Submit your most pressing Life, Leadership, Relationship, or other quandaries. Each month, I’ll select one to answer in this column. Bonus: you’ll also score 90 juicy minutes of coaching with yours truly.
Q: A lot of people ask me to do a lot of stuff that I don’t want to do. How do I decline without feeling bad about it? ~ Hope
A: Oh, sister. I hear you. I imagine you are busy, strapped for time, and burning the candle at both ends. I imagine you are also brilliant and generous and have a huge heart for helping. Finally, I’m willing to bet you’ve gotten into the habit of saying “yes” to stuff that you don’t actually want to do, so as to be liked, or perhaps because you feel obligated.
When we say “yes” when we really mean “hell no,” we end up resentful, overwhelmed, and depleted. This gets conveyed through whatever task we have half-heartedly committed to, and then everyone loses. Yuck.
Want to try a different approach?
It’s going to involve you learning one very concise sentence. Ready? Here it is:
“No, thank you.”
That’s it. Seriously. You do not owe anyone a yes. You also do not owe anyone an explanation for declining. You, my dear, are a Grown-Ass Woman. And as such, you get to choose exactly how you spend your precious time on the planet. You could choose to spend it frustrated and depleted and committing fo lots of stuff you don’t actually want to do…but I don’t recommend it. You could, instead, choose the joy and lightness and fulfillment that comes with giving a resounding “Hell, Yes!” to only the projects and opportunities that truly light you up.
Here are 3 questions to ask yourself to support you as you choose:
- How does your body feel when you consider the opportunity? Light, excited, maybe a little nervous? That’s probably a Yes. Heavy, uneasy, irritated? That’s a No.
- Does the request align with your core values and purpose?
- If you say Yes to this thing, what will that make possible for you, others, and/or the world?
I have faith that in your ability to decide powerfully, and to empower your choice. It just takes a little practice.
What’s troubling you, love? Send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s get you moving from stuck on the Good Girl sidelines, to empowered and brilliantly owning your Grown-Ass greatness.