The three things to consider before jumping to a yes.
I like making people happy, and a good way to do that is by always saying yes. Saying yes is easy, like clockwork, and it delights people. As someone who easily falls into people pleasing, saying no doesn’t come very easy for me. But I’ve found that even though saying yes makes others happy, it hinders us from living a life of purpose.
The satisfaction from helping someone with your “yes” will quickly fade when you find yourself with all this stuff on your plate, and not enough time to do it. It will even get more frustrating when you see too much of your time going to things you’re not crazy about doing, and not enough time dedicated to what
But friends, there is good news. We, thankfully, are never held at gunpoint when asked to do something for someone – or at least I hope not. For the most part, we have a choice. And it’s about time we tapped into that.
All of this stress can be avoided, with one simple word. It’s a word that makes some people cringe, others feel empowered, and many stop in their tracks. The word is no.
And I know that even writing that brings a little queasy feeling inside. I’ve listed several different things to consider before using this weighty word, so you can walk into each decision with confidence.
The key things to consider the next time you are asked to do something:
1. Do I have time for this?
This is a huge thing to consider. A lot of times when we say yes but we don’t have the time, we are doing the job a disservice. We don’t realize that we are actually doing this person a disservice by committing to something we don’t have the time for. And also, we are taking the job from someone who could make it more of a priority. So before you jump to a yes, check your planner and see if you can make time for the job. And if you do have time, then go with it.
2. Am I the right person for the job?
I’ve found that some jobs go hand and hand with my gifting, but other jobs simply do not. We are not good at everything, and even if we might think so, we are not always the best fit for every job.
Sometimes we’ll be asked to do something not because we would be good at it, but because the job needs to be done. People pleasers need to be very, very careful about this. It can feel good to think something needs you for something, and it can be nice to be needed. But not if it’s fulfilling something that you’re not the right person for. When asked to be in a position that does not quite fit into your skill set, you are doing them a favor by saying no.
3. Do I genuinely want to do this?
You are allowed to not want to do something. And more likely than not, your gut feeling is never wrong. If when asked to do something and your gut feeling takes a turn to a no, it might be trying to say something to you. But if your gut feeling exudes excitement, this could be a sign you should say yes.
Remember: every yes is a no to something else.
If you want to live a life of purpose, you are going to need to start saying no to things. We can’t say yes to everything, or else we wouldn’t do anything particularly well. Unfortunately, being superwoman is past our human powers.
And though saying no is hard, it provides a lot more freedom than you would think. It’s freeing to know you are not responsible for everyone’s happiness.
A no can also be a “maybe, let me think about it.”
If the word “no” is too much to say, there’s another way of saying it. It goes a little like this:
“Maybe, I’ll think about it.”
See, that really wasn’t that bad. The world did not end.
Next time you’re left with the opportunity to say yes or no, think hard before you jump to a yes. Consider these steps and decide what and who is best for the job.
Saying no to something you’re not crazy about will allow space for a purposeful yes. When we choose to commit ourselves to things that align with our mission, we get closer to living the life of impact that we’ve always imagined. And if that’s the case, the no is certainly worth it.