Yeses & Nos Revisited

Have you ever noticed that the cost of saying Yes to one thing requires that you say No to several other things ~ and mean it?
Yeses are easy to say ~ most people like to say yes. Everyone else likes it when we say yes, too. The fact of the matter is that unless we can truly say NO, Yes is just a sound we’re making that doesn’t mean anything.
Nobody tells you that Yeses are time-sensitive, too; circumstances change. There are no guarantees that what started out with a heartfelt Yes will remain that way. Some Yeses need to be nourished in order to thrive and others simply have a limited life-span. Some Nos are definite and will never turn to Yeses; others could turn under the right circumstances.
The challenge we face with our Yeses and Nos occurs when we forget that each of them requires our attention. Yeses need to be renewed or they can easily turn into Nos, whether we admit it or not. There’s nothing more challenging than a spoken Yes that’s really a No in action and intent. It can be difficult to say No —  and it’s usually a relief to all concerned when a suspected No is admitted.
I’ve spent the summer looking at all of my Yeses and considering what Nos they required of me. I realized that although  my Yeses were positive and effective for a time, many of them had run their course and were now out-of-date. When I looked at the results I wanted to accomplish, it was clear that it was my Yeses that were holding me back.
My biggest discovery this summer is the understanding that there is more to Yeses and Nos than I had ever thought of before. It’s critical to review both Yeses and Nos on a regular basis; that will keep them fresh and you sane.
Saying Yes can become an instinct for some of us. That poses a challenge for us when we regularly overextend ourselves in the service of our relationships. Saying No can become an instinct, too, for those of us who are looking to pull back our Yeses and create more balance in our lives. Doing that poses a challenge when we  find ourselves routinely turning down invitations and activities that would really serve us or be fun.
There is a third alternative: pause before saying Yes or No.
Acknowledge the request with appreciation and let the person who asked know that you need time to consider it. The best reason for doing this comes from Lenora Edwards, who taught me “You’re not on a game show! Take the time you need to consider what’s best for you.” I’ve been taking her advice this summer and it’s really paid off.
How about you? Are your Yeses and Nos serving you right now?

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One Response to “Yeses & Nos Revisited”

  1. I really got a lot out of this much needed insight….. I am really going to try to do this for the future of my business. I answer quickly and wish I was slower to react. Thanks, Susan

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