Have you ever seen that movie 'Yes Man' with Jim Carrey in it? You know where he's a bit of an office drip with a routine and wasn't ever really saying YES to life? He did the same thing day in and day out, he's stuck in his old negative ways so he takes himself to a self-help seminar. At the seminar he learns about unleashing the power of YES!
So from there, he challenges himself to say yes.... to EVERYTHING.
Obviously he has himself a load of adventures and a new lease on life. When I watched the beginning of this movie I didn't relate so much. Because, well, I've also been a YES person. So much so, and as Jim Carrey discovers - there's gotta be a limit to saying yes.
When I was in high school and university I would always say yes to social gatherings. A water slide day?! Yes! Beer Bong then to UniBar?! Yes!! Camping?! Yess!
It happened many a time that Friday night would meander around and I had three people calling me because I'd agreed (and just as quickly forgotten) that I would do X, Y , Z with three different groups of people.
Now, I'm not writing this to boast about my popularity but more about my lack of ability to distinguish a HELL YES from a 'that could be cool.'
In fact, I wouldn't even check in with myself, I would say YES straight away. I wouldn't check a calendar to see if I had conflicting appointments and, more importantly, I wouldn't check in with MYSELF to see if this was a 100% true yes that I was going to participate in this activity WHOLE HEARTEDLY.
In later years, this habit would show up by saying yes to certain projects with people because it SOUNDED LIKE A COOL IDEA. Had I checked in with myself, I would have heard the small voice of INTUITION (see previous post) steering me away from certain projects and certain people.
In the end, I would disappoint myriad people as it's not possible to be in THREE PLACES AT ONCE, and because I didn't complete projects in a timely manner.
It took me a long time and a painful relationships to realise this fact;
For us sweet people pleasers, the thought of saying 'No' is heart-wrenching. We don't want to disappoint, we don't want to upset anyone, we don't want to let anyone down. So often, we'll say yes without checking in with ourselves first. We'll say yes even if we don't have time, even if we don't want to. We say yes to avoid our own personal pain and fear of SAYING NO.
Here's the clincher - so we'll say YES and then LET THE PERSON DOWN IN THE LONG RUN. Either we show up half-heartedly (and people can FEEL THAT lack of presence and interaction), we DON'T COMPLETE PROJECTS, or we end up triple booked.
All of these end up affecting the people we have said yes to.
If we had have said NO in the first instance, they would have found someone else for the project, invited other friends to dinner or planned the party for a date that you could come.
So, we are trying to avoid an immediate pain of saying NO when in the long run we create more PAIN.
1. Check in with yourself, ALWAYS.
2. If this is new for you, check in for every decision of your day to get really familiar with your YES and your NO. Watch the video if you need to learn how to decipher YES from NO.
3. Be bold and say NO upfront. Remember, people will actually RESPECT YOU MORE for your direct and upfront NO than if you say yes when you don't fully mean it.
HANDY HINT; A tool someone once taught me if you can't decide ON THE SPOT what it is you want to do, tell the person, 'I'm not sure yet, can I get back to you?'
Then when you get the opportunity, you can sit at home and turn inwards or pull out your pen and paper.
Some great questions to reflect on;
1. Why do I want to do this? Is this for myself or the other person or both?
2. Does this align with my values & goals?
3. Do I have the time available for this? Do I have conflicting projects
4. Do I have any fear around saying No to this person?