What Are You Saying Yes To?

I once worked with a client whose sole mission in life was to simplify and streamline.  She desired peace and tranquility more than anything.  From the outside looking in however, it was the exact opposite.  It was a hot mess express. 

And the thing was, she didn’t even realize that she was driving the bus! 

We would be in the middle of her organizing session, and the phone would ring.  It was her husband.  This was the fifth time he had called since I had arrived. 

She would go silent for 10 minutes listening to him.  They would hang up and she would be off in another direction. 

Hang on, Jake (not his real name) needs me to check on something.” 

Meanwhile all her stuff was scattered on the floor waiting for her to take action. Thirty minutes later she would return ready to clear some space. 

*ring ring* This time her accountant.  “Can you come in this week to review your tax return?” 

She would shove another appointment into her already filled calendar.  Then return ready to make space. 

She had no idea that all those "yes"es were actually defeating her.

"I'm always so exhausted at the end of the day/week.  I just can't seem to get a grasp on it."

She was beating herself over the head with a bat and it was giving her a headache.  

Yet she didn't realize that it was her that was holding the bat.

"Yes" and "no" are two sides to the same coin. 

When we say yes to one thing we are inadvertently saying no to something else. 

“Yes I can stop what I’m doing to help you with ______” is saying no to the thing you were doing in the moment.  

I see this often with women.  We are the "yes" gender.  The people pleasers. 

We say yes to our husband, our kids, our jobs, our church, our friends, our family. 

Everyone gets our yes. 

         Yet we get our no.  

When you say yes to everyone else, you are saying no to yourself.

You cannot pour out from an empty cup.  We’ve all heard this a hundred times, but somehow we think it doesn’t apply to us and that our cup is going to magically refill itself. 

Before you answer the phone.  Before you utter a yes.  Before you agree to do anything. 

Ask yourself, "why am I saying yes?"

Is it because you feel obligated to? Because you are afraid you will hurt someone's feelings if you say no?

Ask yourself, "what is this costing me?".

So today, right now, I’m giving you a chance to slow down and take a look at what you are saying yes to.   

     Where are the boundaries blurred in your life? 

Give yourself permission to say no in order to say yes to you.

Jennifer Burnham