’s not crowd out the rest of our time with things that don’t align with our values. Spend the time to work through these steps so that you allow the best into your life.
What step will you take so that today you are saying yes to the best?