Is Your Yes Really A Yes?

If you’ve been counting down the weeks with me until the launch of my newest book, Dance into Your Power, you know we’ve got 4 weeks to go.
If you haven’t yet visited my website to claim your free pdf copy of its prequel , The Traveler’s Guide To the Journey to Powerful Presence, I hope you will today. In the meantime, I thought you’d enjoy a short excerpt that can make life easier when you make it a practice.
A Powerful Structure: 10 Yeses a Day

In my training as a substance abuse counselor, I learned that one of the challenges many people face is feeling that they must say yes to everyone but themselves. Doing this completely depletes your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual resources. If saying yes is a reflex for you, you may discover that you’re saying yes more than 10 times a day… and you’re keeping very few of those yeses for yourself.
If we’ve been trained as children to deny ourselves in favor of pleasing everyone else, this is a very difficult pattern to break. Like baby elephants, all of our training points to pleasing others and ignoring ourselves. For some of us, saying yes to others feels like a requirement for survival.
As a counselor, I learned a very powerful strategy that helped me a great deal; it often astonishes my clients when I share it with them. It goes like this: You have 10 yeses a day to spend, and every day you start out with 10 fresh yeses. You always have a choice about your yeses. You can spend them all on other people or you can spend some on yourself. You can try to hoard them and say no to everything. No matter what you do with them, you still only have 10 yeses each day. People with Powerful Presence spend all of their yeses every day on the things that are most important to them; they make sure that they spend two or three of those daily yeses on themselves.
When you think about it, it’s just plain math. Figure out how many hours you’re awake in a typical a day—it’s about sixteen if you want to get a good night’s sleep. It’s easy to see that with only sixteen hours to do it in, you can say yes effectively only 10 times.
Think about the number of yeses you have to say every day just to keep your life going. For most people, their #1 Yes goes to their job or to their family. Then #2 goes to the other one—job and family are #1 and #2 for most people. Sometimes you can use up all 10 of your yeses on just your job and your family!
If you’re getting a college degree, that’s a yes. If you have a second job, that’s another yes. If you have aging parents you’re caring for as you’re raising your children, that’s another yes.
When you do the math, you’ll find that you only have a certain number of hours in a day.  The limits on your time require that you have an easy way to decide how you spent those hours; that’s why you need to have criteria. When you know what you want and what you don’t want, it’s much easier to decide where to spend your yeses. Once they’re spent, everything else is a no.
If you’re wondering how that could be so, consider your own experience. Have you ever had to readjust your schedule because you agreed to do something that you discovered at the eleventh hour you couldn’t pull off? That’s just one example of spending a yes that was really a no.
When you’re having trouble deciding whether or not to say yes to something, you can use (some of the strategies in Dance into Your Power to map out the situation and decide) for yourself.
The most important quality of Powerful Presence is the ability to be conscious of your actions and your impact. When you get conscious of the way you’re spending your yeses and nos, you will transform your life.
That’s just a small portion of what you’ll find in Dance into Your Power. In just four more weeks, you can read the entire book for yourself.
Until next time, have a truly illuminating week!

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