One of my favorite quotes is from Sir Richard Branson; “When someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you are not sure you can do it, say yes and figure it out later.”
I had many wonderful years of saying yes and enjoyed many awesome opportunities. I even read Shonda Rhimes’s book “Year of Yes”. I was all about saying Yes to everything and being proud of it. My thinking was that any opportunity offered to me had the potential of being awesome and amazing and I didn’t want to miss out on any of it.
As a result, I became overcommitted. Overcommitment leads to overwhelm. Overwhelm leads to exhaustion. Exhaustion leads to burnout. Burnout leads to poor health, and well-being, and sabotages relationships. You get the picture. Overcommitment is the enemy of excellence.
My commitment this year is to my health, well-being, and my relationships. Because of this, I’m learning to say no to things that don’t align with my commitment to myself and my happiness. It’s also a new way of being for me and I have to be honest with you, it’s not easy.
Feelings of guilt and laziness plague me daily. Seeing open space in my calendar is what I’ve dreamed of in the past and now that I have it, I’m struggling to enjoy it.
You see, for most of us high-achievers, exhaustion is a status symbol. It means that we are busy and are hustling for ourselves and our families. Even if we have very little time for ourselves and our families. The hustle and productivity are a part of our self-worth. Look at me, I’m so busy that I don’t have time to really take care of myself.
How many times have you answered ‘good but really busy’ when someone has asked, ‘How are things going’? It’s a badge of honor, isn’t it? I’m really busy automatically means that things are good. We’ve been brainwashed to think that being busy is a good thing.
Now, I’m not saying that being busy is a bad thing. But, let’s be honest here, being busy doesn’t mean that you are optimizing your time, energy, and effort. It just means that you are busy. And, for some of us, being busy is a distraction from real productive action.
This year, I’ve committed to productive, effective action. That means that I’m not just going to be busy because I’ve said yes to everything because of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). I’m saying yes to things that bring me joy, not exhaustion.
This is not to say that I’m not going to hustle. It means that I’m only going to hustle when the result of the hustle aligns with the results I really want in my life. More joy, more happiness, better health, abundance, and happy relationships.
It’s going to mean saying no to things that won’t give me the productive payoff that I want in my life and business. It’s going to mean letting some people down. It’s going to mean letting some things go. It’s going to mean that I can’t help everyone and people might feel disappointed because of it.
It’s also going to mean that I’m creating space for what matters most to me. It means that I don’t have to wait for a life-changing event to happen for me to change my life. I get to be clear about what I want and what makes me happy and live my life in alignment with that.
And, that will require me to create a year of NO so that I can be a YES to me!