Balancing Your "Hell Yeses" (And why Hell No Is Just As Valuable)
Have you ever said yes to something and then felt your stomach sink to your knees thinking “Why the hell did I say yes to this thing anyway?”. Chances are that we've all been there. Whether it’s helping your cousin move or late night drinks with a friend, we’ve probably all said “Yes” to something (fun or not so fun) that we’ve wished we hadn’t. And whether it’s our kindness in hyperdrive or our sense of duty to do the “musts” of life, we’ve all felt guilty if we even considered bailing on a commitment like that, let alone if we really did eventually say that dreaded word “No”.
So, if this is hitting close to home, never fear! Today we’re going to explore the power of balancing our “Hell Yes” with our “Oh Hell No”.( Hint: That last one is more valuable than you might think!)
First things first...
The Difference Between “Yes” and “Yes-ed To The Max”
Chances are that you think of yourself as someone who wants to be there for the people you love or the community that raised you. You let your “Yes” mean yes and you follow through, even if it’s not all rainbows and butterflies when you do. You get things done, you’re there for your most-loved people, and you love being able to do those things.
Those are best “Yes” moments. When your “Yes” is empowering, when it brings you into alignment with your priorities, when you feel life in balance because you’re saying “Yes” to things you value: That’s when you feel a wave of balance flood over you. That’s living your life with awesome “Yes” moments.
While those are the best “Yeses” around, you may also have been “Yesed to the max”. You know that moment when you feel like you’ve accepted too much or put too much on your plate. That’s what we call “Yes-ed to the max”. But how would you know if you got there?
Maybe you’ve been the person who says “Yes” to everything. Yes to that extra shift you don’t need, “Yes to being your coworkers’ carpool driver as you head into the city each morning. “Yes” to driving the kids to and from all their practices on Thursdays, (Yes, every Thursday). Yes to making the 100 cupcakes for Friday’s bake sale (Even when they ask you the night before). Yes to the 6 AM yoga class with your friend on Saturday morning. Yes to lifting things an putting them down with that cousin who is moving (Yes, again). Yes to that 5 PM client meeting on Sunday evening (Yes this Sunday) and the list goes on…
Week after week, the “Yes” moments pile up and whether you really wanted to in the first place, you are feeling the weight of these “Yeses” now. So much so that when you finally offer a “No” in there somewhere, chances are it’s because you’re exhausted.
You might be pushing through a cold, experiencing racing thoughts, or maybe a migraine. Maybe you ran out of flour for the cupcakes and you are now driving to the supermarket in the rain at 8 PM. Or you just got off of that 5 PM client call and realized it’s too late to reasonably cook a healthy dinner. You still need to schedule your week and, ya know, maybe shower. You are zonked. And now you begin to feel nervous. You’re so tired that you now risk letting down the next person who asks you for something. You’ve taken “Yes” to the max and your body and mind are now paying for it.
It’s about time to balance that overdose of “Yes” with the little-known power of “No”.
The Power of “No”
Whether we are well acquainted with “No” or not, it’s a really interesting concept for those of us with a “go-getter” attitude. In many families, children learn the word “No” before most other words. We learn to say “No” to certain toys, or foods, or even people. Many of us who now take “Yes” to the max were once hardcore “No” fans. And there’s an important reason for this: “No” when used to serve us, is a pretty awesome word.
While it served to keep us from those mashed bananas when we were little, the word “No” in adulthood often indicates that we have selected a priority. And that can help you cultivate some much-needed balance in your life. That’s the real power of “No”. And if we can retrain our brains to see it that way, instead of thinking of it as a “bad word”, we can really begin to see it’s power in our lives.
So how does “No” show priority and foster some balance? We’ll let’s take the example of that hectic “Yes to the max” day above. If you use “No” in some small places, it would definitely change that scenario in a big way.
For example, those 100 last minute cupcakes.
“No, I can’t make 100 cupcakes by tomorrow.”
Now, some of us are going to be super comfortable with this very honest “No”. But maybe you’d like a “starter No” , If that’s the case, try something like “No, I can’t make 100 cupcakes by tomorrow. Is there another way I can help with the fundraiser? If not maybe I could help with the next one?”
(The cheat code here is: Say “No” if it’s a no and only offer other options if they feel like “Yes”-worthy priorities to you. If you don’t use this cheat code, you could end up with the same “Yes to the max” situation you had before.)
When you tell someone who asks you for a big and last minute task “No” you’ve created a priority for yourself. When you say no to a last-minute cupcake creation request, you are prioritizing you, (and whatever you choose to do with that time.) You may really value giving back to your community and still value your family or friend time but you know that you can’t help anyone until you help yourself. The result of saying no might very well be taking care of yourself so you can dedicate some time to your community, family, or friends in the future.
No matter why you choose to say “No” it’s important that you know and love your reasons.
Loving the reason you say “Yes” or “No”.
Maybe you’d rather spend time with a friend, on your own, or working on your business. Or maybe you just aren't that into cupcakes. No matter what your reason, when you offer a “Yes” or a “No” you are defining your priorities and correcting the balance of your life. So it’s important to love your answers.
Loving your “Yes” or your “No” is something we might not be so well acquainted with, especially if we’ve taken "Yes" to the max a few too many times.
Loving our answers means that we know what we’re prioritizing and why we’re making that a priority. If we say “Yes” to 100 last-minute cupcakes because we have the time to make them, love the fundraiser we’re supporting, and really love cupcake making, we might be happier as we make them.
On the other hand, if we say “Yes” to making 100 last-minute cupcakes because we feel like others will judge us if we don’t or because we don’t know how to say no without feeling bad,, we might not be happier or even helpful as we make them.
And finally, we can get creative with our “Yes” if we choose. If we value time with our family and can bring friends, children, or family members in to make the cupcakes with us, we might love our “Yes” more than if we feel like we’re missing out on time with them in order to follow through on making the 100 cupcakes.
Loving our “Yes” is a matter of defining our priorities and values and then allowing the choices we make to reflect those priorities and values.
Loving our “No” means understanding why we’re saying no and understanding how that “No” is bringing us into better alignment or balance with our priorities and values.
To put the final nail in the coffin of our crazy cupcake example, what if you said “No” to making 100 cupcakes and loved saying “No”. What thoughts or feelings might you have?
For some of us, this is a tough answer to love. Maybe we say “No” because that night is one when we meet old neighborhood friends for drinks and live music, or maybe it’s our father’s birthday and the family is going to dinner to celebrate. Maybe we’ve been sick all week and need the time to rest. Or maybe we decide that last minute requests for something like that are just not something we can say “Yes” to because our mental and emotional boundaries are important to us.
Whatever our reason for saying “No”, as long as we know our “why” and love it, we’re going to feel a sense of balance as we offer it.
A Final Note On Balance
In a world that really loves a good “Yes to the max” person, it’s important to let our “No” have value in order to foster balance in our lives. We have all heard the “You can’t pour from an empty cup” idea and it couldn't be truer than when talking about this topic.
If you’re looking to bring greater balance to your body there is one helpful “Yes” that we’d suggest and that is our WOB Moringa products.
We say “No” to the artificial and “Yes” to all natural superfood awesomeness and we know you’ll love that about our line of products. So check them out here.
And stay tuned to the blog for more awesome ways to bring balance to your life!