As women, we are used to saying "Yes." Our culture demands that of polite civilized women. If one of our family members needs help we say, "Yes." If a friend needs help, we say "I’ll be right there." I can get behind that. It's the "Yes" that comes from a martyr habit or the need to control a situation, rather than a real desire to help, that disturbs me.
These are the BS answers that leave us feeling drained. This is the “Yes” that could, and should, be a compassionate "No," if we believed in the value of our time. Saying "Yes" to something that feels like an obligation is actually saying "No" to something that is infinitely more valuable—time for yourself. Here's what I'm talking about:
I say "No" to Facebook surfing and “Yes” to a walk with the dog or a date with the latest Kate Atkinson novel.
I say “No” to the after-work social and “Yes” to chatting with my kids on the phone.
How do you say “No”? First write down your to-do list for today (use my free ENERGY WORTHY TO-DO list with a twist CLICK ON THE PDF LINK BELOW). Then pare it down using the following criteria:
1. Does it absolutely need to be done today to move your life toward your goals? If “Yes,” look at your available time and just do it already!
2. If “Not really,” then put it on tomorrow’s list. If you’ve already said “Yes,” when you should have said “No,” call the person to whom you’re obligated and say, "I know I said I would do_____ today, but it no longer fits into my schedule; I'm so sorry. I wanted to give you the opportunity to ask someone else if you really need it done today.”
You will be amazed by how often this is all you need to say. If they are the inflexible sort, they will argue. Just listen and repeat the above sentence, either verbatim or with a twist, keeping the meaning the same. This will take some time, so start right now.
Say “No” to meaningless tasks and “Yes” to freedom.
If you need some support, send an S.O.S. to firstname.lastname@example.org or bend my ear at the front desk.