Saying yes vs saying no

I don’t know about you but I find it really hard to say no. In the past, I always thought of this as a good trait, however, over time I was able to see why this was becoming detrimental and not beneficial to my health and my life.

Whether it was someone asking for help, someone offering an opportunity, or someone simply asking for something, my automatic answer was always an overwhelming yes. This wouldn’t be an issue if about 1 minute after saying yes I didn’t instantly regret it.

‘Why did I say yes to that? I have so much on!’

‘How can I get out of this without dissapointing everyone?’

‘This has just stressed me out now that I’ve said yes’

Sometimes I would even be aware as the word ‘Yes’ exited my mouth that I would regret it, but I said yes anyway.

Have you ever found yourself in this position?

Saying yes to a dinner party when you just want to watch a movie at home?

Saying yes to a work opportunity when really what you want is more balance?

Saying yes to tuck shop volunteering when you know it will just overwhelm you?

There’s a whole bunch of reasons we say yes to things we don’t really want to do.

Social expectations.
The need to please everyone.
Perfectionist traits.
It’s easier to say yes than no. (In the moment)
Fear of repercussions.
Automatic habit.

No matter what your reasons are though, the action of saying yes repeatedly when we don’t want to always ends in the same way.

Stressed, overwhelmed and in trying to please everyone – pleasing virtually no one.

When I became aware of just how much saying yes was stressing me out, I stumbled upon the quote ‘When you say yes to something, you say no to something else.’

Mind. Blown.

It’s such a simple thought, yet so powerful.

When I say yes to more work, I say no to more family time.

When I say yes to more social events, I say no to more rest.

When I say yes to that opportunity I don’t really want, I say no to feeling in control.

This can work in so many other ways.

When you say yes to staying in bed, you say no to that workout.

When you say yes to that bottle of wine, you say no to kicking the habit.

When you say yes to that extra work load, you say no to more balance.

Every now and again, these things are no issue. It’s good to have a sleep in on a Sunday, it’s nice to share a glass of wine with your friend or partner, it’s admirable to say yes to work opportunities. However, when we lose sight of when to say yes and when to say no, the negatives start to outweigh the positives.

It’s time to break the stigma on saying yes and start being ok with saying no.

Sometimes, saying no means you’re prioritising the right things.

Sometimes, saying no means you’re taking control of your life.

Sometimes, saying no means you’re staying true to your values.

So next time you’re faced with a question you’re tempted to say yes to, ask yourself, what else am I saying no to in the process? And am I willing to sacrifice that?


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