The challenge of saying “no” and “YES!”
One of the best stress management strategies I know, is the ability to say “no” to things that do not give me energy.
In my business, early on I realized that I did not like accounting, bill paying and reconciling. But these tasks are very important for any business, so it was one of the first things that I delegated. Over the years, I have learned to very politely and graciously say no to many solicitors and sales people, selling whatever. I typically take the time to hear the sales pitch, take a moment to think if this is something I would be interested in looking into, if not, I politely decline. Being able to be decisive and say “no” quickly has saved me a lot of time, energy and money.
I also use this principle a lot in my personal life when it comes to volunteering, and social engagements. Over time, I have learned to minimize the time that I spend with people that I don’t relate to, or that I don’t enjoy spending time with. I have also realized that I generally don’t like big and loud parties and venues, as it is hard to connect to people. I would prefer a quiet dinner with 4-6 friends over large parties.
Recently, it feels like I have been saying “yes” to a lot of different things. I volunteered to raise money to buy and deliver 1000 apples to a local Middle School, I co-host a monthly lunch group of women, I am a mentor through Colorado Youth at Risk all of this is on top of managing The Wellness Center and the family. All in all, I feel like my plate is pretty full. When my plate gets full, it is always a good time for me to ask myself… are all the things I am saying “yes” to fulfilling me in some way? Or are the things draining me? Overall, I would say that even if my plate is full, it is full with things that I feel passion for and that have filled my bucket and ultimately give me hope for the future.
If you want to increase your happiness level, one of the best things you can do is volunteer your time; amazingly simple, yet so hard to implement in our busy lives. I have found being a mentor through Colorado Youth at Risk (link: http://coyar.org/), while a big time commitment, spending time with my mentee has been very fulfilling, as I can see the impact I am making on a person.
I do look forward to turning things off for a month to summer, just to reset, rejuvenate and refuel. In many ways… life is a marathon, but even ultra-athletes need time to recover. Life is more like a relay, we can carry the baton for a while, but at some point we have to hand it off, and eventually we will pick it up again.
Life is all about saying “No” to the right things so you have space to say “Yes” to the right things.