How many times do you say yes in a day? Think about it. Your coworker asks for help on a new project and you immediately agree even though your workload is already filled to the brim. A neighbor asks if you can dog sit and before you even look at your calendar, you’ve already texted back in the affirmative. The fourth-grade bake sale needs volunteers and your name tops the sign-up sheet. As women, we’re constantly uttering phrases like...
Don’t mention it!
Happy to help!
We agree on repeat, committing to good deeds and fun plans without ever checking in with ourselves to discover, “is this worth my time and energy?” Now, hear us clearly, lending a helping hand is an incredible act of kindness. Our lives should be filled with generosity but when we spend the majority of our time pouring out favor to others, we leave little room to be generous to ourselves. Before you agree blindly to the next question posed to you, ask yourself these three things. If all answers are yes, then by all means SAY YES! If one or more answers are a no, feel empowered to kindly and firmly decline.
1. Does it align with my personal values?
First things first: do you know what your personal values are? If not, hold off from agreeing to one more thing until you’ve figured that out. Once you’re clear on what your values are and what they aren’t, it will be a seamless process to assess if the current ask aligns with your values. Here’s an example: family time is a value you’ve claimed but haven’t prioritized. When an old girlfriend calls and asks if you’ll join her for dinner on the only night your partner and the kids are free, ask yourself which plan aligns more closely with your values. From there, the choice is simple.
2. How full is my current cup?
The old adage rings true: you cannot pour from an empty cup. The quickest route to resentment is by overcommitting yourself to others when you haven’t devoted any time to yourself. This one needs repeating a few times to sink in: it is not selfish to care for yourself. In fact, it’s essential. Before you add another thing to your plate, think back to the last time you did something just for you. Assess how full your current cup is. If it’s filled to the brim, chances are you’ve got time and energy to pour a little out. If you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel, you don’t have anything left to give! Go fill up your cup and then consider a ‘yes’ in the near future. Here are 30 Free Self-Care Ideas.
3. Is it a HECK YES?
There is a saying we love that reads, “if it isn’t a HECK YES, then it’s a no.” Too often we agree to things out of obligation that we honestly just aren’t that excited about. Listen closely: there is nothing wrong with saying no. A no to one thing makes room for a yes somewhere else. We get it: saying no feels awkward and uncomfortable when you’ve spent your life yes-ing everything. With the right language and a little practice, the no’s will be flying out of your mouth with ease. Below are our favorite ways to decline an offer:
“I really appreciate the offer but I have other priorities and can’t take on anything extra.”
“Thank you for thinking of me but I’ll politely decline this time.”
“I’ve checked in with myself and cannot commit to this right now. Please ask me next time though!”
At the end of the day, if you’re aligned with your values, you’re filling up your cup and you’re staying focused on the things that make you feel alive, you will have plenty of yes’s and no’s in your future. You’ll also have clarity and perspective on where you’re devoting your time! That’s a win-win in our book.