Please Be Careful With Yes

“You can’t have yes without no…if you’re not careful with your yeses, you start to say no to some very important things without even realizing it.” – Shauna Niequist

Are you careful with your yeses?

I used to give out my yeses with ease, but the problem is it can really burn you out. As I’ve tried to cut back on stress and live a more intentional life, I’ve had to become more intentional with my yes.

It’s so easy to say yes to please someone, to avoid an awkward conversation or to believe we have time for all of the things.

News flash: We do not have time for all of the things.

When you say yes to everything, you’re saying no to other things. If you agree to volunteer at one event this weekend, it might mean missing date night with your partner. If you agree to babysit your sister’s kids, you might not have time to get your homework done or write your book or get your home renovation project complete on time. If you clean your son’s room before your party, will you have time to cook everything on your list?

Supply your own examples and it will quickly become obvious how true this is. We’ve got 24 hours a day, and most people need 8 of those to be asleep. Even if you can walk through life as a zombie, you’ve still got the same 24 hours as everyone else. So let’s get more intentional about how we use that time.

Say no and see what the universe allows you to say yes to. (Hint: sometimes it’s conscious – if I say no to x, I’m saying yes to y. Other times, you’ll find you say no without knowing what’s next, just because it feels right. And sometimes life delivers a big and beautiful surprise, soon or not so soon, when we do that.)

Shauna Niequist’s book Present Over Perfect is brilliant, and when I first read it, I felt like I could have written it – it resonated so much. I’m now on read number two (after many months away from it) and it’s just as brilliant. If this resonates with you, or if you just want a book that encourages you to slow down and savor things a bit more you’ll definitely want to read this.

Practice saying no this week. What can you say no to?

Please comment here with a story of saying no, whether it’s a plan for the future or an anecdote of how it served you in the past. I’d love to hear how this is inspiring you or making you think!

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