I ran across a really good quote today that spoke to me. Louie Giglio said “Whenever you say yes to something, there is less of you for something else. Make sure your yes is worth the less.” In today’s culture of go, go, go and don’t let any grass grow under your feet, and more is better…this is an excellent reminder of what it means to say yes too often.
Dr. Brene Brown, LCSW, is a professor and researcher at the University of Houston. She has written several books now, particularly on shame and her extensive research on the subject. She gave a talk once that really stuck with me. She was talking about codependency and how codependents tend to say yes to too many things at once. She said one of the things she learned was to pause before answering with a “yes” to a request. She described a ring she wears that is able to spin on her finger. Before she responds to a request, she spins the ring on her finger three times, and then answers. This gives her time to think about whether or not she really wants to say yes, and consider the things she will have to give up if she does.
I had to learn this lesson in graduate school BIG TIME. As a single mom and with all the plates I had spinning in the air during that time, I had to say no much more often than I would have liked. I just didn’t have a choice. I was already sleeping very little to get all my work and homework all done, and I would NOT sacrifice time playing basketball with my kids on the driveway and regret playing with them during these precious years of their childhood. I made time for the most important things, but many other things I cared about suffered. The most significant of these was relationships with some friends and acquaintences. I just didn’t have enough time for everyone or everything that I cared about. I nurtured a few of my most cherished friendships as much as possible, but other relationships suffered.
So as I came across this quote today, it reminded me of what happens when I say yes too much, and what happens when I don’t say yes enough. I hope this message gives you pause today, to just ponder what/who it is that is the most important to you, and say no to things that are less important and yes to those that are dear in your heart. I also personally want to make sure that I leave times in my schedule that are un-scheduled, to allow time for relationships to just…happen. Blessings on your day!
Healing Hearts provides counseling services to the surrounding communities of Indianapolis, Fishers, Carmel, Zionsville, Westfield, Noblesville, and Geist. E-Counseling is available for residents of Indiana. Call or text today to set up your appointment. 317-218-3038
© 2015 Nancy Eisenman, MSW, LSW