Raise your hand if you’ve ever said yes to something and almost immediately regretted it..yep, me too. I am not exactly sure why it is that we do that to ourselves, but it was one of my intentions coming into 2018 to save my yeses for only the best things to come my way. That may sound incredibly selfish, and believe me it wasn’t an easy decision to make, but I knew it is what I needed. I found myself saying yes to so many amazing opportunities out of guilt or obligation.
I’ve done some soul searching and a whole lot of reflection over the past year and I realized that I was simply trying to be too much to too many people. Handing out my yeses to anyone that asked was really depriving the people and the callings in my life that really need me…including myself. In the past I’ve casually given my yeses away because I felt guilty or because there seemed to be a genuine need. And by no means am I suggesting that we only ever do the things we want, but I am suggesting that we need to be more thoughtful and intentional with our yeses.
If you find yourself constantly on the run, burned out, and exhausted from honoring everyone else’s agenda then read on..
So how do we get off the hamster wheel?
One of the first things I did was identify my core values. Who were the people I was committed to showing up for? What causes and organizations do I feel led to serve? What were my existing obligations? What am I about?
Your best yeses or your sacred yeses will align with your values and ultimately what is most important to you not just what is important to the world around you. Sometimes the two will line up and sometimes they won’t. It is ultimately up to you to discern for yourself what that is. By having your values clearly outlined you will be able to decide what you really should be spending your time on and what you can pass on.
I know how hard it is to say no, especially when the cause or the need seems relevant, real, and is good. But if we crowd our schedules according to everyone else’s agenda, we don’t leave any time or space for Jesus to show up with his agenda for us. That is often what has led me to feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.
Once you get some clarity on your core values you will know when you should step up and when you should step aside and let someone else take it on. Asking questions always seems to reveal what is really going on in your heart.
Not sure if it is your best yes?
Here are some gut checks:
Does it align with yourvalues?
Does this align with your vision?
Do you have the time?
What will you have to say no to in order to make this a reality? **This one is especially a good question to ask yourself..because you can’t say yes to something without saying no to something else at the same time.
By creating the space and giving myself the permission to say no–even to ‘good’ things I am able to give more and to give better to the things that matter most and it frees me up to say yes to the things I was really called to do. I am able to show up in a bigger way and serve with more joy in my heart. We were created with certain gifts, dreams, and visions. And in order to step into those fully we will have to learn to turn down the things that tempt us or distract us from staying the course.