A few weeks ago, I was listening to an episode of the Jen Hatmaker podcast with Emily Ley. They were talking about streamlining their lives and finding grace instead of perfection, and one part of their conversation really struck me.
“When you say ‘Yes’ to one thing, you’re saying ‘No’ to something else, even though you may not realize it.” – emily ley
Umm LIGHTBULB MOMENT.
For so much of the past few years, I’ve felt like I need to say yes to everything that comes my way. #1 because my marketing job depended on saying yes to work tasks. #2 because I didn’t want to turn down opportunities to learn and grow. And #3, if I was going to go full time with Lake Shore Lady, I felt the need to hustle.
But as I listened to this episode, I realized that I’m not a lost 25 year old anymore. My life is stable and I feel a purpose. And that means I can be intentional with every single decision I make now. Am I interested in this project? Will you guys be interested in this project? Is this company paying what I’m worth? How much time is this going to take/how many additional resources will I need? Can I do it well?
For example, I just turned down what sounded like a really cool opportunity because the workload was HUGE. The idea was really exciting, but it would have taken so much of my time. What if an opportunity 10x more exciting came my way but I was swamped with this?! And even if that didn’t happen, do I really want to “say no” to time that could be dedicated to creating consistent content here on the blog?
Beyond the Biz
Along those same lines, I’ve learned that this mentality has had a huge effect on my life beyond business. If I’m constantly saying yes to events or extra last minute projects, I am inadvertently saying no to time with Adam or a free night for me. Saying yes to the hustle these past few years has meant that I’ve been less available to nurture friendships, and sometimes, my health! I mean, last year, I was writing about self-care, while allowing workouts and “me-time” to take a backseat to work. While I’m very proud of everything I accomplished during that time, I knew I wanted – er, needed – to find a simpler and less stressful way of living.
On the flip side – let’s say you’re good on the stress front, but you want more out of life. I think this still applies! Saying yes to things that don’t light you up takes time away from figuring out what does! Maybe you need to say no to going to bars with friends every weekend and say yes to taking a new class or learning a new skill. Maybe saying yes to shopping every sale (believe me, I know they’re tempting), is contributing to saying no to traveling or buying a house.
It can be so easy to feel like so many decisions are made for us, because honestly, sometimes they are. But I’ve learned that in most cases, we have more control than we think we do. We have the power to make decisions that lead us to the life we want. We just have to accept that responsibility, flub up sometimes (duh), and figure out how to get to where we want to be.
Have any of you heard this saying before?
Do you find it to be helpful as you make decisions? I’d love to hear your thoughts!